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Free Study Guide-All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren-Free Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 9

Summary

It takes time for Jack to get over his despondency. When he returns back to work, Willie Stark questions him about the death of Irwin. Jack evades his questions and informs the Boss that he would not be doing any more spying work. Stark understands his feelings and asks him to assess the tax bills. Stark gets busy dealing with political matters and warding of controversies. He tries to resolve the problem of Sibyl Frey by silencing MacMurfee through Larson. However, he has to pay a heavy price for it. He is made to award the contract for building the hospital to Larson.

Tom makes a name in football but behaves arrogantly with his associates. Stark is proud of his sonís sporting activities and finds time to watch the matches. Once while playing the game, Tom gets hit on the head and is severely injured. Even the best medical treatment is not able to save his damaged skull and is left paralyzed for life. Boss is shattered, while Lucy resigns herself to the situation.

Willie Stark goes back to Lucy after the accident. He calls off his affairs with both Anne and Sadie. Sadie feels insulted and resigns from her job. Stark decides to dedicate the hospital to Tom and take back the contract from Gummy Larson.


Adamís peace is once again shattered. An anonymous caller informs him about Anneís relationship with Willie. Adam feels further humiliated when he is made to understand that he had got the job only because of Anne. He has a show down with Anne. Later, he leaves home. Anne seeks the help of Jack to trace Adam. Jack does his best to search Adam but fails in his attempt.

The next day Jack goes to meet Willie Stark in the Capital where the Governor had gone to attend a meeting. As they walk out of the building, they encounter Adam. Stark offers his hand to Stanton, but Adam shoots the Boss instead. Sugar boy jumps to the rescue of the Boss and shoots down Adam. Adam is killed on the spot but Willie is removed to the hospital. His wounds are deep and the doctors give him little hope to live. Thus a few days after the death of Adam, Stark too meets his end.

Notes

The story of Willie Stark comes to an end. The hero, who had struggled to become a politician and had become giddy with power, dies a miserable death. Willie Stark transforms himself from an honest and idealistic lawyer to a ruthless politician who bullies and buys people to support his views. However, after Tomís accident he finds himself completely helpless. His conscience is awakened. He decides to turn away from dishonest dealings and relationships but life does not give him a chance to improve his situation. He dies before he can turn righteous.

The chapter drives home the point that none can escape from the consequences of their actions. Jack Burden shamelessly exposes the shady past of both Governor Stanton and Judge Irwin. In the process he not only hurts Adam and Anne, but also corrupts his own conscience. The revelation disturbs Adam and shakes his moral fabric. He becomes tense and restless and touchy. And finally, his nerves give way and he shoots Stark thus inviting his own death. Anne is shocked to hear about her fatherís involvement in the scandal but she reacts differently. She feels insecure and sheds her moral values and gets involved with Willie Stark. In the case of Jack, his conscience disturbs him for being responsible for killing his own father and he is struck with remorse.

Willie Stark invites trouble through his arrogance and high- handed behavior. When MacMurfee tries to defame him by impeaching Bryam, he buys support from the people and unjustly halts the case against his auditor. MacMurfee waits for his opportunity to take revenge on Stark. He has not to wait for long as Tom creates problems for Stark through his scandals. Unable to resolve the crisis created by his sonís involvement with Sybil, Stark succumbs to pressure and gives the contract for the building of the hospital to Gummy Larson, much against his wish. Later, when Tom gets paralyzed in an accident, he decides to revoke his offer to Larson. In the process, he hurts the sentiments of Tiny Duffy who is already nursing the injuries caused by the insults of the Boss. Stark had also played with the sentiments of Anne and Sadie by getting into a relationship with them. However, after Tomís accident he decides to stay faithful to Lucy. Thus he discards both Anne and Sadie after using them. This attitude infuriates Sadie and she takes the help of Tiny Duffy to provoke Adam to act against the Boss. The Boss thus meets his end because of his arrogance.

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