Books and Movies Reviews

Explication of All the King’s Men article

Mark Royden Winchell;s article in the Mississippi Quarterly entitled ;O Happy Sin! Felix Culpa in All the King;s Men; is a very interesting read because it really examines the characters of Adam Stanton, Willie Stark, and Jack Burden in a new way. There are some drawbacks to the article however.I think Winchell chose to use too many quotes from other scholarly articles. The assumption could be made that just over half of what is written is in the authors; own words. Also, although the article is interesting, it is more of a supplementary read to help understand some of the characters better; it does not really critique the novel as a whole.
In the article, Winchell argues that in All the King;s Men, Robert Penn Warren examines the paradox of the ;fortunate fall.; Winchell states in his article that the Fortunate Fall is ;the fall from innocence and its psychological and moral consequences; (572). Winchell also separates this metaphor into three groups, or ;parties.; Thefirst is labeled the ;party of hope,; who sees the world as a reborn ;Adam;, who still has a chance at being morally righteous. The second, the ;party of memory,; views our world as a ;moral extension of the old.; The third, labeled ;the party of irony,; states that ;spiritual rebirth can occur only after one has discarded the illusion of innocence and has accepted the full burden of a fallen humanity;(572).
This introduction as very long, it took three pages before the author even began to examine the characters under this theme. Winchell then focused on the characters of Adam, Willie, and Jack, and how they each confronted their respective fall from innocence.
Adam Stanton is the character that does not accomplish the feat of being reborn after falling from innocence. As Winchell put it cleverly, he ;exists in a sort of psychic Ede…


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