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'Darkness at Noon' Questions for Study Discussion

Famous 20th-Century Political Novel

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Darkness at Noon is one of the most famous political works by Arthur Koestler. Here are a few questions for study and discussion.
  • What is important about the title?

  • What are the conflicts in Darkness at Noon? What types of conflict (physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional) did you notice in this novel?

  • How does Arthur Koestler reveal character in Darkness at Noon?

  • What are some themes in the novel? How do they relate to the plot and characters?

  • What are some symbols in Darkness at Noon? How do they relate to the plot and characters?

  • Is Rubashov consistent in her actions? Is he a fully developed character? How? Why?

  • Do you find the characters likable? Are the characters persons you would want to meet?

  • Does the novel end the way you expected? How? Why?

  • What is the central/primary purpose of the novel? Is the purpose important or meaningful?

  • Why is the novel usually considered such an important political novel of the 20th century?

  • How essential is the setting to the story? Could the story have taken place anywhere else?

  • What is the role of women in the text? How are mothers represented? What about single/independent women?

  • Would you recommend this novel to a friend?

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