The search for knowledge and truth is a compelling theme woven throughout All the King’s Men, and it is especially evident in the story of Jack Burden. When Jack embarks on a quest toward self- knowledge, he realizes that most of his problems in life have risen out of his lack of knowledge and understanding of people, events, and ideas. Jack’s shortcoming in this area often leads him to think about the past and hinders his ability to grow emotionally, an aspect of Jack that has been in arrested development for twenty years. Another important aspect of this theme is how Jack’s incomplete picture of the world around him affects his actions and decision. In the end Jack gains vital knowledge but it comes at a costly price through the deaths of his friends and father. Jack concludes that “all knowledge that is worth anything is maybe paid in blood” and it is this knowledge that allows Jack to finally move on with his life and to come to terms with many issues such as life, love, and responsibility.When the reader is first introduced to Jack Burden, he seems to be somewhat of an idealistic man with no real ambition for himself but who is not really satisfied or happy with his life and who refuses to see the world for what it really is.”What you don’t know don’t hurt you, for it ain’t real”(30) is a quote Jack picked up during his college days as a history major, and which he cites as the building block for his entire worldview, a worldview that attempts to avoid the idea that actions have consequences and that people must take responsibility for their actions. This idealistic worldview seems to serve as Jack’s defense against all that he doesn’t understand, especially some key events in his life that influenced him greatly.The first major event in Jack’s life that greatly affected him as a human being was his parent’s divorce, which led to his father leaving when Jack was only six years old. Jack’s mother explained to him that his father wasn’t dead but that he might think of him as dead, and that the reason he left was because he didn’t love her anymore, an answer that is not quite the truth, as Jack will discover later on. Six-year-old Jack’s answer to this is simple – “I love you Mother.