“But in the end the truth gave the past back to me.”
Jack Burden pg. 436
To understand the inferential validity of the above quotation, I think it is important to first establish a literal comprehension of the quotation. Furthermore, Jack uses the facts and truth he has gathered in his life up to 1939 to better understand and explain the occurrences and consequences that have also occurred up to 1939. The most important secrets of the past that are finally uncovered are the truth about his father’s, Ellis Burden and Judge Irwin, and his relationship with Anne Stanton.
From the beginning of the book the Burden family structure is shaky and confusing at best, the first mention of the mother on pg. 37 describes a love confused women next to her new young husband, her fourth. Then we finally get to meet the myth, the man Ellis Burden. Ellis’ status is catalyzed on pg. 200 when Jack addresses him as father and the Scholarly Attorney responds querulously, “What – what did you say?” and on those same pages the old man stubbornly refuses to comment on the questions about Monty Irwin. Furthermore on that page Jack, to himself, calls the old man a “fool,… who wasn’t man enough to run his own house”. Coupled with numerous All-American quotes of the upstanding Judge as Jack’s father figure, pg. 121 “the Judge was a brave man”, pg. 438 “… he was a man and I loved him.”, the reader becomes confused about whom the father really is. This is the hidden past, and as Jack completes the “Case of the Upright Judge”, he “broke the ice” and found out the truths and facts that would give him his past back. “The Judge won’t scare easy”, is a quotation rapidly forgotten as Jack uses one heck of a Louisville slugger to bust this boy. The Judge, with both his frightened ticker and shortly his reputation on their last few diminishing beats, leaves this world trying to talk fast to Jack. The very next page the mystery is solved as Jack’s mother hysterically falls to the floor screaming “your father and oh! you killed him.” and the next line states the numbness and closure for Jack, “That was how I found out.”
These truths uncovered the past and their truths and weeded out the confusion that was the past. “It was always Monty”, his mother says on 429, her love for him and his political dislike of the Judge caused dispute between Jack and his mother.