Who Is Medusa In All The King's Men

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Medusa Sadie Burke, in Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men, is a woman of many talents. She is an extremely skilled politician. Without her, Willie Stark would have never risen through the political scene and become the Boss. She is tough and combative and often argues with the Boss, among others. Whether it is about his lovers or or something else entirely, she never shies away from a confrontation. One could argue that she is, almost solely, the reason that Willie climbed to where he did. Had she not accidentally told him that he was set up, he would have never known and probably just accepted his defeat and gone back to the country. Instead, he went to Mason City, worked as a lawyer, and then came back full force to become governor,…show more content…
Instead, he more than likely experienced something "behind the scenes" that benefited him. Sadie was an extremely talented politician. When she is first introduced, she is working for Sen-Sen Puckett and is helping him set up Willie as the dummy. After Willie loses, not much is said about her, until she returns as Willie’s assistant for his actual run in the Democratic primary. Robert Warren never states when Willie and Sadie first became romantically involved but it would seem that it began some time between his first failed election and the comeback with Sadie and Hugh. Robert never explains if Willie really liked Sadie or if he was just using her for her political prowess and only involved romantically as a kind of reward for her work. It is clear that Willie was not satisfying his needs with Sadie, as proven by the “Nordic Nymphs”(211) situation. Sadie never mentions any other man in her life so it is safe to assume that she is fully loyal to Willie. All angles considered, it seems that their relationship was meant to reveal more of how Willie could be willing to be in a relationship with someone who was extremely loyal to him, as Sadie was throughout the story, for the perks that the relationship would exhibit, in this case in the political theater. Assuming that the relationship was purely for the benefits it provided, it, and…show more content…
That is one of the questions that Robert Penn Warren contemplates in All the King’s Men. In this case, Sadie answers this theme, which is present throughout the story, with a solid yes. Sadie hides behind a “plaster-of-Paris mask of Medusa”(212). She was tough on the exterior, always ready to argue and fight. This mentality is probably from her rough-and-tumble childhood. Her father was an alcoholic and her mom left them at an early age. She had to watch her brother die of smallpox because her father spent all his money on alcohol. This type of upbringing does not lend itself to an open and welcoming character. Sadie kept this “mask” on for most of her political life. She was a woman in a man’s world and had to fight a lot harder for a lot less ground. Most of her time in politics was spent with slightly underhanded and corrupt deals. Her means could be seen as undesirable, as could Willie’s, but they, together, helped the state of Louisiana a lot. Without her and Willie, the state roads would have probably never been built, the education would have stayed bad, and the taxes would not have been fixed. Although their means of accomplishing their goals would be slightly frowned upon, the end they accomplished was good. Sadie’s life after Willie’s passing will be rather different. She said she is going to distance herself from politics and live with her sister. Even though she did all those bad things, she is still allowed to go off and live her

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