All the King's Men

Knowledge and All the King's Men: One Man's End is Another Man's Beginning

In All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren, the theme of the power of knowledge is prominent throughout Jack's journey within the great web of the world. His path brings to light his true self and along with it the realization that he and everyone else in the web must take responsibility for their actions and the reverberations that they cause. Through Jack's struggle against his inevitable rebirth, readers see how the power of knowledge affects Jack and all those around him. The knowledge of love, knowledge of truth, and knowledge of one's self all wield immense consequences for Warren's characters. It is how each of Warren's characters deals with this power of knowledge that guides their life.

Through Jack's narration, readers travel along with him on his path toward rebirth. In the early stages of his adult life, Jack is "huddled away up inside himself," trying to stay aloof from the knowledge and responsibility of the outside world (Girault 62). Jack finds solace in history and truth and "warm[th] in [his] not-knowing"(Warren 11-12)(Simmons 75). He blindly uncovers facts for Governor Stark, without regard to consequence or responsibility. "Jack loves Truth, loves it...

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