The novel All the King’s Men was published in 1946 and written by Robert Penn Warren. The title of the novel is taken from a popular children’s nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. The novel has won many awards and has been adapted into films in 1949 and 2006. Based in 1930s, this is a story about a politician named Willie Stark who rose from a rural county seat and managed to reach the governor’s mansion.
He had started off in Louisiana with the lower social class’s support. His team consisted of his friend and bodyguard Sugar Boy; a journalist Jack Burten hailing from an aristocratic background; Tiny Duffy the campaigner and his mistress Sadie Burke. However, during his long struggle for justice, he lost all his innocence and became as manipulated, conniving and corrupt as the people he initially fought against.
The journalist Jack Burton plays an integral role in the story. As Stark’s right hand man his duties included looking up dirt on all of Stark’s enemies. The secret found was then used for blackmail. Jack was also ambitionless, non-serious and cynical about everything from his dissertation in American history to his first love Anne Stanton. When Stark asks Jack to look for skeletons in Judge Irwin’s closet, Jack is forced to contemplate the consequences of his move.
His discovery of Judge Irwin’s bribe, results in the eventual suicide of Judge Irwin. Unfortunately, Stark starts to have an affair with Jack’s lover Anne. When Jack finds out, he kills Stark in a fit of rage. Ironically, both men leave politics once and for all. The events at the end force Jack to rethink his life and belief. He eventually marries Anne Stanton and initiates work on a book about Cass Mastern.
All the King's Men. (2009, April 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:03, May 6, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=All_the_King%27s_Men&oldid=284803795