American Literature books summary

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In Mason City, Willie immediately attracts an adoring throng of people. The group goes inside the drugstore, where Doc pours them glasses of Coke. The crowd pressures Willie for a speech, but he declines, saying he's just come to see his "pappy". He then delivers an efiective impromptu speech on the theme of not delivering a speech, saying he doesn't have to stump for votes on his day off. The crowd applauds, and the group drives out to the Stark farm.

On the way, Jack remembers his first meeting with Willie, in 1922, when Jack was a reporter for the Chronicle and Willie was only the County Treasurer of Mason County. Jack had gone to the back room of Slade's pool hall to get some information from deputy-sherifi Alex Michel and Tiny Dufiy (then the Tax Assessor, and an ally of then-Governor Harrison). While he was there, Dufiy tried to bully Willie into drinking a beer, which Willie claimed not to want, instead ordering an orange soda. Dufiy ordered Slade to bring Willie a beer, and Slade said that he only served alcohol to men who wanted to drink it. He brought Willie the orange soda. When Prohibition was repealed after Willie's rise to power, Slade was one of the first men to get a liquor license; he got a lease at an exceptional location, and was now a rich man.

At the farm, Willie and Lucy pose for a picture with spindly Old Man Stark and his dog. Then the photographers have Willie pose for a picture in his old bedroom, which still contains all his schoolbooks. Toward sunset, Sugar-Boy is out shooting cans with his .38 special, and Jack goes outside for a drink from his ask and a look at the sunset. As he leans against the fence, Willie approaches him and asks for a drink. Then Sadie Burke runs up to them with a piece of news, which she reveals only after Willie stops teasing her: Judge Irwin has just endorsed Callahan, a Senate candidate running against Willie's man, Masters.

After dinner at the Stark farm, Willie announces that he, Jack, and Sugar-Boy will be going for a drive. He orders Sugar-Boy to drive the Cadillac to Burden's Landing, more than a hundred miles away. Jack grew up in Burden's Landing, which was named for his ancestors, and he complains about the long drive this late at night. As they approach Jack's old house, he thinks about his mother lying inside with Theodore Murrell--not Jack's first stepfather. And he thinks about Anne and Adam Stanton, who lived nearby and used to play with him as a child. He also thinks about Judge Irwin, who lives near the Stanton and Burden places, and who was a father figure to Jack after his own father left. Jack tells Willie that Judge Irwin won't scare easily, and inwardly hopes that what he says is true.

The three men arrive at Judge Irwin's, where Willie speaks insouciantly and insolently to the gentlemanly old judge. Judge Irwin insults Jack for being employed by such a man, and tells Willie that he endorsed Callahan because of some damning information he had been given about Masters. Willie says that it would be possible to find dirt on anyone, and advises the judge to retract his endorsement, lest some dirt should turn up on him. He heavily implies that Judge Irwin would lose his position as a judge. Judge Irwin angrily throws the men out of his house, and on the drive back to Mason City, Willie orders Jack to find some dirt on the judge, and to "make it stick."

Writing in 1939, three years after that scene, Jack re ects that Masters--who did get elected to the Senate--is now dead, and Adam Stanton is dead, and Judge Irwin is dead, and Willie himself is dead: Willie, who told Jack to find some dirt on Judge Irwin and make it stick. And Jack remembers: "Little Jackie made it stick, all right."

Chapter 2 Summary

Jack Burden remembers the years during which Willie Stark rose to power. While Willie was Mason County Treasurer, he became embroiled in a controversy over the building contract for the new school. The head of the city council awarded the contract to the business partner of one of his relatives, no doubt receiving a healthy kickback for doing so. The political machine attempted to run this contract over Willie, but Willie insisted that the contract be awarded to the lowest bidder. The local big-shots responded by spreading the story that the lowest bidder would import black labor to construct the building, and, Mason County being redneck country, the people sided against Willie, who was trounced in the next election. Jack Burden covered all this in the Chronicle, which sided with Willie.

After he was beaten out of offce, Willie worked on his father's farm, hit the law books at night, and eventually passed the state bar exam. He set up his own law practice. Then one day during a fire drill at the new school, a fire escape collapsed due to faulty construction and three students died. At the funeral, one of the bereaved fathers stood by Willie and cried aloud that he had been punished for voting against an honest man. After that, Willie was a local hero. During the next gubernatorial election, in which Harrison ran against MacMurfee, the vote was pretty evenly divided between city-dwellers, who supported Harrison, and country folk, who supported MacMurfee. The Harrison camp decided to split the MacMurfee vote by secretly setting up another candidate who could draw some of MacMurfee's support in the country. They settled on Willie. One day Harrison's man, Tiny Dufiy, visited Willie in Mason City and convinced him that he was God's choice to run for governor.

Реферат опубликован: 31/07/2007