The Saving Grace of Rubashov
Despite its brevity Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler packs an enormous amount of thought provoking dialog and insight into what may go through the mind of someone who is going through an extreme ordeal. One theme which ran throughout the book was Rubashov’s actions that were taken as matters of self-preservation and what he must do to atone for them.
The first instance of this was on page 45 where he asked if it is necessary to pay for deeds that were necessary and right. This was brought on by Rubashov’s attempt and his witnessing of his neighbor’s attempt on his behalf. More is said about this during Rubashov’s first journal entry on page 80. Here he attempts to explain the logic behind the party’s eradication of thought that goes against party doctrine. That the party is in fact more interested in wiping out these ideas which can act as seeds taking root in future generations. Then it is in punishing people. During this entry Rubashov makes no attempt but rather feels that everything shall be sorted out by history. But for him the most painful of all of his sacrifices, was his surrendering of in his secretary and lover, Arlova. Rubashov suffered much as he antagonized over weather this was in fact the correct choice to be made. The pain felt by Rubashov over this decision was amplified by his witnessing his old friend being taken much the same way as Avolora.
After finishing this book I was amazed at how I did not feel any type of dislike towards Rubashov. He was someone who allowed others to take falls which were meant for him, this even included some people he cared about. This being one of the characteristics which I despise most in a person, I tried to think upon what it was that made this trait bearable in Rubashov when in so many others it would cause such a great wealth of personal dislike. Upon further reflection I came to the realization that I would not have liked the younger...