In the book Darkness at Noon by Koestler the main problem is understan
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In the book Darkness at Noon by Koestler the main problem is understanding why Rubashov confessed to a crimes he did not commit. To understand why Rubashov would confess to these crime you must really look at the nature of Rubashov himself. You must also understand the motives which make Rubashov reason out these decisions.
Rubashov is a man who looks at the logic in all situations. He follows every idea "down to its final consequence" (Koestler: 80). It is this type of reasoning that leads him to the conclusion he makes in the end. Rubashov is by all standards a Marxist. He, as an elite intellectual, has joined a revolution in hopes to reform the present regime in which he is living. This revolution, however, is looked upon as a menace by the ruling regime. Rubashov is subsequently arrested for this affiliation with the regime, and is brought up on charges against the regime. Thatís when Rubashovís ideas and methods actually come on trial. The question isnít is Rubashov guilty, the question is - is Rubashov correct in his line of thinking. There are two people from the regime assigned to interrogate Rubashov. These people are Ivanov and Glekin. They both question Rubashov and his line of thinking which made him join the revolution. Rubashov himself keeps asking himself this same ques!
tion. During the course of the book, Rubashov defends his stance he has taken for the revolution. He justifies that he himself is working for a more perfect society. This however changes when Ivanov helps him realize the true nature of his logic.
Rubashovís defense to his logic is that he is working to better the regime in which he is living. His support of the revolution is his way of bettering his society. This is not the case though. Rubashov from the beginning realizes that he has made an error in judgment. Defending the revolution of which he was a part is the only way to save his own life, and his original ideas. To abandon the revolution means certain death for him. The question is why did he change his stance for changing the regime. Rubashov realized that the regime in which he was a part was the same regime which he was fighting to put in power. Although it was not the exact same one he had in his minds eye, it was basically the same. To fight against it as he has been doing is to fight against the very ideas in which he was trying to promote. The only thing that kept him from admitting to these crimes then, would not be the logic, but a desire in himself to stay alive. Like any human, he wanted to!
stay alive, but doing this would compromise the beliefs in which he was fighting to uphold. Admitting to guilt for crimes he did not commit gave him the opportunity to stand up for his ideas, but would mean certain death. Rubashov was not worried about death at this point however. Rubashov felt guilty for abandoning the ideas which he once fought to obtain. As an "intellectual", he had to follow the most logical path, even if it mean death for himself. This also gave him a chance to apologize to the regime, and to himself for what he had done wrong. He realizes this in the end of the book. Koestler wrote about Rubashov having a toothache from the moment he started defending the revolution. The instant he confessed, this toothache went away. The toothache is an analogy for Rubashovís conscious. By admitting he was wrong, his burden of guilt was lifted, hence the toothache ceased to bother him. In this way Rubashov meets his own personal demise, but his ideas live on!
through the regime.
Rubashovís logic is what leads him to confess to crimes he never committed. Even though this same logic leads to his ultimate physical downfall (death), it leads him to a new mental state. Rubashov realizes that the means to the end must be compromised if he is to achieve the goal he wishes to obtain. In this case, Rubashov life itself must be compromised so that the ends must be obtained. Once he realize that in essence the
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Darkness at Noon, Trial of the Twenty-One, Rubashov, Guilt, Toothache
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