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"Citizen Kane" Essay

1369 words - 5 pages

The Story of a Dead Man Is Brought to Life Citizen Kane presents a strong subject and theme through the use of the narration of the story. The style of narration is one that is a non-linear, non-chronological, and detached. With the use of multiple flashbacks through different characters points of view we learn about the major events of Charles Foster Kane's life. Although these events may be overlapping and possibly exaggerated by the characters, we are able to view the different sides of Kane's personality. The subject is quite visible to the audience early on in the film. However it takes the entire film for the audience to come to the final conclusion of the theme. The subject is a rags to riches tale of a young boy who inherited a fortune. He was taken away from his parents so that a banker that would educate him could raise him. The underprivileged looked at him as a champion because he was the epitome of what it meant to fulfill the American dream. This man was so influential that a reporter searches for the meaning of this man's last word, "Rosebud", before his death. It is the search for the meaning of "Rosebud" that provides the exploration of character traits. "I don't think any word can explain a man's life," says one of the searchers through the warehouse of collections left behind by Kane. Then we see a close-up of the word "Rosebud" on a sled that has been thrown into the fire. We realize that this was the sled Kane had as a child while being torn away from his family to be educated at a boarding school in the east. It is then that we understand the theme of Citizen Kane in its entirety. The theme is about a childhood that was lost to money. Kane spent his entire adult life searching to return to the security and innocence he once had as a child. "Rosebud" could represent the only time in his life when he felt loved and accepted. The sled might have symbolized the love, innocence, and beauty he lost as a child. The glass snow globe that breaks as Kane dies could represent the longing for his mother's home in Colorado."It's not hard to make a lot of money, if all you care about is making a lot of money," states Kane's long-time business manager, Bernstein. The only thing Kane learned to value and lust for was the American dream of fulfilling money, power, and fame, which in turn corrupted him. Kane even admits himself that, "If I hadn't been so rich, I might have actually been a really great man." He was able to control his public image because he was a multi-millionaire publishing tycoon that was able to control the headlines. The newsreel sequence of provides a short version of narrative events in a similar order as the film as a whole. It highlights and documents the public life of this man that has passed away. Memories of Kane, from those who knew him, are pieced together by the newsreel. After Kane dies, he no longer has control over his press and we see some headlines that view him as "U.S. Facist No. 1"...

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