Essay Topics - Prof. Charters Wynn T.A. Mehmet Celik Russia...

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Prof. Charters Wynn T.A. Mehmet Celik Russia since 1917: Exam 2 Possible Essay Topics GoodTopic #1: At the Moscow show trials “Old Bolsheviks” confessed to crimes they had not committed. Why did Rubashov confess his “guilt” in Arthur Koestler’s novel Darkness at Noon ? Does he deserve our sympathy? Will be on the Exam I think that several factors serve to answer the question of why Rubashov confessed to his “guilt”. First of all I believe that he believed in and came to desire Ivanov’s promise to cut down his sentence and see that he was free in 5 years considering he confessed his “guilt”. Rubashov was getting old and death on a dirty brick floor doesn’t sound good to anyone. It is also stated in the book that after this first hearing Ru- bashov’s quality of prison life improved greatly – he was allowed cigarettes, exercise, food, soap, and niceties of the sort. This can be seen as more mental tricks to keep the old man interested in having a de- sire to live. Rubashov stated that his idea of honor was – “to be useful without vanity”. Vanity, used in this way, meaning to glorify one’s self with a valiant death when one can be more useful on the outside. After Rubashov realized that Ivanov was out of the picture and no one was going to show him any sym- pathy, he seemed to carry on with his original plan. This is where the “Conveyor Belt” torture that Gletkin relied heavily on came into play. The bright lights, stiff chair, harsh interrogation, twisting of the truth, and most importantly – sleep deprivation – all making it much easier for our Rebel to capitulate. Rubashov started off resisting, but as the treatment began to work, he began signing the admission of guilt forms like crazy. He noted in the book that: “From then onwards the veil of mist over Rubashov’s memory became thicker. Later, he could only remember separate fragments of his dialogue with Glekin, which extended over several days and nights, with short intervals of an hour or two.” Rubashov was not a young man anymore and these methods were bound to have a significant effect on his decision to admit his “guilt”. Rubashov also underwent extreme brain washing by those in charge of his case. Ivanov and Gleckin used Bogrov to get to Rubashov, along with false hopes of freedom to, as Ivanov stated, “get back in the ring”, once he was released. Rubashov also became obsessed with his need for more material to continue the new ideas he had come up with while serving his time in solitary confinement. At one point he states that all that mattered now was his ability to get to a library and develop his theories. His feeling of how im- portant this was, was probably incorporated into his understanding of Honor. Ivanov believed that Rubashov would only capitulate due to logically bringing himself to understand that
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This note was uploaded on 05/19/2011 for the course HIS 39930 taught by Professor Ming during the Spring '09 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Essay Topics - Prof. Charters Wynn T.A. Mehmet Celik Russia...

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