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Jack Burden's Faults


            
            
             Whenever, a person idolizes someone, they can only see that person in one mindset "perfect. But in reality, that idol may really not be as perfect as the on-watcher thinks. Such is the case with Jack Burden in Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men. To others, Jack appears to be rich, relaxed, but in reality he lacks a true father figure, and does his best to avoid present day reality. Mainly, this lack of a real father is the root of all his other faults. Jack's troubled relationship with his mother, who has a series of husbands, who come and go also adds to his problems. Like any child without a father, he is unsure of who to trust. This lack of self-confidence plagues Jack for a great deal of time.
             Jack's lack of a father seriously plagues him with his first girlfriend. When he attempts to enter a relationship with Anne Stanton, she sees through him. She questions him about his future ambitions "and when he responds with the fact that he will "blow in her ear for a living- (Warren 284) she is the least bit happy. Since Jack had no guidance from a father figure, he lacks self-understanding. He can also not see his own faults or those in the people around him. This inability prevents Jack from being able to fully understand the world around him and leads him to look to his boss, Willie Stark, for guidance. It is not Willie, though, who Jack ultimately approves as a father figure. He has a "rebirth- which comes when he finds his true father, Judge Irwin. This rebirth allows Jack to come to grips with his peers and himself. After this, Jack has a change in character and is able to deal with his life. .
             Just as Jack can't find a father, he can't find the truth. He is a historian from his college years, and is consequently devoted to finding fact, which is why he is a newspaperman. But, Jack does not realize that life and the whole truth is more than just facts.


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