What is the significance of the title, Darkness at Noon?

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Arthur Koestler's novel needs to be understood in the context of the 1917 Russian Revolution and the history of the Soviet Union over the next twenty years. The events of 1917 seemed to give many progressive people genuine hope for the future, for human equality, and for the abolition of both class distinctions and the exploitation of working people. This hope is symbolized by the "Noon" of Koestler's title.

From our perspective today, knowing what we do about how the Soviet Union degenerated into tyranny very quickly, it's difficult to recreate the point of view of left-wing people in the first half of the twentieth century. They were shocked and disillusioned as the facts about Stalin's dictatorship became known. By the late 1930s, Stalin had thrown many of the Bolshevik Old Guard in prison, forced them to sign confessions that they had betrayed the Revolution, and had them executed. In the novel, Rubashov is one such victim of these purges. During Stalin's reign, several million...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 578 words.)

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