Sunday, June 2, 2019

All the Kings Men: Historys Importance :: All the Kings Men Essays

All the Kings Men Historys Importance     Throughout All the Kings Men, tarradiddle plays an great role in the motivations and lives of all the characters. Historys grandeur is most noticeable, not surprisingly, in the story main characters - Willie Stark and Jack Burden - whose lives focus on and, in some cases, depend upon history and how they push themselves to it. While Willie Stark views history as a tool with which to manipulate people for his own ends, an attitude resulting in his own destruction, Jack Burdens view of history changes over time and eventually allows him to accept his relationship to the ancient and, therefore, present. Since each man has such a differing view it is no wonder that history becomes important to each in different ways. Willie Stark must support his entire empire in a world of enemies and corruption, to do this he relies on the past to provide him with the foundation.   "Dirts a funny thing," the Boss s aid. "Come to think of it, there aint a thing but dirt on this Gods green globe except whats under water, and thats dirt too. Its dirt makes the grass grow. A diamond aint a thing in the world but a piece of dirt that got sore hot. God-a-Mighty picked up a handful of dirt and blew on it and made you and me and George Washington and mankind blessed in faculty and apprehension. It all depends on what you do with the dirt."1 In this case, Stark is referring to the past as dirt - something to be social functiond in many ways. The way he chooses to use it of course is as blackmail "Then he would lean suddenly forward, at the man, and say, not slow and easy now, God damn you, do you know what I can do to you? And he could too. For he had the goods."2 Thus history is important to Stark as the device by which he maintains power.   Both Stark and Burden use history differently according to the way it figures into their lives. To Stark, ultimate power bei ng paramount, history is a thing to be used in the manipulation of others to

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