Student Question

What is the author's main purpose for writing Darkness At Noon?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

This is Arthur Koestler's fictional history of Stalin’s Russia, and his main purpose is to expose the tragedy of Stalin’s reign.This historical/fictional novel reflects the difficult times during Stalin’s era when the Old Bolsheviks (the first faithful ideologists to Communism) were being prosecuted by Stalin’s political supporters. While neither Stalin nor Russia are actually named in the book, the work, a dystopian novel, is seen as an indictment of the Stalinist rise to power. Rubashov is the character whose fate we follow, through his imprisonment, torture and death. “Death is no mystery to us. It is the logical conclusion to political diversity.” The irony of Rubashov’s situation is that, according to his Stalinist persecutors, any concession to “humanity” is a betrayal of communism itself. Arthur Koestler’s book (1940), late transformed into a stage play, is considered one of the top 100 novels of the 20th century.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial