Trapped in the Web
In the novel, All the Kings Men by Robert Penn Warren, the characters live out the consequences of decisions made in their pasts. Each character deals with the past in a different way. It costs some relationships. It costs some their careers. It even costs some their lives. I believe that Cass Mastern says it best when he says “…the world is like an enormous spider web and if you and if you touch it, however lightly, at any point the vibration ripples to the remotest perimeter and the drowsy spider feels the tingle and is drowsy no more but springs out to fling the gossamer coils about you who have touched the web and then injects the black, numbing poison under your hide';(188-189). I feel that this quote does an excellent job of capturing the theme of this novel.
Jack Burden and Judge Montague Irwin defiantly feel the effects of the spider. Jack Burden, at the request of Governor Willie Stark, dug up dirt on Judge Irwin. Jack gets in over his head when he finds more than he wanted to know about Judge Irwin. That’s when everything does upside-down, and the spider gets them. The Judge kills himself, which affected many people. One of the people that it affected was Jack. Jack found out that the Judge was his biological father and never had the chance to have his first true “father son'; talk. Even though Jacks goals from the beginning were to discover truth and Knowledge, he found that the truth is not always a good and noble thing. In this case the truth led to what destroyed the Judge Irwin and a part of Jack.
The story provided by Cass Mastern gives and an interesting comparison to the current tale of Jack Burden and Willie Stark. Cass is tormented, as Jack is, by the truth and...