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Themes

By the end of All the King's Men we realize that our narrators long journey down memory lane is a labor of love for the truth, and for the belief that the truth will set us free. Over the course of his journey we meet some unforgettable characters who are all searching for love. Sometimes the quest for love leads to secrets and betrayals, which have weighty consequences in both the present and the future. In most of our main characters we also see an overriding love for humanity – though this love is sometimes only born after great struggle and even tragedy.

Questions About Love

  1. Why do all the ladies love Willie? Does Willie love them? Can answer these questions accurately considering that we only see Willie through Jack's eyes?
  2. Do Jack and Willie love each other? How do you know? Either way, why are thee two men so close?
  3. Why does Jack's knowledge that Judge Irwin is his father lead him to love his mother more?
  4. Do you think Jack and Anne's marriage will work out in the long term? Why do these two get a happy ending? Is it supposed to tell us something? Or is this just the random way life works.
  5. Does Jack come to love Ellis Burden?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

By the end of the novel, Jack has learned how to love Anne.

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