Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

Rubashov’s friend from university and former battalion commander, Ivanov is also Rubashov’s first interrogator after his imprisonment. Ivanov is another member of the old guard, one who remembers the Civil War: during the fighting Ivanov was wounded and his leg had to be amputated. At that time he’d tried to convince Rubashov of his right to suicide, which Rubashov had told him was a romantic, bourgeois action. Ivanov is perfectly content with keeping Rubashov imprisoned on Party orders, but as an old-time Party member, he doesn’t think he needs to play by all the rules. He doesn’t really think that Rubashov is guilty of what he’s accused of, but Ivanov knows that they both need to act the part, so he pressures Rubashov into confessing in public so that he stands a better chance of survival. For the first part of the novel, Ivanov seems cool-headed and in control. Only later does it become clear that Ivanov, too, doesn’t fit into the new assumptions and standards of the Party. His frank cynicism costs him his position and, ultimately, his life.

Ivanov Quotes in Darkness at Noon

The Darkness at Noon quotes below are all either spoken by Ivanov or refer to Ivanov. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Darkness at Noon published in 2006.
The First Hearing: 14 Quotes

“But we had descended into the depths, into the formless, anonymous masses, which at all times constituted the substance of history; and we were the first to discover her laws of motion. We had discovered the laws of inertia, of the slow changing of her molecular structure, and of her sudden eruptions. That was the greatness of our doctrine. The Jacobins were moralists; we were empirics. We dug in the primeval mud of history and there we found her laws. We knew more than ever men have known about mankind; that is why our revolution succeeded. And now you have buried it all again….”

Related Characters: Nicholas Salmanovitch Rubashov (speaker), Ivanov
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Darkness at Noon quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
The Second Hearing: 7 Quotes

“History is a priori amoral; it has no conscience. To want to conduct history according to the maxims of the Sunday school means to leave everything as it is. You know that as well as I do. You know the stakes in this game, and here you come talking about Bogrov’s whimpering….”

Related Characters: Ivanov (speaker), Nicholas Salmanovitch Rubashov, Michael Bogrov
Page Number: 156
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

“We whip the groaning masses of the country towards a theoretical future happiness, which only we can see. For the energies of this generation are exhausted; they were spent in the Revolution; for this generation is bled white and there is nothing left of it but a moaning, numbed, apathetic lump of sacrificial flesh….Those are the consequences of our consequentialness.”

Related Characters: Nicholas Salmanovitch Rubashov (speaker), Ivanov
Page Number: 162
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

“We all thought one could treat history like one experiments in physics. The difference is that in physics one can repeat the experiment a thousand times, but in history only once.”

Related Characters: Nicholas Salmanovitch Rubashov (speaker), Ivanov
Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

The Third Hearing: 3 Quotes

Instead of the old portraits, a light patch shone from Ivanov’s wallpaper; philosophical incendiarism had given place to a period of wholesome sterility. Revolutionary theory had frozen to a dogmatic cult, with a simplified, easily graspable catechism, and with No. 1 as the high priest celebrating the Mass.

Related Characters: Nicholas Salmanovitch Rubashov (speaker), Ivanov, No. 1
Related Symbols: No. 1’s Portrait
Page Number: 179-180
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Get the entire Darkness at Noon LitChart as a printable PDF.
Darkness at noon.pdf.medium

