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Unformatted text preview: Jack Burden and Willie Stark are, of course, the paired central characters of All the King's Men. Jack Burden is important because he is the narrator of the novel and because he is the character who undergoes the greatest change; he is also the character about whom, ultimately, we learn the most. Willie Stark, on the other hand, is the most powerful, the most dominating character in the novel, and it seems to be, primarily, his story that Jack Burden tells. Each character needs the other: without Willie Stark, Jack Burden's life would be insignificant; without Jack Burden, Willie Stark's life would have little shape or meaning. Both Willie Stark and Jack Burden are complex characters, and both of them are presented complexly. Both of these men act in ways that seem contradictory, but these apparently contradictory motivations are rooted in the past, in the things that they did or that happened to them when they...
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- Fall '08