All the King's Men Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How does the author begin the story in the present time of 1936?

Governor Willie "The Boss" Start is on his way to visit his hometown of Mason City. His driver, Sugar Boy, is driving the Cadillac with Jack Burden, Tiny Duffy and Lucy Stark, the governor's wife in the back seat. The governor's party stops at a drug store for soft drinks and people gather and demand that the governor make a speech. After a brief speech, the group climbs back into the car and continues the trip to the farm of Willie Stark's father.

2. What is the author's purpose for beginning the novel in the way he does?

The author wants to establish some critical issues about the novel immediately. The reader understands the time period in which the story will extend as well as the main characters around whom the story will revolve.

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