The Conflict Between Individual And State And
The Grammatical Fiction In Darkness At Noon Essay, Research Paper
The Conflict Between the Individual and
the State and the Grammatical Fiction in Darkness At Noon
& # 8220 ; The Party denied the free will of an individual-and
at the same clip exacted his willing self-sacrifice. & # 8221 ; The obvious contradiction
of the above definition of the Communist party is depicts the struggle
between the person and the State in Arthur Koestler? s novel Darkness
at Noon. Koestler? s supporter Nicolas Salamanovich Rubashov, devout Communist
and former leader of the Communist party, falls victim to his ain system
during the clip of the Moscow tests. Accused and imprisoned for offenses
he did non perpetrate, Rubashov is forced to take between the political orientation he
has dependably followed for the past 40 old ages of his life, or a new
found sense of ego, which he calls the & # 8220 ; grammatical fiction & # 8221 ; .
During the beginning of Rubashov? s lone
captivity, he begins to doubt the infallibility of the Communist government,
and for a clip, positions himself independent from the Party. Rubashov? s drawing
off from Communism is apparent in his conversation with the analyzing magistrate,
Ivanov, during his first hearing. Rubashov addresses Ivanov? s collective
point of view with the developing positions of his ain:
& # 8220 ; Your statement is slightly anachronic, & # 8221 ;
said Rubashov. & # 8220 ; As you quite justly remarked, we were accustomed ever
to utilize the plural? we? and to avoid every bit far as possible the first individual
singular. I have instead lost the wont of this signifier of address ; you stick
to it. But who is this? we? in whose name you speak to-day? It needs re-defining.
That is the point. & # 8221 ;
Apart from the Party, Rubashov no longer
maps as portion of the Communist unit, but instead as an person. Within
communist philosophy the person is merely a piece of a larger system, and
for the true Communist the pronoun? I? is non even portion of his or her vocabulary.
Rather, the personal? I? is replaced by? we? , which represents the Party.
The significance of Rubashov? s statement is that even his address forms,
a physical manifestation of one? s subconscious, expose his self-detachment
from the Communist Party in that he has lost his ability to tie in with
the Communist We.
Over and over Rubashov is tormented by
the thought & # 8220 ; I shall pay & # 8221 ; , an unrest due to his uncertainness about the foundation
of Communism he has placed himself on. Shortly after his first hearing
he writes in his diary & # 8220 ; The fact is: I no longer believe in my infallibility.
That is why I am lost. & # 8221 ; It is apparent that he is get downing to take personal
duty for the actions he has committed on behalf of the Party,
the people that he has betrayed and the apparently absurd philosophies he has
readily submitted to. Both Rubashov? s mental anxiousness, and his discernible,
critical actions are owed to his new found acknowledgment of himself as an
single, a loophole in Communist philosophy.
All his life Rubashov had & # 8220 ; burnt the remains
of the old unlogical morality from his consciousness & # 8221 ; , and was incognizant
that thoughts outside of those expressed by the Party had any logical footing.
He one time thought that any other position was irrational and false. In his cell
waiting to be taken to his executing, Rubashov reflects on his former devotedness
to the Party:
For in a battle 1 must hold both legs
steadfastly planted on the Earth. The Party had taught one how to make it. The
space was a politically fishy measure, and the & # 8220 ; I & # 8221 ; a fishy quality.
The Party did non acknowledge its being. The definition of an person
was a battalion of one million divided by one million.
As a Communist he had sacrificed his individualism
for the benefit of the Party, and forty old ages subsequently he had lost the capableness
to even believe outside the lines of the Party? s tenet. He had denied the
single within himself, which is why he is confused at the outgrowth
of his & # 8220 ; soundless spouse & # 8221 ; , the latitudinarian person within himself. His
witting ego had been founded in the? we? , until he was imprisoned. Confronting
decease, Rubashov realizes the destructiveness of a political system that
doesn? T history for the person.
No longer confused by his apathy for the
Party, Rubashov? s concluding hours are marked by a fatalistic mentality and an
internal sense of peace. In Rubashov? s conversation with Ivanov during
Rubashov? s 2nd hearing, Ivanov states: & # 8220 ; The greatest temptaion for the
like of us is: to abdicate force, to atone, to do peace with oneself & # 8221 ; .
Ivanov represents rubashov? s former point of view. However, no longer capable
to the inhibitory Communist order, Rubashov does happen rapprochement with
He was a adult male who had lost his shadow, released
from every bond. He followed every idea to its last decision and acted
in conformity with it to the really terminal. The hours which remained to him
belonged to the soundless spouse, whose kingdom started merely where logical
idea ended. He had christened it the? grammatical fiction? with that
sheepishness about the first individual singular which the Party had inculcated
in its adherents.
At this point Rubashov rests. The inner
convulsion he had from being torn between two avenues of idea had ceased.
He has realized the futility of the Party? s actions, and in his ain manner
repented of those actions by disassociating himself from the Party. Although
the Party had basically banished Rubashov foremost, Rubashov? s struggle
had resulted from his mental trueness for the System to which he fell victim.
Having lost his religion in Communism, Rubashov devotes the staying portion
of his life to the & # 8220 ; grammatical fiction & # 8221 ; , and finds contentment. Rubashov
is no longer afraid of decease because decease is at hand, and non even the
most logical idea or powerful dictator can change the natural jurisprudence of
decease. After digesting emotional and mental torture, he realizes he has
& # 8220 ; earned the right to kip & # 8221 ; and decease peacefully.
Rubashov? s experiences in prison altered
his position of the Communist system and upturned the religion he had for it.
The thought that a philosophy in which the person is non accounted for becomes
an absurdness. The visual aspect of the grammatical fiction in Rubashov? s instance,
is representative of the larger struggle between the person and the
State. Rubashov? s experience is a microcosm of the people who suppressed
their ain single idea and ground for that of the Party and Stalinist
absolutism. The thought expressed by Koestler in Darkness at Noon is that
the Communist system? s ultimate failure lies within its thought that the person
is a & # 8220 ; sacrificial lamb & # 8221 ; for the Party. Alternatively, it is the person that
is the indispensable factor in doing a society. An single can last
without a authorities, but a authorities can non last without the support
of the person, and it is for this ground that no signifier of Communism
has of all time reached the Utopian extremum in which Marx and Engles expressed in
The Manifesto of the Communist Party.