Chapter One ended with Willie Stark giving Jack Burden the assignment of finding something corrupt about Judge Irwin, something that might change Irwin's mind about supporting MacMurfee's candidate for the Senate or that might be used in some other way against Irwin if he continues to support Callahan. The events in Chapter One took place in 1936, the time at which the present action of All the King's Men begins. If All the King's Men were simply a conventional novel concerned with what happens, the events in Chapter Two would have been those that followed the events in Chapter One, and so on through the novel. In All the King's Men, however, Warren is concerned with why events happen as they do, and in order to explore this question, he — and the reader — must explore the events in the past that have a significant bearing on the present. Thus, Chapters Two through Four deal with
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