Citizen Kane Speech Rhetorical Analysis

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Bias, Rhetorical Devices and Argumentation
August 4, 2010
Mike Smith

The” Citizen Kane” speech given by Charles Foster Kane in 1941, who was campaigning for Governor starts off his speech by addressing his audience, attacking his opponent by using various fallacies of illogical argument.. First he starts off with blaming “boss Jim W. Getty and his political machine” the techniques that are used here are for the propose of making himself appear stronger, in his views and political agendas. This type of fallacy is called scapegoating, blaming the problems on his opponent’s convictions and building confidence in the listeners. Kane also uses Ad hominen, which is where the candidate is verbally attacking his opponent rather than the argument. Kane begins begging the question by insinuating that he will be elected. An example of a rhetorical device would be alliteration, When he talks about “the slum child, the working man, the underprivileged, underpaid and underfed.” He has a political bias against his opponent Getty’s, suggesting by his speech that
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Kane left the impression that he could fix all the problems of society and that he was on everyone’s side, and by stating it in the way that he did he persuaded his audience he was on there side, it left the assumption that Jim Gettys was not on there side, but their enemy. By promising to appoint a special district attorney to “indictment, prosecute, and convict Boss Jim W. Gettys” he is putting out the assumption of his quilt with the premise that he will be able to fix all of the citizen’s problems, this is the way he wrapped up his speech, with biases, fallacies, and any generalizations or judgments. He used, at the end of his speech the “slippery slope” tactic to put negative emphasis on boss Jim Getty’s’ making himself appear the only clear

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