Lay Down Your Burdens

2426 Words10 Pages
In Kant’s vast and dense collection of philosophy, there lies an entire moral code for people to follow. As one of the last traditional philosophers, Kant builds his tremendous philosophical system from the ground up, particularly discussing morality as it applies to people. Kant’s categorical imperatives, just one aspect of his moral law, applies to all situations and commands absolute authority. Kant formulates his moral code in several ways. First, he says to act as if the maxim of your action were to become a universal law of nature, and also to act in such a way that one never uses his or herself or any other person simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end. Kant flagrantly demands that people must not exploit one…show more content…
Rubashov cannot foresee, however, the desperation and burden Richard feels as a result of Rubashov and the Central Committee’s decision to expulse him. This anxiety is most evident in Richard’s last words to Rubashov, where he stammers, “You c-can’t throw me to the wolves, c-comrade …” (Koestler 38). Rubashov successfully protects the pure ideals of the Party from dangerous dissidents like Richard, though he condemns Richard to an uncertain fate. Both Rubashov and Dorian Gray succeed in achieving their respective ends; however, the unintended consequences and adverse effects on others in the process of achieving these ends are reason to argue that the ends do not always justify the means by which one achieves it. In the novel Darkness at Noon, various events that occur in Rubashov’s life reflect the maxim that the ends do not justify the means in the novel. Rubashov’s silence when offered the opportunity to exculpate his former secretary, Arlova, is but one instance in which the end does not justify the means. When Arlova is arrested for “suspicion of oppositional conspiracy,” Rubashov, as Arlova’s superior, is expected “to disavow them [Arlova] publicly” (Koestler 71). Only when the Party sends Rubashov an ultimatum, or in other words, when his head is at stake, does Rubashov finally choose to give a public declaration. His “declaration of loyalty … automatically finishes Arlova” and condemns her to a grim fate
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