Essay PreviewMore ↓
The Spider Web of Life
Throughout the novel, All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren, the characters are constantly feeling the effects of their action later in the book. Every one of their sinister, sketchy actions were dealt with again later in the book and not in pleasant circumstance. As Cass Mastern had figured out:
…the world is like an enormous spider web and if you touch it, however lightly, at any point the vibration ripples to the remotest perimeter and the drowsy spider feels the tingle and is drowsy no more but springs out to fling the gossamer coils about you who have touched the web and then inject the black, numbing poison under your hide.(188-89)
This quote is a major theme that is encountered throughout the book.
Jack and the Judge, here is where we mainly see the web at work. Jack, at the request of Willie, went to dig up dirt on the Judge. Jack finds so many things out and as he exposes it everything goes wrong, the spider got him. When Jack reveals his findings to Judge Irwin, his father, he ends up killing himself before Jack has a chance to talk to him father to son. Although, for the most part, Jack's goal as stated at the beginning of the book was that he was to pursue truth and knowledge, he needed to leave this alone because it was a pursuit of knowledge, but it had no positive motive behind it, and, as we have encountered in previous books throughout the year and throughout this one, truth is not always a good and noble thing. In this case the truth led to what destroyed the Judge and Jack was pursuing the truth.
The Cass Mastern story provides an interesting parallel to the ongoing saga of Jack Burden and Willie Stark. Cass is tormented, as Jack is, by the truth and this drives them both to the brink only Cass falls over and can not recover. Cass hit the spider web when he committed adultery with his good friends wife and after this the venom never seemed to stop flowing. He could not stop tormenting himself because the ripple in the web he caused had been so huge that it swallowed up his friend and destroyed him. Cass could not correct what had been done and that destroyed him. Jack, even though his ripple had also destroyed another, had the opportunity to redeem himself because, even though his action was bad, it truly was in the pursuit of the truth, which, by definition is good.
How to Cite this Page
"Free Essays - The Web of Life in All the King's Men." 123HelpMe.com. 07 Dec 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Throughout history America has been the arriving place of immigrants searching for a better life. America is perceived as the land were endless opportunities are available. The greatest explanation of the American dream is Martin Luther King, Jr. speech; I Have a Dream. Dr. King speech is more like a testimony of truth, rather than a speech. At the time of his speech African Americans were not free, while the Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal. Dr. King’s movement established the way for the idea that there is an American dream.... [tags: American Dream, Martin Luther King, Jr., ]
766 words (2.2 pages)
- Francis Marion,or the “Swamp Fox” is the king of guerilla warfare. Which made him vital to the American Revolution. Other reasons why Francis Marion was so important to the Revolution was because of all of the things he did for the patriot cause. He fought in so many wars down in the South and is one of the main reason we won the Revolutionary War. Lastly Francis Marion was important because of his dedication to the Revolution and to his country (u-s-history). Francis Marion was born near Georgetown in Berkeley County, South Carolina in 1732.... [tags: The Swamp Fox, American Revolution]
574 words (1.6 pages)
- ... The point used by the text is that King’s beliefs are that freedom should be for everyone no matter who they are. I believe king uses this phrase to portray a bigger picture for example if a bell rings in a chapel everyone will hear it. So if freedom rings in a country then freedom should be for everyone. I believe the phrase struck everyone and it made people see something they had not seen yet. The second text that I chose was the text borrowed from the song “Free at Last.” I believe that king picked this specific text from this song because it is a song that a lot of people know.... [tags: speech, racism, honorable]
648 words (1.9 pages)
- The search for knowledge and truth is a compelling theme woven throughout All the King's Men, and it is especially evident in the story of Jack Burden. When Jack embarks on a quest toward self- knowledge, he realizes that most of his problems in life have risen out of his lack of knowledge and understanding of people, events, and ideas. Jack's shortcoming in this area often leads him to think about the past and hinders his ability to grow emotionally, an aspect of Jack that has been in arrested development for twenty years.... [tags: All King's Men]
1303 words (3.7 pages)
- Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men “If the human race didn’t remember anything it would be perfectly happy" (44). Thus runs one of the early musings of Jack Burden, the protagonist of Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men. Throughout the story, however, as Jack gradually opens his eyes to the realities of his own nature and his world, he realizes that the human race cannot forget the past and survive. Man must not only remember, but also embrace the past, because it teaches him the truth about himself and enables him to face the future.... [tags: Warren All King's Men Essays]
926 words (2.6 pages)
- All the King's Men: History's Importance Throughout All the King's Men, history plays an important role in the motivations and lives of all the characters. History's importance 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 relate 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 Burden's view of history changes over time and eventually allows him to accept his relationship to the past and, therefore, present.... [tags: All the King's Men Essays]
1221 words (3.5 pages)
- Oedipus the King: Free Will or Fate. A common debate that still rages today is whether we as a species have free will or if some divine source, some call it fate, controls our destiny. The same debate applies to Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus. Does Oedipus control his actions, or are they predetermined by the gods. It’s that question that makes Oedipus a classic, and many different people think many different things. With all the oracles and talk of prophecies, its obvious that there is some divine intervention in Oedipus.... [tags: Destiny, Fate, Free Will, Free Choice]
617 words (1.8 pages)
- The Cost of “Free” Will in Oedipus Rex (the King) Perhaps the Greek playwright Sophocles never had the concept of “free will” in mind when writing Oedipus Rex, but the play does allow for that interesting paradox we know today as free will. The paradox is: if Oedipus is told by the gods' oracles that he will kill his father and marry his mother, does he have any power to avoid this fate. That's a basic free will question. If Oedipus manages to avoid killing his father and marrying his mother, he will prove the gods wrong, and the oracle prediction turns out to be no prediction at all.... [tags: Destiny, Fate, Free Will, Free Choice]
906 words (2.6 pages)
- Free Will and Fate in Oedipus the King The Greeks believed that the universe was guided in a harmoniums purpose by cosmic order and fate. Sophocles has, in Oedipus the King, depicted the underlying relationship of man's free will existing within the cosmic order and fate. Man was free to choose and was ultimately held responsible for his own actions. Oedipus' destruction was brought about by a combination of fate and free will. He was a victim of fate for it was foretold at his birth that he would marry his mother and murder his father.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
1259 words (3.6 pages)
- Boundaries of Fate and Free Will in Oedipus the King The ancient Greeks firmly believed that the universe was guided strictly by order and fate. In Oedipus the King, Sophocles has examined the relationship between free will and fate, suggesting that free will paradoxically exists inside the boundaries of fate. It may be concluded, however, that man has free will and is ultimately held responsible for his own actions. Oedipus' destruction was brought about by a combination of fate and free will.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
1268 words (3.6 pages)
Willie is also one in the story who brushes constantly with the web. His experiences are much different than those of Jack and Cass. Only at the end, after the culmination of every one, do his actions come back and bite him in the rear. Willie, up until his death had gotten away with this philosophy, "Goodness…You got to make it Doc…And you got to make it out of badness…Because there isn't anything else to make it out of."(257) With this motto essentially everything he does is justified as long as some kind of end product is good. Eventually Willie's theory had to come crashing don and be replaced with the spider web of life in which Willie must pay some kind of huge price for all of his actions, his death.
The Spider web is the true meaning of life for the character's lives in this book. None escape without paying for hitting the spider web with any kind of sin.