Darkness at Noon Questions and Answers
by Arthur Koestler

Start Your Free Trial

What does the novel Darkness at Noon tell us about totalitarianism and life under Stalin?

Expert Answers info

Dolly Doyle eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseLibrarian


calendarEducator since 2018

write1,271 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

What is most fascinating about the depiction of totalitarianism in Darkness at Noon, as opposed to in Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World, is that the protagonist is a former supporter of the regime. Rubashov is himself a revolutionary. He was faithful to the cause but has been wrongly accused of treason because older revolutionaries such as himself are seen as a threat to those now in charge. This was based on true occurrences within Soviet Russia, where those who had been close to Lenin and Trotsky during the early days of the revolution were viewed as threats by Stalin, who sought to have them all eliminated to solidify his power.

Rubashov is resigned to his death and remains dedicated to the communist cause even as he dies, but he is baffled that he is being punished even though he did nothing wrong. He comes to examine his conduct as a faithful party member as he awaits his execution. He realizes the younger revolutionaries are not acting much differently from himself. He too was...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1,043 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,682 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

wordprof eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write1,654 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write4,576 answers

starTop subjects are History, Social Sciences, and Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial