The title of the book is All The Kings Men and the Publication date for this book is 1996. The author Robert Penn Warren was a very famous author. His life was full of many achievements that helped him become recognized. He even won the Pulitzer Prize for this book All The Kings Men. Warren was inspired to write this book because when he was younger he lived in the state of Louisiana and around this time Huey P. Long was already an established politician. Warren started out writing poetry but then turned to writing novels. His works are loved and cherished by many and even used in todays schools. It is safe to say that Robert Penn Warren was one of Americas most brilliant writers.
This book takes place in the southern part of the United States in the 1930s. Although Warren never reveals the true setting of this book, one can conclude that this took place in Louisiana seeing how Warren became inspired in that state by a person who is mirrored in this very book. Part of this novel is in Mason City. Another place in this novel is Burdens Landing Jack , the main character, goes there many times because this is his hometown. This novel is mainly about the rise and fall of the political figure Willie Stark told through the eyes of his business associate and friend Jack Burden.
Willie stark in his early political career is all for helping the people and trying to do what is best for them. As he gains power and the trust of his people he soon becomes corrupt by the evils of success. Characters Jack Burden- He is the narrator of this story and he is the companion of Willie Stark. He works at a newspaper company before getting a job from Willie after they become acquainted . Readers will learn his story while they are learning about the life of Willie. Willie Stark-He becomes a treasurer of Mason City and from there his political career takes flight.
After becoming a treasurer Stark decides to study law and become a lawyer. After he receives some success he runs for governor and becomes a power-hungry politician. Sadie Burke-She was an employee and mistress of Willie Stark. She has a crude behavior and has an outspoken personality. Later she becomes very intolerant in all the women Stark is with. Two reoccurring motifs and symbols are The Great Sleep and the Hospital. The Great Sleep represents escaping from the world. It is about forgetting all issues and responsibilities that we all have. The Hospital represents Willies last strive to do something good for the people.
Two major themes of this book are power corrupts those who have it and good comes from bad. Power corrupts those who have it means that when you can control people you want to keep that power and you will do whatever it takes to keep it. Good comes from bad means that in order to do good sometimes you have to do bad just like to win sometimes you have to cheat. A diamond aint a thing in the world but a piece of dirt that got awful hot. And God-a-Mighty picked up a handful of dirt and blew on it and made you and me. It all depends on what you do with that dirt. page 45 ..
And believing that Willie Stark was a great man, I could think better of all other people, and of myself. At the same I could more surely condemn myself. page 427 This has been the story of Willie Stark, but it is my story, too. For I have a story. It is the story of a man who lived in the world and to him the world looked one way for a long time and then it looked another and a very different way.. page 435 The style of Robert Penn Warrens writing is to explain everything in details so that the reader will understand the meaning of things. He likes to give many examples and gives many ways of looking at things.
Warrens tone is that he makes it seem that all of his characters are thinking something other than what they are saying. He also feels there is something wrong with all of his characters. The significance of the point of view in this book is that because it is through the eyes of Jack Burden you get to see how he changes and all of his thoughts and actions and you receive what Jack thinks of Willie Stark. The structure of this work was made so that there were many flashbacks and each chapter began a new set of years. This makes the past important on what the future has in store for its readers even though you might get the future first.