All the Kings Men - 2 Essay

1681 WordsNov 19, 20127 Pages
The Great Spider Web In the book, “All The King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren, the character of Jack Burden gradually evolves into a person with a deeper comprehension of the world around him. Jack grapples with many new concepts, including the concept of whether or not knowledge is power. Jack’s profession involves digging into the past to discover information about others, which often, he will later use to blackmail them. So naturally Jack believes knowledge holds great power. However, as the book carries on, Jack struggles with the idea that his knowledge may have a much deeper effect on society than the original purpose of the information. Throughout this novel Jack demonstrates that knowledge is power, but he eventually realizes…show more content…
Having knowledge of Judge Irwin’s wrongdoings gives Willie the power to scare him into doing what he pleases. As the book progresses we meet the friends (and loves) of Jack’s youth. One of his friends, Adam Stanton, practices medicine and is asked by Willie to take the job at the new hospital he will open. Adam at first does not want to take a job, and Jack plans to use information he dug up about Judge Irwin (which connects to Adam’s father) to make force him to take the job. “‘I can change that picture of the world he carries around in his head’”(p.248). Even though the information Jack wants to share with Adam could potentially shatter Adam’s view of the world, Jack feels he should use the power of his knowledge to make Adam take the job that Adam’s sister, Anne, so desperately wants him to take. All through this book knowledge is portrayed as the root of power, often with Jack as the man who has the knowledge. As the book progresses, Jack comes to realize that knowledge can sometimes create unimaginable sorrow in peoples lives. When Jack was young this was not a concept Jack was able to grasp. Jack’s first journey into the past proves that fact very clearly. Jack researches a scandal that occurred in one of his relatives past as a project when he was in college, but walks away from that piece of work because he simply cannot understand the reasoning behind his great-uncle’s (Cass
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