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All the King's Men

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)

Quote #7

I dreamed gently back over the years. (7.12)

This is one thing Jack means when he says he "drowned in West." He couldn't well remember all this stuff when he was in Mason City or Burden's Landing – where everything he needs to remember happened. He needed to get our of town in order to get a perspective on his past with Anne that would allow him to constructively deal with their present situation.

Quote #8

My mind took one of those crazy leaps and I saw her floating in the water […] with her eyes closed and the violent sky above and the white gull flashing high over […] (8.114)

Jack is so hooked on memory that it intrudes on his love life, and Anne's. It will take them almost twenty years to get past the memories of the past. In other words, neither of them will forget that Jack left her cold after undressing her on that rainy night long ago.

Quote #9

[Judge Irwin:] "I could just – […] I could just say to you – I could just tell you something […]. But I won't," he said cheerfully, and smiled directly at me. (8.393)

Did you guess the Judge was Jack's father at this point? We didn't. But when we learn the truth, we flash back on our memory of reading these lines. Isn't memory nifty, in a grim kind of a way?

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