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Literary Precedents for All the King's Men

This Study Guide consists of approximately 116 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of All the King's Men.
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Literary Precedents

All the King's Men draws on a rich tradition of literature, ranging from Jacobean drama to the novels of William Faulkner. Parallels with Faulkner, an older contemporary of Warren and a fellow southerner, are especially striking. Both writers use Southern settings to explore universal themes, particularly those of moral and spiritual corruption, the effects of time, the search for meaning in the universe, and the need to create meaning if none exists. Both writers point out the dangers of people adhering too rigidly to any set of rules or pattern that they may have created in the quest for meaning. Warren's Adam Stanton and Faulkner's Quentin Compson of The Sound and the Fury (1929) are inflexible idealists, each of whom dies because he cannot bear the discovery that his sister falls short of his ideals. Warren states that "Life is Motion toward Knowledge," and neither Adam nor Quentin can...

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This section contains 217 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our All the King's Men Study Guide
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All the King's Men from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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