Citizen Kane: A Representation Of The American Dream

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Citizen Kane, directed by Orson Welles and released in 1941, is seen as one of the greatest filmic expressions of all time, which follows the life and transitioning of identity within Charles Foster Kane. Welles presents this satirical film which holds a mirror up to society to highlight its flaws within American ideals. In addition, the film is viewed to be one occupied with controversy, particularly with the focus of the American dream and the corruption of it, as well as the similar characteristics between Kane and William Randolph Hearst. It could be seen that Welles is satirical towards Hearst, challenging existing paradigms and how much power the media should have over public opinion. Despite Hearst’s attempt to ban and
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The film illuminates the changing character of Kane as the American Dream corrupts, consuming Kane in a world of power and wealth. Kane is a representation of the American Dream, however those who have achieved the dream are meant to live a happy life, this is not what happens for Kane. Kane as a child was given away by his mother in hopes for him to lead a better life; however this only resulted in Kane being raised by the bank, rather than a loving parent figure. Kane undergoes many transitions of character throughout his life, first being introduced to the viewer as an innocent child, then into a young man running a newspaper company, then finally into a tyrant who wanted the public to conform to his values. Kane’s character is examined through flashbacks, particularly the scene where Kane decides he wants to operate a newspaper, “I think it would be fun to run a newspaper”, and the scene where he announces to Susan that the public will also share the same views as…show more content…
This is particularly difficult as Kane went to great lengths to exercise control over his public and private face, as well as maintain an honourable public image. Throughout the film, Thompson, a reporter, as well as the viewers must attempt to uncover and define the man Kane was, “It isn’t enough to tell us what a man did. You’ve got to tell us who he was”.
Thompson’s search for the true Kane begins with the meaning behind Kane’s final word, “rosebud”. In search for the meaning, Thompson interviews those who have the greatest insight into the private face of Kane, in particular Jedediah Leland who’s interview was the most revealing of Kane’s character, “he never gave himself away. He never gave anything away”. However, the mystery of Rosebud was left unanswered. In another interview, this time with Mr. Bernstein, further information of Kane was revealed, “he was a man who lost everything he had”. This suggests that Rosebud was something Kane once has, then
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