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Barron's Booknotes-All The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren-Free Summary
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1. What attitudes does Robert Penn Warren reveal about the coastal region of the South during the Depression-the landscape, the economic and social conditions, the politics?

2. Consider the author's portrayals of Anne Stanton, Sadie Burke, and Lucy Stark. What do you learn about his attitudes toward women?

3. Is this novel an apology for the necessity of political corruption? Why?

4. Read other novels on the Huey Long theme-John Dos Passos's Number One, Andria Locke Langley's A Lion in the Street, and Hamilton Basso's Sun in Capricorn. Compare these fictional accounts of Huey Long with Warren's account.


1. Discuss why Willie and Lucy fell in love and got married. What did they have in common? In what way were they complements of each other?

2. There are several love triangles in the novel: Willie-Lucy-Sadie, Willie-Anne-Sadie, Willie-Anne-Jack, Judge Irwin-Jack's mother-Ellis Burden. Compare one of these with the Cass Mastern-Annabelle Trice-Duncan Trice triangle.

3. Compare Jack Burden with Cass Mastern.

4. In what ways are Willie Stark, the fictional character and Huey Long alike? In what ways are they different?

5. is Jack a reliable narrator? Explain.

6. Compare the three women in Willie's life Lucy, Anne, and Sadie. In what ways are they similar and different? Why is Willie attracted to them?

7. Why is Willie so intent on building a hospital? What does Jack think of his hospital plans?

8. Discuss the significance of the paternity suit against Tom in terms of plot and theme. Also, include a discussion on why Lucy adopts the baby.

9. Discuss why Anne and Jack marry at the end of the novel.


1. The Spider Web and the Great Twitch are two of the most vivid images of the novel. And they represent two of the most powerful themes. Compare them and comment on their significance to the story.

2. Prove that the themes of knowledge, of a spiritual father, and of alienation are intertwined.
3. Jack ends the novel by saying, "Now we shall go out of the house and go into the convulsion of the world, out of history into history and the awful responsibility of Time." Explain his meaning.

4. Is the main subject of the novel politics or human consciousness? Provide textual evidence to support your answer.

5. Some readers believe that the imagery in the novel stresses a rebirth theme. Attempt to defend this view with an extensive discussion of the novel's imagery.

6. What is the importance of history to Jack before Judge Irwin's death? After the deaths of Willie and Adam?

7. Discuss the significance of the title of the novel.

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Barron's Booknotes-All The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren-Free Summary

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