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All the King's Men Themes

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.
This section contains 1,194 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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Themes

History

An overarching theme in All the King's Men is history and how it affects the present. Structurally, the entire novel can be viewed as the history of Willie Stark's political rise and fall, mimicking in many ways the rise and fall of the real-life southern governor Huey P. Long. Willie uses his associates' personal histories to get them to do his bidding. He believes that all people have something in their past that they do not want known.

Warren places the history of Jack Burden's search for identity and maturity alongside Willie's history. Burden studied history in college and wrote about an ancestor's journal in his abandoned doctoral dissertation; the excerpts of Cass Mastern's journal add yet another layer of history to the novel. In fact, Jack is a repository for histories. Some are secret histories, such as Anne's information about her affair with Willie, and some are...

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This section contains 1,194 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our All the King's Men Study Guide
Copyrights
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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