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Analysis of Willie Stark's Life as a Politician.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Goodness and Badness: Analysis of Willie Stark's Life as a Politician Can it be right to do wrong? Can we have a square circle? Can we move backwards and forwards at the same time? During Plato's time (c. 429-347 B.C.) a long discussion had begun and carried throughout the Middle Ages that affirmed that the ruler ought to embody noble ideals and values. This tradition focuses on the virtues of justice and mercy as essential for good government. However, during the Renaissance period the author Niccolo Machiavelli turned away from these traditions and considers in The Prince what is necessary to be successful in a corrupt world. Machiavelli proclaims in his book The Prince, "A man who wishes to make a profession in everything must necessarily come to grief among so many who are not good. Therefore, it is necessary...to learn how not to be good, and to use this knowledge and not use it, according to the necessity of the case". Essentially, it is the situation at the moment that determines which actions are necessary. For Machiavelli, the goal is success, not the virtue or vice of the act.

Middle

He exposed to the public the corrupt men of Harrison who coerced him to run for Governor only to be "used and abused in the process;" by blowing the whistle Willie became a bad man who turned against the people who helped him come into the political spot light. Instead of being seen with bad eyes, the public sympathized with him. With all the sympathy he gained Willie managed to win the race for Governor. Once Willie became Governor he became an opportunist because of the lack of support he received and because his power was growing. Willie essentially started off as a man who rose to power by offering to save the people from their distress, during his struggles, he became corrupted by power. Willie became corrupted because he realized that in order for him to help out the people he wanted to help out the most, he had to play a "little dirty". He was forced to bribe the state legislators in order to get his bills passed; he even went as far as blackmailing some in order to achieve his goals. Willie Stark exemplifies Machiavelli's discourse, "to learn ... not to be good ...and not use it, according to the necessity of the case".

Conclusion

He was a human being who had dreams, a family he loved, and passions he yields to, among them a desire for power. The author, Warren shows Willie as a man torn between his visions of an ideal society and stark reality- what it takes in the real world to fulfill one's dreams. Willie sacrifices his ideals for action. He is a man of stark fact, and he wants results. In the end, Willie reevaluates his life's goals. But it is too late for change. Willie is not given a second chance. For Willie's political activity is much like Machiavelli political activity which is like a game of chess with its rules, its proven gambits, and its successful strategies. The master player knows how to exploit the weaknesses and blunders of his opponents to maximum advantage. The goal is finding the best move, the move that wins. The qualities needed to win may be judged as vices by others, but, as Machiavelli puts it in The Prince, they are "the vices by which you are able to rule." The crimes committed in order to preserve one's country are "glorious crimes." Willie essential would have believed, "a multitude is more easily governed by humanity and gentleness than by haughtiness and cruelty," the point is that a wise ruler does whatever is necessary.

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