All The Way Analysis

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Anna Martin Play Marathon Paper: All The Way Hist Lit 4 29 April 2016 The Good, the Bad, and the Dirty: Power and Politics in All The Way The play All The Way by Robert Schenkkan is reminiscent of documentary style theatre, particularly the monologues of Anna Deavere Smith, because both sources take dialogue from previously recorded transcripts: Smith from interviews she conducted with members of Crown Heights, Brooklyn for her one person play Fires in the Mirror, and Schenkkan from samplings of recorded dialogue straight from phone calls made by President Lyndon Johnson. But while Smith employs this style to mimic her interviewees as true to life as possible, Schenkkan builds a cohesive narrative around his quotes to make an exciting political…show more content…
As one of the leaders of the civil rights movement, King’s rise to power mirrors that of Johnson’s, but in a more pacifistic way. In the times when Johnson and King collide, King presents Johnson with carefully researched evident while Johnson parried with verbal distractions in the hope of bamboozling King to the point where he forgets what the meeting is about. For example, Martin Luther King meets Johnson in the Oval Office to discuss the Civil Rights Bill of 1964. King is disgruntled because Johnson has cut the Voting Rights section of the bill. Johnson then tries to draw King’s attention away from this fact with a new and unrelated…show more content…
Here, both characters are at their peaks of greatness, teetering on the edge of destruction, though they are only slightly aware of this. Martin Luther King is delivering his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize while Lyndon Johnson is at a democratic campaign rally in New Orleans shortly before the Presidential election of 1964. These two speeches are delivered simultaneously, cutting from one line of King’s speech to one of Johnson’s. King reads his speech like a sermon, using repetition to drive home the pertinent points. Johnson, on the other hand, “crumples up his prepared speech…and makes an appeal to their conscious direct from his heart” (Schenkkan 118). These actions show that King spends crafting his words with precision for maximum impact, while Johnson prefers to speak off the cuff after assessing the emotional climate of the specific situation. Johnson can transform himself to fit the setting, but King is unable to be anything other than who he
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