All the King's Men
by Robert Penn Warren
All the King's Men Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
But I must tell about my first excursion into the enchantment of the past. (4.6)
This is a pivotal moment for the novel. All the sudden we are plunged into shocking antebellum times. Plus, since Cass Burden is the dominant narrator of this section, and since his style is so different from Jack's we need to reorient ourselves.
Then it was another day, and I set out to dig up the dead cat, to excavate the maggot from the cheese, […] to find the deceased fly among the raisins in the rice pudding. (5.128)
Jack doesn't consider digging up dirt on Judge Irwin to be an enviable task. All the same, he still feels the familiar pull of "the enchantment of the past." All the dead things in his extended metaphor foreshadow the multiple deaths that will occur when he finds the seemingly dead things he seeks. History is only dead when nobody knows it.
[Anne:] "Those things – those papers you said you had – send them to me."(6.276)
Like Jack, Anne can no more resist the enchantments of the past than Jack can. Also like Jack, she won't be satisfied until she has seen the evidence and analyzed it thoroughly, coming to the most logical conclusion.