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.


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