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Questions

All the King's Men Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Do you think Jack is a reliable or unreliable narrator? It's OK to say both, as long as you say why. Do you think he has an accurate memory of childhood events? Why or why not?
  2. How would the stories of Jack and Willie look if they were told by Sadie, Lucy, or Anne? Do you think Jack gives us an accurate look at these women? Support your answer.
  3. Does the story of Cass Mastern "fit" into the larger story of the novel? How, if at all, does it comment on the other stories? Would All the King's Men have been a better or worse book without Cass's story?
  4. Do you think this book should be taught in schools? If so, why, and at what levels. If not, why shouldn't it be taught. If you were teaching it, how would you go about it? What would you most want your students to walk away with?
  5. How does Jack's racist speech make you feel about him? Is he racist? If he's not, why might he use racial slurs?
  6. There are lots of scenes of Jack in cars. What does this tell us, if anything, about his character?
  7. Have you ever experienced anything like the Big Sleep or the Big Twitch? Could you relate to Jack when he describes these periods of his life? Is Jack just dramatizing normal experiences that everyone has?

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