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The Events Of 1922 Essay

817 words - 3 pages

The book begins with Jack Burden narrating the story of the events of the summer of 1936 from his vantage point in 1939. Sugar-Boy, a stuttering negro man who has a stunning lack of word choice and mercy, is driving Willie Stark, his wife Lucy and son Tom, Jack Burden, Tiny Duffy, and Sadie Burke to Willie’s father’s old farm outside Mason City, which we infer to be the County Seat of Mason County. They make a stop in Mason City for some drinks, and people start crowding around Willie, begging him for a speech. He’s very well respected and popular among these people. They go to the farm and take pictures of Willie; we assume these are for political purposes, as earlier we learned that he was at one time the treasurer of the county. They make a visit to a judge that has double crossed Willie, and we learn that Mr. Stark is not above blackmail to get what he wants. He orders Jack to dig up dirt on him, no matter how long it takes. Jack (in 1939) reflects that the judge and Willie are dead, along with several other people, and he leads the reader to believe the dirt he dug up caused all of it.
Jack then proceeds to tell the events of 1922, where a scandal involving the construction of a schoolhouse is taking place. He used to be a reporter and the Chronicle has sent him to find everything out. He discovers that four bids were made on the project; the lowest was disregarded by the county commissioners because it came from a company that employed blacks. The middle two are forgotten because the highest bid comes from a company that has relations with one of the commissioners. Willie is the treasurer at this time and is advising the other commissioners to choose another bid because he has reason to believe the bricks will be of shoddy workmanship. They choose the highest bid anyway, and three children are killed when the bricks crumble, causing the fire escape to fall on them. Willie has lost the election because everyone thought he was crazy, and his wife lost her job. He is tricked into running for governor; it was all a ploy to siphon votes from another candidate. He quits the race, and swears he will return one day. He runs again and wins in 1930. Jack quits his job because they wanted him...

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