Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

The Party leader and a clear stand-in for Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union. While No. 1 never appears in person in the novel, his portrait hangs over almost every room, implying his ubiquitous knowledge and power. No. 1 is simultaneously part of the old and new guards: during the Revolution, he was part of the intellectual group planning for a new society (together with Rubashov, Kieffer, and others). Now, though, No. 1 has created an entirely new set of policies, which require the liquidation of all who are unwilling to align themselves with these new expectations. For the younger generations, No. 1 is not just an intellectual model, but a kind of secular saint whose words are infallible rather than historical and contingent.

No. 1 Quotes in Darkness at Noon

The Darkness at Noon quotes below are all either spoken by No. 1 or refer to No. 1. 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: 6 Quotes

The horror which No. 1 emanated, above all consisted in the possibility that he was in the right, and that all those whom he killed had to admit, even with the bullet in the back of their necks, that he conceivably might be in the right. There was no certainty; only the appeal to that mocking oracle they called History, who gave her sentence only when the jaws of the appealer had long since fallen to dust.

Related Characters: No. 1
Page Number: 13
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.

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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.

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No. 1 Character Timeline in Darkness at Noon

The timeline below shows where the character No. 1 appears in Darkness at Noon. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The First Hearing: 2
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...though, awakened feeling free and safe, looking up at the print of the Party leader, No. 1 , hanging over his bed. But now the hammering continued. (full context)
The First Hearing: 6
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
Rubashov can’t bring himself to hate No. 1 —the only name that’s stuck for the leader—though he’s often tried. No. 1’s power lies... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
...while, even if the sensational news leaks out abroad. He wonders what’s going on in No. 1’s mind, and then he realizes that he’s been pacing up and down the cell without... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
...point to an algebraic function that connects the masses’ life conditions to a diagram of No. 1’s brain. Until then politics will remain mere superstition. (full context)
The First Hearing: 8
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
...that there are, in fact, real counter-revolutionaries in this society: they’re not just scapegoats from No. 1’s speeches. Now amused, Rubashov keeps sending messages until finally 402 requests details about the last... (full context)
The First Hearing: 12
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
...of the first Party congress, where each delegate sat around a long wooden table ( No. 1 at the lower end) looking like a provincial town council meeting, though they were preparing... (full context)
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
After two weeks, Rubashov, still on crutches, had asked for a new mission abroad. No. 1 had noticed he was eager to leave, but had sent him to Belgium, where he... (full context)
The First Hearing: 14
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Truth, Confession, and Performance Theme Icon
...the proof is that Rubashov was, as Ivanov insists, involved in an attempt to kill No. 1 . Rubashov asks Ivanov if he really believes such idiocy or if he only pretends... (full context)
The Second Hearing: 1
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
...universal reason, but now they’re thinking and acting on credit, only following consequent logic. Recently No. 1 thought potash was better than artificial manure for agriculture; the leading agriculturist, B., was shot... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
The “cricket-moralists” worry about whether B. was advising No. 1 in good faith, but the Party understands that this doesn’t matter: the person in the... (full context)
The Second Hearing: 3
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
...as he dictated. She was slow and passive, and had a calming effect on Rubashov. No. 1 had taken the rare step of giving him, an International man, this bureaucratic job. He... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
...librarian, and Arlova was chosen. Then, at one meeting, she was attacked: someone complained that No. 1’s most important speeches couldn’t be found at the library, which still contained oppositional works. These... (full context)
The Third Hearing: 3
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...today’s “theorists” would find his letter to be heresy: he criticized the doctrine’s father, treated No. 1 historically rather than reverentially, and flouted the dogma that they’re trained to instill in everyone.... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Truth, Confession, and Performance Theme Icon
...convinced by the accusations. The crowning one 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... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...great historian of the Revolution who was in the famous congress photograph. Kieffer was perhaps No. 1’s sole personal friend, along with his chess partner and collaborator. Kieffer was commissioned to write... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...the party. Kieffer had laughed at Rubashov’s decision to make a declaration of loyalty to No. 1 , and Rubashov had called him an old fool and Don Quixote: they must hold... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...a polemic against the moderates: now he too is condemned. He feels like he sees No. 1 , not Gletkin, in front of him, and he thinks of the cemetery at Errancis... (full context)
The Third Hearing: 6
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
Truth, Confession, and Performance Theme Icon
Rubashov signs the statement, and looks up to the portrait of No. 1 , remembering the look of knowing irony he’d given him the last time they’d met.... (full context)
The Grammatical Fiction: 1
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
...of his own free will. Wassilij doesn’t move: over his head is the portrait of No. 1 next to a rusty nail where, until recently, the photo of Rubashov had hung. Wassilij... (full context)
The Grammatical Fiction: 2
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...by pure reason. Perhaps men should not be ripped away from older traditions, he thinks. No. 1 had ruined the ideal of the Social state like medieval Popes had ruined the ideal... (full context)