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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 #1

[…] he was like a circus elephant, he never forgot anything, the fellow who gave him the peanut or the fellow who put snuff in his trunk. (1.86)

Jack doesn't talk about Willie's superb memory often, but it's probably one of the things that explain their mutual attraction. To both of them, memory is everything.

Quote #2

In a town like Mason City the bench in front of the harness shop is […] the place where Time gets tangled in its own feet and lies down like an old hound and gives up the struggle. (2.18)

Mason City is stuck in the pre-Civil War days. The old men on that bunch can't quite square the present moment with their memories of the past. Getting time's feet untangled is what drives Willie, Jack, and many of the other characters.

Quote #3

"No," [Mrs. Murrell] said, "he [Ellis] isn't dead. He has gone away but you can think of him like he was dead, Son."(3.36)

That's some heavy fare for a six year old to swallow. No wonder Jack has issues with Ellis before he learns the truth. In this moment, it seems as if Mrs. Murrell hates Ellis. Why? We don't know for sure. We never hear her side of the story. Not all of the secrets in this novel are revealed.

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