COM 220 Week 1 Assignment
Throughout the introduction and speech there are examples of fallacies, rhetorical devices, and bias. The first example of bias is delivered when introducing Kane. The campaigner introducing Kane refers to “the evil domination of Boss Jim Gettys,” this clearly indicates bias in favor of Kane, and also is an example of the ad hominem fallacy by attacking Jim Gettys rather than his arguments. The campaigner also uses the scare tactics and the false dilemma fallacy when he states “There is only one man who can rid the politics of this State.” There surely could be more candidates than Kane, and his use of fear to try to scare voters into voting for Kane.
Kane commits ad hominem fallacy when stating “to point out and make public the dishonesty, the downright villainy, of Boss Jim W. Gettys political machine.” Kane is clearly attacking Gettys rather than is arguments. Kane ...view middle of the document...
Examples of rhetorical devices include a hyperbole when Kane states “the dishonesty, the downright villainy, of Boss Jim W. Gettys political machine – now in complete control of the government of this State.” This is clearly an exaggeration not based on facts. Kane uses another rhetorical device, alliteration when he states “I’ll do everything in my power to protect the underprivileged, the underpaid, and the underfed.” This contains the same consonant sound, repeated in a number of words in a sentence. Kane commits a paradox when he states “Well, I'd make my promises now if I weren't too busy arranging to keep them.” This appears to be contradictory but at the same time evokes a higher meaning because the promise is very significant.
Both the campaigner and Kane make arguments and counterarguments throughout the speech. The campaigner starts with an enthusiastic introduction of Kane by stating how evil Gettys is, and how Kane should replace him. This introduction works to insight the crowd but lacks any credibility or facts. Kane’s argument that “Every straw vote, every independent poll shows that I'll be elected,” is a good argument but also contains no factual evidence and refers to independent polls that cannot be validated. This argument is thus considered to be ineffective. Kane’s next arguments also appear to be ineffective. Kane states “The working man and the slum child know they can expect my best efforts in their interests. The decent, ordinary citizens know that I'll do everything in my power to protect the underprivileged, the underpaid, and the underfed,” and “Here's one promise I'll make, and boss Jim Gettys knows I'll keep it: My first official act as Governor of this State will be to appoint a Special District Attorney to arrange for the indictment, prosecution, and conviction of Boss Jim W. Gettys.” Both of these statements promise something yet Kane states that he made no campaign promises or will make promises because he is too busy arranging to keep them.
American Rhetoric, (2010). Movie Speech “Citizen Kane” (1941): Retrieved from: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechcitizenkane2.html