All the Kings Men Thesis Paper

Topics: All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren, Character Pages: 3 (1023 words) Published: May 2, 2013
In the novel, All the King’s Men written by Robert Penn Warren, Jack Burden and Willie Stark are paired as the two main characters. All the King’s Men is a unique novel because both Jack Burden and Willie Stark are considered dynamic characters, with each of them undergoing a significant change in their personalities as the story progresses. Over the years there have been controversy over which character is the most important. Although Willie Stark is a more commanding and domineering character, I feel that Jack Burden is the most important character because he is the narrator of the novel and the character we learn the most about. All the King’s Men is the story of Willie Stark told by Jack Burden. Jack Burden also tells his story as it goes along with Willie Stark’s. Both Jack Burden and Willie Stark need one another for the story to be told. Without Willie Stark, Jack Burden's story would be insignificant and without Jack Burden, Willie Stark's life would have little shape or meaning. Because Willie Stark’s story is told by Jack Burden, it is seen through Jack Burden’s eyes with Jack Burden’s own thoughts and opinions clouding Willie Stark’s story. I believe this is one of the reasons as to why Jack Burden is the more important character because it makes it clear that his interpretation of the story is the one that counts. Jack Burden puts his spin on every aspect of Willie Stark’s life from his political beliefs to Willie Stark’s relationships with his mistresses demonstrating, in my opinion, the author’s way of making Jack Burden the main character over Willie Stark. I would describe Jack Burden’s personality as “Stiff”. The majority of Jack Burden’s reactions and attitudes regarding his situation stem from his experiences as a six year old. When Jack Burden’s believed father, better known as the “Scholarly Attorney” left his family, Jack was bewildered. Jack Burden was unable to understand why his father decided to desert his mother, Anne and him, and he...
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