The Nuances of Nature Essay

The Nuances of Nature Essay

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It is no secret that Robert Penn Warren’s novel, All The King’s Men, is a powerful peace of literature that gives useful insight into the lives of characters in the United States in the early twentieth century. Though many believe this novel should be considered for its political applications, it is the social aspects of this book that really provide Warren’s perspective on the human experience. Warren uses nature both as a guiding and transcendent force to steer his main character, Jack, along the path to realize his humanity and as a tool to reveal valuable insights on the communion of mankind.
Jack is first described in relation to a “sunset on a summer day.” He is caught watching the “light stretching out” and proclaims himself to be “a brass-bound Idealist” (Warren 30). Jack effectively establishes his fundamental connection to nature very early on in the novel. He strengthens this connection when he describes Burden’s landing by how “the air would smell” and how the sights would look as well as his memories of fishing and sailing “all over that end of the Gulf of Mexico” (Warren 37-39). Already, his experience is defined by the variance within nature. As Jack grows up, he becomes more jaded and leaves his childlike state of mind. Maturing out of his idealist phase, Jack begins his romantic stage of characterization. This stage in Jack’s development is most effectively embodied in the image of Anne with her arms “still spread out wide” and her hair floating “free[ly] on the water from around her head” (Warren 118). It is clear that Jack idealizes Anne just by the way in which he describes her. He is content just to stare at Anne and relate her to nature, showing the true connection he feels to her. After Jack’s romantic ide...


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...dentalism Web. American Transcendentalism Web. Web. 8 Dec. 2011. .
Justus, James H. "All the Burdens of All the King's Men." The Achievement of Robert Penn Warren. Louisiana State UP, 1981. 192-206. Print.
Mitchell, Mark T. "Theological Reflections on Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men." Business Library. Intercollegiate Studies Institute Inc, 2006. Web. 8 Dec. 2011. .
Warren, Robert P. All The King's Men. 2nd ed. San Diego: Harcourt Brace and, 1996. Print. Harvest.
Warren, Robert P., and Clark Eleanor. "Interview with Eleanor Clark and Robert Penn Warren." Interview. New England Review Autumn 1978, 1st ed., sec. 1: 49-70. JSTOR. Web. 8 Dec. 2011. .

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