Ivanov Character Timeline in Darkness at Noon

The timeline below shows where the character Ivanov appears in Darkness at Noon. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The First Hearing: 14
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...door. When they enter, Rubashov immediately recognizes his friend from college and former battalion commander, Ivanov, who looks at him, smiling. They sit down and Rubashov glances at Ivanov’s right leg,... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Ivanov asks how Rubashov’s burn is, pointing at his hand, and Rubashov wonders how he knows... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Rubashov says that the “we” needs redefining today. Ivanov suggests that Rubashov believes that the Party, State, and masses no longer represent the interests... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
Rubashov says that “you” have killed the “We.” He asks if Ivanov really thinks the masses are behind them. They’ve sunk back into the depths: while the... (full context)
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
Ivanov wants to return to more concrete facts: that Rubashov thinks that the Party and State... (full context)
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
Ivanov takes out a folder and recalls the tale of Rubashov’s foreign affairs projects in 1933.... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
...and his own. He wonders what the point of all this is. Flatly, he tells Ivanov to stop this comedy. But Ivanov says they’re only two years from the present now,... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Truth, Confession, and Performance Theme Icon
Ivanov says that he’s not moralizing when he says Rubashov’s statements were just means to an... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Truth, Confession, and Performance Theme Icon
Ivanov reminds Rubashov that it was Rubashov who convinced him that suicide was a petty bourgeois,... (full context)
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Ivanov says that he knew Rubashov would stall and that he won’t give away anyone from... (full context)
The Second Hearing: 2
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
The day after the first hearing, Ivanov and his colleague Gletkin are resting in the canteen. Ivanov is tired and he slouches;... (full context)
Truth, Confession, and Performance Theme Icon
...few hours later his people had found him unconscious. He’d kept silent, but he tells Ivanov that he only did because he’d fainted: he would have spoken up if he’d been... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...positive results. It’s important to keep in mind the logical necessity of it, Gletkin tells Ivanov: otherwise one becomes a cynic. Now Rubashov is as harmful as that fat peasant. Ivanov... (full context)
The Second Hearing: 3
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
...including one speaking partner who’s entirely unfamiliar to him. He knows he won’t agree to Ivanov’s proposal, so he wants to spend the little time he has left alive thinking through... (full context)
The Second Hearing: 4
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
...himself was more valuable to the Revolution: a more convincing argument than “petty bourgeois morality.” Ivanov had quoted Rubashov saying that the next decade would decide the era’s fate: could Rubashov... (full context)
The Second Hearing: 6
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Two weeks minus a day after Ivanov’s proposal, Rubashov senses a tense atmosphere, despite the routine daily events. He strikes up a... (full context)
The Second Hearing: 7
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...turned on. He realizes he’s in a cell, but the enemy country part was dreamed. Ivanov is standing there over him, a friend who is now an enemy. Rubashov thinks of... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Truth, Confession, and Performance Theme Icon
When Ivanov asks why, Rubashov says that Ivanov made sure that Bogrov, whom Ivanov knew was Rubashov’s... (full context)
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Ivanov asks if Rubashov would capitulate if he became convinced of the logical necessity of doing... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Rubashov paces back and forth, feeling helpless. He knows that what Ivanov calls his “moral exaltation” can’t be expressed logically, but only through the “grammatical fiction.” Now,... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
After a while, Rubashov asks Ivanov why he executed Bogrov. Ivanov says it’s because of the submarine question. Bogrov wanted submarines... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
Ivanov is unaffected, but the cries continue to echo in Rubashov’s head, along with the image... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Rubashov watches Ivanov drink and notes how much he can handle: Ivanov does need consolation, Rubashov thinks. Ivanov... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Truth, Confession, and Performance Theme Icon
Rubashov takes a swig of brandy and Ivanov smiles, saying he’s content to take one of the roles in Rubashov’s mental dialogue. Moralism... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Ivanov says that book should be burned: it puts people into a humanitarian fog. To treat... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Ivanov says that there’s a Christian, humane ethics, which bars arithmetic from being used for human... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
Ivanov says that they’re the first to make a revolution in a consequent way, not as... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
Ivanov responds that such a project is not for the weak at heart, but it once... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Ivanov yawns, stretches, and limps over to Rubashov, where he tries to tell Rubashov that he’s... (full context)
Truth, Confession, and Performance Theme Icon
Ivanov, meanwhile, visits Gletkin, who is working through the night. He’s had to undo Gletkin’s damage,... (full context)
The Third Hearing: 3
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
...continues to work, but has to stop short when he lacks documents. He wonders why Ivanov hasn’t fetched him like he promised. Late that night, Rubashov taps against the wall and,... (full context)
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
...his “theory of relative maturity” and feels relieved. Then he’s marched into a room like Ivanov’s office, but behind the desk is Gletkin. (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...Gletkin tells Rubashov to sit down and then says that he will examine Rubashov in Ivanov’s absence. Rubashov says that he would rather be interviewed by Ivanov, but Gletkin tells him... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...Gletkin as Gletkin has over him, even if Gletkin thinks it’s his own tricks, not Ivanov’s arguments, that have made Rubashov capitulate. Rubashov once again thinks angrily of the barbarism of... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Truth, Confession, and Performance Theme Icon
...is about the plot for an attempt on No. 1’s life. The X mentioned by Ivanov comes up again: he’s the assistant manager of the restaurant where No. 1 often has... (full context)
The Third Hearing: 4
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
...after victory: all that was left to them was to sleep. Now Rubashov asks about Ivanov. Gletkin tells him that he’s been arrested for his negligent management of Rubashov’s case, and... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
...invent useful symbols to be taken literally. When Rubashov says this reasoning reminds him of Ivanov, Gletkin says that Rubashov and Ivanov both have certain knowledge that can be useful, but... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
Ivanov, Gletkin says, was shot in an administrative decision last night. Gletkin lets Rubashov sleep for... (full context)