All The King's Men Character Analysis

Improved Essays
The Great Twitch and Cass Mastern In All The King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren tells the story of Willie Stark, Governor of a an unnamed state in the south during the mid 1900s. The story is narrated by Jack Burden, a man that was employed by Stark to do miscellaneous tasks. Throughout the novel Burden does not have a sense of responsibility for his actions and fails to realize the actions will have future consequences. Chapter four in the novel focuses on Cass Mastern, the topic of Burden’s dissention paper that he abandoned. Though many think that the story and information provided about Cass Mastern’s life are irrelevant to the remainder of the novel, the account of Mastern’s life provide an index to compare the character development of Jack …show more content…
After seven months of searching for information to use against Judge Irwin, burden learns that the judge was once broke. The judge received stock and a lucrative job in return for dismissing a court case. Burden also discovered that Governor Staton illegally protected the judge. Burden later tells Anne and Adam about her father’s involvement with the scandal. This has consequences that Burden fails to acknowledge until later in the novel. The news destroys Anne and Adam’s perfect image of their father and their need to meet up with the standards that his has set for them. This leads to Adam accepting the job as director of Willie’s hospital and Anne’s affair with Willie. After Burden confronts the judge about the bribes that he accepted, he learns the judges commits suicide and that the judge was his father. This is the first thing that breaks Burden and makes him contemplate how his actions have affected those around him. Burden rethinks this acceptance of responsible when he sees a man with a twitch while he is in California. He creates a concept that he calls the “great twitch”. This is a metaphor for the randomness of life. “I decide that is the mystery. That is the secret knowledge..the twitch knows that the twitch is all. Then having found that out in the mystic vision, you feel clean and free (Warren 439).” Meaning that he wasn't responsible for Judge Irwin’s death or for Anne having an …show more content…
He blamed Tiny for Willie’s death because Sadie, Willie’s secretary told Tiny about Willie and Anne’s affair out of jealousy. Tiny told Adam, Anne’s brother which leads to Adam killing Willie. Burden realizes that him holding tiny responsible thus disproves that the great twitch theory that he created. “He woke up one morning discovering that he did not believe in the Great Twitch anymore. He did not believe it because he had seen too many people live and die (Warren 605).” In realizing this Burden has to take responsibility for his involvement in the situation as well and he realizes that had Willie not ask him to look into Judge Irwin’s past, Willie, Adam and the judge would all be alive. In the end Burden reopened the Cass mastern papers signaling the fact that is finally able to understand why Mastern acted the way that he did. “... I write the book I began years ago, the life of Cass Mastern, whom once I could not understand but whom, perhaps, I now may come to understand (Warren 608).” Burden decides to take care of the man that he originally thought was his father. In a way Burden is doing the same thing that Mastern did. He was unable to safe willie, Adam or Judge Irwin, but he would able to help his father. In the same way the Mastern released his slaves when he couldn't find Annabelle's slave. Coming back to the Cass Mastern story at the end shows that it was intended for

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Willy betrays Biff’s trust in him when he slept with another woman and he also betrays the love of his wife, Linda. Willy’s betrayal could possibly stem from his father abandoning him as a child, which is a form of betrayal in its own form. “WILLY (longingly): … Dad left when I was such a baby and I never had a chance to talk to him and I still feel—kind of temporary about myself (pg. 40. Act I).” This communicates the audience that Willy never really got over his father’s betrayal and how that has affected him in his life now, causing him to feel…

    • 1711 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When Giles is first asked to prove that his wife is innocent he is left without words and is unable to prove that his wife is innocent. Giles begins to argue that his wife is innocent and begins to plead for her release but instead Giles puts himself in a more dangerous position on his part. Giles states that, “This man is killing his neighbors for their land!” (Miller 96). This man Giles refers to is Mr. Putnam who has a very bad reputation with Giles. Giles wants the Judge to see the some truth behind some of the accusations that Putnam is committing so he states that he had heard an honest man state Putnam’s real motive for his accusations.…

