Wednesday, November 27, 2019

All the Kings Men essays

All the Kings Men essays All the Kings Men, by Robert Penn Warren is the story of a political icon in the 1930's. Rising from a poverty-stricken home to become governor of the state was not an easy life. Politics is a game of willpower and manipulation, not ideals (Warren 30). Willie puts forth a great deal of energy into keeping his powerful political position. By the use of blackmail and bullying, he coaxes his enemies into submission. His most fearful enemy is Sam MacMurfee; he constantly tries to pull Willie down off his political throne. The author puts emphasis on the fact that Willie starts out a good, honest man opposed to a system filled with blackmail, bribery, and trickery; but he is ultimately forced to master it. All the Kings Men is also the story of Jack Burden, Willie's right hand man. Jack turns away from his good-natured upbringing, joins Willies rough group of allies and hired thugs, and just walks away from all his past interests. Jack's job is to use his gifts as a historical researcher to dig up information and secrets of Willie's enemies. Jack struggles with the idea of responsibility. He attempts to avoid the idea that actions have consequences, and individuals are responsible for those consequences. Jack considers himself to be an idealist. Willie makes a point to be in control of every situation. From the time his son gets a woman pregnant to his political dynasty. Jack's first love, Anne Stanton, begins an affair with Willie. When her brother Adam finds out, he murders Willie in a rage. That would be the only situation in which Willie had no control. After the death of Willie, Jack removes himself from politics. He rethinks his idea that no individual can be responsible for the consequences of their actions; and eventually marries Anne Stanton. An important theme in the novel was reputation. Being a politician, Willie was constantly in the public eye, and greatly concerned with how the people perceived him....

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