Darkness at Noon Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did Rubashov mean to study when he was a boy?

2. What does the prosecutor ask Rubashov about counter-revolutionary movements?

3. What does Rubashov’s new exercise partner call himself?

4. Who is Rubashov paired with in exercise the morning after Bogrov’s execution?

5. What does Rubashov feel is one of the worst degradation during his interviews with Gletkin?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Rubashov feel about the grammatical fiction and the USSR right before he is taken to be killed?

2. What is Rubashov’s response about Arlova when the prosecutor asks about her? What does the prosecutor say to Rubashov about Arlova?

3. What verdict is reached on Rubashov's charges? What evidence is presented?

4. What is Wassilij’s daughter thinking as she reads the paper out loud?

5. For what does Wassilij interrupt her reading?

6. What does Rubashov say some of his ideas could cause?

7. What does Rubashov confess to in the beginning? What is Gletkin’s response to this?

8. For what reason does Rubashov think the regime is attempting to get rid of the old guard?

9. What does Wassilij’s daughter tell him about the petition at work?

10. What happens with Rubashov right after he signs the last charge?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When he wakes, Rubashov meditates on whether he will be shot, saying to himself, "the old guard is dead. . . . We are the last" and rubbing his "pince-nez".

Discuss the implications of the above statement in view of what is happening in the Soviet Republic at the time of this novel’s setting. Use examples from Darkness at Noon to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

Choose one of the following to discuss:

Choose two significant symbols and trace and analyze their appearance in Darkness at Noon. Are these universal symbols that would have the same meaning in any culture? What other symbols could portray the same idea? Why do you think Koestler chooses the symbols he does? Consider symbols such as the window in the prison cell, the Judas hole, the map of Prisoner 406 and Rubashov’s constant cleaning of his monocle.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the following:

Define plot and include the definitions of the most important elements of a plot. Do all novels have a plot? Why or why not? Write a brief synopsis of the plot of Darkness at Noon, identifying where the various elements of the plot occur (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution or denouement). Do you find it difficult to identify the plot? Why or why not? What about the various elements of the plot? Give a brief synopsis of any important sub-plots.

(see the answer keys)

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