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Reading Journal: Citizen Kane Essay

844 words - 4 pages

Symbolism, in the form of objects in film, have been a way directors have been capturing theme’s and presenting it to audiences for them to interpret. Certain visual elements allow viewers to see more closely the attitude and mood within a film, capturing a larger overall idea. One such symbol is the Snow Globe, which occurs within the first scenes of Orson Welles “Citizen Kane”, which captures within it the childhood memory of Charles Foster Kane, but in turn acts as a barrier as well.
The significance of the snow globe is that as an object, it act’s as a shield that keeps whatever’s within it isolated from the external world. Much like Kane, in later life, the snow globe is only a mere semblance of the child-like happiness that Kane grew up in. Kane’s snow globe once he amassed his fortune and enters a life of what he thought could be true happiness, through his control of the world around him, becomes Xanadu, mirroring exactly the isolated state of the snow globe scene. Within the Snow globe lays Kane’s home as a child, and as an adult Xanadu is the only real sense of a home he has. His lifestyle in Xanadu also compliments that of the life he began, once he separated from his mother. He looked to fill his life with frivolities, the newspaper, the women he involved in his life, and his final home, all of these representing the changed state that Kane has fallen into, feeling insecure with himself to the point where his final moments alive, he reminisced in the safety that he had as a child, recalling rosebud, and destroying the snow globe. These all happening before money and power changed his life forever.
The globe also encompasses an idea of dominating one’s domain. As a child, Kane had power over only the boarding school where he lived, but as the family came into money, this sphere of influence grew exponentially. With the introduction of Mr. Thatcher, Kane goes into the newspaper business, affecting much more than the small log cabin that he came from. This concept has a direct connection to the life of the Chinese (grandson of Genghis Khan) leader, Kubla Khan, directly linked through the quote in the beginning title scenes, “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree:”(Scenes after Kane’s death, and comes from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan) which likens the...

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