Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

402 is the prisoner occupying the cell next to Rubashov, whose name we never learn. 402 is, from what he says, a reactionary—that is, a supporter of the monarchy that the Revolution dismantled. He has been sentenced to 18 years in prison because of it. He has a crude sense of humor, often fantasizing about women and recruiting Rubashov to join in, but he is also idealistic and believes in honor and a commitment to one’s own beliefs. Despite their wildly divergent politics, 402 and Rubashov become friends in prison, although Rubashov’s decision to capitulate almost destroys their relationship.

No. 402 Quotes in Darkness at Noon

The Darkness at Noon quotes below are all either spoken by No. 402 or refer to No. 402. 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: 11 Quotes

“Yet I would do it again,” he said to himself. “It was necessary and right. But do I perhaps owe you the fare all the same? Must one also pay for deeds which were right and necessary?”

Related Characters: Nicholas Salmanovitch Rubashov (speaker), Richard, No. 402
Page Number: 56-57
Explanation and Analysis:
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No. 402 Character Timeline in Darkness at Noon

The timeline below shows where the character No. 402 appears in Darkness at Noon. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The First Hearing: 8
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
...in his motives. Then he begins to hear a tapping sound coming regularly from No. 402. He wonders if the prisoner knows the “quadratic alphabet.” He tries to visualize the square... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Now Rubashov realizes that No. 402 is a “conformist:” he believes in the infallibility of history and of No. 1, and... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
Then 402 taps out “LONG LIVE H.M. THE EMPEROR,” and Rubashov realizes that there are, in fact,... (full context)
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Rubashov wearies of the game, but he doesn’t want to offend No. 402, who keeps tapping, begging him to continue. Rubashov tries to imagine the prisoner’s body, then... (full context)
The First Hearing: 10
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
Using the code, Rubashov asks No. 402 who that prisoner and the older man next to him are. 402 says they’re political,... (full context)
The First Hearing: 11
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Rubashov asks No. 402 for tobacco, but he says there’s none for him. Rubashov thinks 402 is probably self-satisfied,... (full context)
The Second Hearing: 4
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...“ARIE, YE WRETCHED OF THE EARTH,” over and over again. Rubashov assumes he’s insane. No. 402, meanwhile, periodically asks Rubashov to talk to him, and he relates dusty old anecdotes of... (full context)
Change and the Laws of History Theme Icon
No. 402 taps that No. 406 had been a sociology teacher in a southeastern European state, and... (full context)
The Second Hearing: 5
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
...blue. Rubashov realizes that he can’t see through his own window, nor that of No. 402 (whom he’d never heard being taken out of his cell). The old man is humming... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
...look. Rubashov tries to tap at him in the cell, but he doesn’t answer. No. 402, meanwhile, wants every detail about outside. Each day they’re taken outside, and Rubashov starts to... (full context)
The Second Hearing: 6
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...senses a tense atmosphere, despite the routine daily events. He strikes up a conversation with 402, who asks if he feels it too. 402 says that this is the night when... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
...the execution as he smokes a cigarette. He senses the smell of Arlova. Then No. 402 taps to him that No. 380 is to be shot, and to pass it on:... (full context)
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
No. 402 relays, “NOW,” and along the corridor comes a low drumming, which Rubashov joins. The sound... (full context)
The Third Hearing: 2
Truth, Confession, and Performance Theme Icon
Rubashov takes a nap. When he wakes up, No. 402 is tapping eagerly at him. Smiling, Rubashov taps that he is capitulating. After a long... (full context)
The Third Hearing: 3
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
Logical Reasoning and Bureaucracy Theme Icon
...yearns to be back in a library embarking on revolutionary philosophy: he reflects that No. 402’s understanding of honor belongs to another time, and he longs to write a massive book... (full context)
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
...him like he promised. Late that night, Rubashov taps against the wall and, when No. 402 doesn’t respond, he feels humiliated. Time slows almost to a still: he shuts his eyes... (full context)
The Grammatical Fiction: 3
Ideology and Contradiction Theme Icon
The Individual, or the “Grammatical Fiction, vs. the Collective Theme Icon
A tapping from No. 402, who’s been silent since Rubashov said he was capitulating, tells him that they’re fetching Hare-lip,... (full context)