Quiz Show Essays

2566 Words 11 Pages
Charles Van Doren has a life that many people would be envious of. He is a member of one of the country’s most intellectual and well respected families. His uncle, Carl, is a noted historian and his father, Mark, is a distinguished professor at Columbia University as well as Pulitzer-prize winning poet. Even his mother, Dorothy, is a well known author with several highly recognized pieces of literature. Charles is following in his father’s footsteps as he works as an instructor at Columbia preparing to take over for his father once he retires. Unfortunately for Van Doren, he feels that he lacks an identity in this family of overachievers. At this point in his life, he believes that he should have accomplished enough that people don’t have …show more content…
Walking into his house, he proclaims, “The Genius is home, the rich genius is home.” The glory and fame has gone to his head and he refuses to take his good fortune with modesty.
The third scene of the film goes to a book signing where the viewer meets the Van Doren family for the first time. Mark Van Doren has recently released a new book and he is there to sign copies of them for his fans. He is joined by his equally intellectual wife Dorothy Van Doren who assists Mark with the event. Charles Van Doren is off to the side, out of the way of all the attention taking in an episode of the quiz show “Twenty-One”. He follows the show intently, answering the questions as if he were actually on the show. While watching the show, a woman sitting next to him asks him if he is the son, meaning the son of Mark Van Doren. Charlie acknowledges that in fact is the son of Mark Van Doren and the woman introduces herself to him. The viewer gets a sense that Charles Van Doren is used to being referred to as the son and that this is nothing new.
After viewing the quiz show “Twenty-One” on television, Van Doren gets the idea to try out to be a contestant on a similar show. He is convinced by his friends that he would be well suited for such a thing. While at the studio interviewing for a spot on the show, one of the executives on the show “Twenty-One”, Al Freedman,

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