An analysis of the story all the king s men

Active Themes Jack next saw Anne on his winter break, for ten days, and he remembers that the time they spent together was fraught—not like the summer before. This aspect of the novel focuses on the political situation into which this man thrusts himself, the conditions from which he arises and tries to change, his rise to power, and the resulting changes that occur in him.

He is the person to whom the assignment of finding incriminating information about Judge Irwin is given. The novel opens with a two-and-a-half page description of the highway from the capital city to Mason City.

On one hand, there were those who took the thing to be a not-so-covert biography of, and apologia for, Senator Long, and the author to be not less than a base minion of the great man.

That is what all of us historical researchers believe. My conception grew wider, but that element always remained, and Willie Stark remained, in one way, Willie Talos.

Table of Contents Summary All the King's Men is the story of the rise and fall of a political titan in the Deep South during the s. Jack Burden, on the other hand, is a static character.

He waits until he is recognized instead of loudly demanding service. Then Jack discovers that his biological father is Judge Irwin, not, as he previously believed, "the Scholarly Attorney".

Their stories reinforce one another, but they also clash and set up reverberations that echo throughout the novel, thus enhancing the thematic richness and depth of the novel. Willie's death and the circumstances in which it occurs force Jack to rethink his desperate belief that no individual can ever be responsible for the consequences of any action within the chaos and tumult of history and time.

All the King's Men

Active Themes Willie, now freed from the belief that he needs to educate the people, gives a rousing speech in Upton, revealing that he has been a stooge, that Duffy on stage at Upton and working for Harrison has arranged for him, Willie, to split the MacMurfee vote, and that he is now resigning to campaign for MacMurfee.

By showing how and why the characters developed as they did and the events were shaped as they were, Warren gives us a greater depth of understanding, a means by which we can measure the characters and the events they shape. In other words, Talos is the kind of doom that democracy may invite upon itself.

Political ties and family ties are more important than the legal requirements for letting bids. This description is important because it does more than simply tell us about a highway; it tells us a good deal about a particular part of the state, the part of the state in which Willie Stark grew up.

Nor is this novel just the story of Jack Burden, with Willie Stark only one of the sup-porting cast. All the King's Men, therefore, is not just the story of Willie Stark, with Jack Burden only one of the supporting cast. Along the highway, during this trip inare the cotton fields worked by blacks, and these fields are in the southern part of the state.

All The King's Men

Jack and Anne have never slept together, they have never consummated their love affair, and to a certain extent this colors his entire relationship with Anne, and his sense of her purity.

They use Willie as a dupe, giving him a fraudulent show of support, a smooth organization, and sufficient people to assure him that he can be governor. Judge Irwin[ edit ] Judge Irwin is an elderly gentleman whom Jack has known since childhood, a man who is essentially a father-figure to him.

The chapter does this by showing Willie in two different situations, one in which he is among "home folks," the other in which he is involved in a piece of political in-fighting; he appears to be quite a different man in each situation.

Pillsbury claims that Moore has the know-how to do the job right, but Burden suspects that some kind of favoritism has been used to award Moore and not Jeffers the bid.

As a result, the success of his campaign against Harrison establishes him as a potent political force in the entire state, rather than merely in the region around Mason County. His conversation with the Judge is quiet and drawling, but there is no mistaking the threat behind what he says.

Still they maintained a promise to get married, but after a difficult fall, when Anne was a college freshman and Jack a first-year law student, Jack saw Anne over break and, realizing that she kissed in a new way, figured out that Anne had had a lover in Maine, while on a trip a few months before.

That is, the description of events moves back and forth in time in order to show the relationships between the past and the present, to show how people and events come to be as they are.

All the King's Men

Throughout the novel, there are other excursions into the past, though they are not as extended as these mentioned here are. Chapter Five then picks up where Chapter One ended. Willie, though, tries first to speak with a great deal of information about the manner by which the public has been defrauded by those in power.

Burden sadly agrees, and Willie begins drinking wildly, with abandon, from a large bottle of whiskey in the hotel room. It is he who determines who runs for office and who wins; he decided what post Willie would run for, and whether or not Willie would win; Willie thus became County Treasurer after Pillsbury and the incumbent had a falling out.

One of the reasons for this unjustified neglect seems to be a misconception about the subject matter of this novel. Pillsbury and the sheriff are two examples of entrenched, inherently conservative interests in the state.

At the moment, Sadie is loyal primarily to the pursuit of power in the state. Burden does not every really come back to this suggestion that he once tried to initiate a romantic relationship with Sadie—at this point in the text, the idea of Burden and Sadie together is a bit of a red herring, since it will later be revealed by Jack that he has long been in love with Anne, and that Anne and Sadie are both having affairs with the Boss, who, for his part, is still married to Lucy and keeping up the public appearance of that marriage.

Willie also began studying for the law exam on his own, in his boyhood room, since he did not have enough money to attend law school properly.

Cynical and lacking in ambition, Jack has walked away from many of his past interests--he left his dissertation in American History unfinished, and never managed to marry his first love, Anne Stanton, the daughter of a former governor of the state. Jack has instead had several careers: These two chapters also show how Jack Burden came to be involved with Willie Stark.

He is beset with enemies--most notably Sam MacMurfee, a defeated former governor who constantly searches for ways to undermine Willie's power--and surrounded by a rough mix of political allies and hired thugs, from the bodyguard Sugar-Boy O'Sheean to the fat, obsequious Tiny Duffy.

Nothing in life is ever neat and simple, and Warren's structural complexity of the novel helps to demonstrate that idea, and, at the same time, it adds depth to the characters and to the themes. You might have noticed that All the King's Men is not a linear narrative.

Instead of moving in a straight line from toit dips and curves back and forth in time, according to the landsca.

LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in All The King's Men, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Idealism vs. Free summary and analysis of the events in Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men that won't make you snore.

We promise. In keeping with the anti-chronological nature of All the King's Men, After Jack learns Cass's story, he is so disturbed by it that he walks out on his Ph.D. program. After the story about Cass, Jack tells us how he.

All the King's Men, however, is more than simply a political novel, for it is also the story of another man, a former newspaper reporter who works for the politician.

As he tells us the story of the politician, the reporter also tells us about himself, about finding himself. From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes All the King's Men Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.

LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in All The King's Men, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Idealism vs. Pragmatism Politics, Influence, and Power.

An analysis of the story all the king s men
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