    • 1423 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Joe killed himself because he realized what he did not only was wrong, it was destroying his family and had quite possibly already destroyed it. He did what was best for his family, a decision he thought would help them overcome his mistake. In The Crucible, John Proctor is asked to sign a contract where it incriminates others of witchcraft. Instead John, feeling the guilt of his mistakes of cheating on his wife, declines to sign the document, ripping it up and making a sacrifice for the good of others; “You will not use me! I am no Sarah Good or Tituba, I am John Proctor!…

    • 1360 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    His name is symbolic of his failed escape, and Eli’s poor decisions haunt Alex for the rest of his life. Giving the two men the same name helps further draw parallels between their Grandfather-Grandson relationship, as both Foer and younger Alex learn about their pasts. The most important false name, however, is Augustine. In his search for Augustine, Foer hopes to find the person who is, by the transitive property, responsible for his birth. Augustine is never found, and thus, Foer’s search for his past is technically unfulfilled.…

    • 480 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    My Father Chapter Summary

    • 1025 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Even though his father didn’t write his section of the book about his himself, Sampson still learned a lot. For instance, Sampson learned in the later parts of his father’s life after finding and learning about his ancestors on his fathers side, he realized there was no sense in holding on to “cancerous feelings” (138). He also learned that although his father’s lack of involvement through the years had caused his family to disconnect, but there was nothing stopping Sampson and his brothers from changing that legacy (138). The third doctor, Rameck, had his actual father tell his story. From reading through his chapter, Alim Bilal seemed like a good father who fell to the wayside due to drugs.…

    • 1025 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    By the end of the play when he thought that his step mother murdered his father not his son he said "But we got to do something quick to make it look as if he skunked himself." He was totally welling to take part in murdering his father which proves how much he hated him. Also, Eben's unhealthy relationship with his brothers made him look to them only as threats that is going to share with him what is originally his "the farm" so he was always telling them that’s my mother's farm not yours and he was not relieved until he got them to sign papers to buy their shares in the…

    • 728 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In the quotation Oedipus proves that he was so ashamed that even death could not save for him from shame because he would have to face his parents in the afterlife, the mother who he bedded and the father he killed. As well for he could not face the monstrous children he had given birth to. Oedipus recognizes his mistakes and all the pride that he had before in the play seems to simply vanish. The fact that he had built himself up for fifteen years as a great king, realizes that he is apart of his city’s destruction and plague. Therefore Oedipus blinds himself to escape all he has done…

    • 1058 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    After the death of his mother and wife, Jocasta, he had realized his truth, identity, and how his life is filled with darkness. Oedipus had caused so much wrath to himself and all the other people in his society. He becomes blinded to the truth that he killed his father, King Laius, and anxious when Tiresias, Apollo 's servant, informs him his real identity and truth. Oedipus argues with Tiresias…

    • 1950 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Ted Bundy Research Paper

    • 622 Words
    • 3 Pages

    His mother defended her son until he told her the truth about his murders- shortly before his execution. Eventually, he was executed by electric chair on January 24th, 1989 at the Florida State Prison around 7 a.m. Ted Bundy’s somewhat childhood contributes to his acts as an adult. He resented his mom for lying to him about his parentage and caused an unhealthy relationship with his mother. He had a stepfather whom he did not get along with, but there was no abuse. The rejection of his peers also influences his acts because humans need to have stable relationships with other people to be mentally stable.…

    • 622 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    However what really drove Walt courage to kill Crazy 8 was because throughout his whole life he always had plenty of hate build up inside of him. From kids bullying his disable son, and how he lost the chance of a lifetime of becoming rich, but his former best friend took all of his hard work and recognition away from him, which led him to become a teacher. But he realizes that killing is the rule of the drug game, he just did not want to accept it. He just needed what it has to be done in order to provide for his family. At that point, he decided to give himself a second name as Mr. Heisenberg, so that no harm can come to his love ones.…

    • 1717 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays