Darkness At Noon Analysis

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As the theoretical premise of New Historicism instructs, a full analysis of a work of literature would not be complete without taking into consideration its reception among readers and critics. Along similar lines, Calder stresses the importance of the effect that Koestler’s novel had upon its readers. When Darkness At Noon appeared, it was instantly well received, and earned favorable reviews all across Europe, especially in France, in which the political struggle between the left and right was still present. Reaching millions of people, together with Orwell’s 1984, it had provided its readers with a lesson more valuable than “any other form of political education or anti-Soviet propaganda in the sphere of the democracies.” (Cesarani 2)
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For socialists, especially, the experience was indelible. I can recall reading it right through one night, horror-struck, over-powered, enthralled. If this was the true revelation of what had happened at the great Stalin show trials, and it was hard to see how a single theoretical dent could be made in it, a terrifying shaft of darkness was cast over the future no less than the past. ( )

Darkness At Noon is a novel, that “transcends ordinary limitations and that may be read as a primary discourse in political philosophy.” (Strauss n.pag.) Through the intellectual duel between Rubashov and Gletkin, which takes, Koestler touches upon the universal theme of political and revolutionary ethics, which are timeless. Both the protagonist of Koestler’s novel, as well as the Bolshevik Revolutionists and representatives of the Pink Generation had to face the same problem whether a noble end justifies ignoble means, and resolve the conflict between individual responsibility and historical necessity. It is a revolutionary predicament that Koestler himself aspired to resolve during the process of his disillusionment, triggered by the revelations of the atrocities committed by the Stalinist
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