What does Koestler mean by the concepts of anti-vivisection morality and grammatical fiction?

Expert Answers info

Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,633 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

In Darkness at Noon, the first term, anti-vivisection morality, is used during Rubashev's interrogation by Ivanov. The Party operative tells Rubashev that actions should be based on the need to sacrifice human lives for the good of the greater number, the collective. He dismisses Rubashev's references to Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment as nonsense and claims that there are only two ways of looking at human life. The first, from the Christian perspective, which he terms "anti-vivisection morality," meaning that any individual life is sacred; and the second, "vivisection morality," meaning that it is "moral" to dispose of human lives if by doing so one can either save a greater number of lives or accomplish a greater purpose. The latter, of course, is the Party's "morality," and what it comes down to is the principle that the end justifies the means.

The second term in your question, the grammatical fiction, is formulated by Rubashev when he considers that the Party discourages its members to...

(The entire section contains 533 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial