Last Updated 06 Jul 2020

Bias & Rhetorical Devices

Essay type Rhetorical
Words 745 (2 pages)
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What are some examples of bias, fallacies, and specific rhetorical devices in the speech? The very beginning of the speech begins with a campaigner who is introducing their new candidate for Governor and who expresses negative bias towards the current Governor, Jim Gettys. It begins by describing the current governing as an “evil domination”. That same campaigner then expresses equal bias but in a positive way, towards Charles Foster Kane, by saying he is the only one who can rid the state of its current politics.

The campaigner calls him a fighting liberal and friend of the working man but gives no examples of why he feels that way. The speech is full of rhetorical devices, using analytical definitions to create emotion in the listeners. Charles Foster Kane points out that his only purpose is to “point out and make public, the dishonesty and downright villainy of Jim Getty’s political machine”. He is using hyperbole in this statement in order to exaggerate his viewpoint.

Also you can read Rhetorical Devices in Night Walker by Brent Staples

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He states that “this machine is in complete control of the government of the State” causing the people to react since this is the very situation our founding fathers hoped to avoid when creating the United States Constitution. Kane is also aligning himself with those he knows will be more likely to vote within his party lines such as the working man, slum child, underpaid, underprivileged and underfed. He realizes that by exaggerating the power contained by Jim Gettys and his Administration, he will rally the folks not usually interested into voting for him, by telling them they deserve so much more.

He uses the argument from outrage to express how diabolical the existing government is in order to persuade the people that definitive change is needed. Various fallacies are prominent throughout the speech. One of the fallacies is the determination that Kane will be voted Governor based on the polls. However, since the election has not even begun, it is impossible for him to draw this conclusion. Also, we see the group think fallacy where Kane describes himself as the friend of the lower classes, making believe he is one of them.

Argument by popularity is used when Kane assumes that the polls indicate his obvious triumph in the upcoming election and reflect him as the winner and most popular choice for voters. He is also using scare tactics when stating that the current Government has complete control over the state, and that they are a dictatorship. In all of the above cases, no information is given to support the claims being made. How did the speaker address arguments and counter arguments? The speaker’s arguments are unclear since he did not use common premise and conclusion statements.

There are no comparisons between what Kane feels has already been done versus what he intends to do. However, he is making the claim that he will be elected as Governor based on the poll information. He also makes the biased claims against the Administration of Jim Gettys and the control it has over the State Government at that time. His argument leads to the unspoken conclusion that the existing government does not care for the ordinary people and that he intends to change the focus of the government to care for the decent, the underpaid, underfed, underprivileged, working men and slum children.

Therefore, Kane would be the better choice as the Governor for the people of that State. I do not see any evidence of counter arguments since at no point does he state another person’s claim and argue against that. Were the speaker’s arguments effective? Explain your answer. The speaker’s arguments were effective in invoking an emotional response from the listeners and persuade them that they should not vote for the existing Governor. His use of political rhetoric and fallacies were effective in creating doubt about the honesty of Gettys and his Administration.

Kane wanted to expose the existing government as corrupt, uncaring and in complete control of all of their lives. He succeeded at this by using statements to invoke anger which is usually substituted for reason. There are no conclusive promises made, other than to indict and convict Jim Gettys. Therefore, the people have no idea what policies or promises Kane intends to put into practice. Although the arguments were effective in persuasive techniques, they were not sound. There were no details or facts to support his claims that Kane specifically, would make a better Governor.

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