StudyBoss » The film Citizen Kane

The film Citizen Kane

The film Citizen Kane, directed by Orson Welles, is a great example of how a man can be corrupted by wealth. Through the characters in the film we can observe how Charles Foster Kane, an idealistic man with principles, can be changed and misguided by wealth and what accompanies wealth. The film takes places during the late 19th century and early 20th century, a time in American history when the world is changing and wealth is a great power to change it with. Through the story telling of Kanes life we are able to see how wealth changes, not only Kanes ideals, but his actions and how he perceives the world.

The corruption of idealism by wealth can be seen throughout the film, especially through the thoughts and actions of Kane and the other characters. For example, when Kane publishes his first newspaper for the Inquirer he prints his Declaration of Principles. Jebediah Leland remarks at that time that he would like to keep it because he feels that it will be an important document one day. As Kane becomes more wealthy and more corrupt by his wealth, Leeland returns the document and we see that Kane understands that he is no longer the same man he was before or the man he set out to become.

From this we also see that Leeland and the other characters in the film have come to the same conclusion. Furthermore, in the film, Kane states more than once, that people will think or do whatever he wishes them. Kane, with his wealth, tries to create his idealistic world with the power that wealth gives him and as a result tries to control everyone. In addition, the reference of Rosebud throughout the movie is a symbol of Kanes wish to return to his childhood and a new start.

When his second wife leaves him Kane realizes the corruption wealth has done on his life and says rosebud because he wants to return to his sled, his childhood, to return to the beginning when wealth has yet to corrupt him. Citizen Kane is the story of a mans great ideas to make the world better, but unable to because of the corruption wealth brought him. Citizen Kane is set at a time in American History where the world is changing and money is at the center of that world. For example, during this period of time wealth has become more important in America has more new money arrives.

Kane is a part of this new money sweep across America and like everyone else is stretching his power and wealth. He stretches it so much that he loses sight of his objection, which is replaced by his obsession to be in control and make all the decisions, a power which he finds through wealth. But it is because of this obsession that his idealistic world is corrupted. Furthermore, the film revolves most around a newspaper. A newspaper reaches everyone and during this time one of the only few mass media.

It is through the newspaper that Kane stretches his wealth and influence. He is corrupted by the power that the newspaper gives him. In addition, Kane is constantly surrounded by beautiful things and people, until the end of the movie when he has become engrossed in his corruption. Kane at he end of the movie is left in seclusion at Xanadu, yet still surrounded by beauty, his idealistic world has become empty because he has no one to share it with. Even his only true friend, Leeland, will not return a letter that Kane has sent him.

The settings of this film are very important in revealing the theme of corruption caused by wealth. Citizen Kane comprises of one episode after another, an endless stream of events that lead to Kanes corruption from wealth. For example, Kane believes that he will win the election and become Governor, even when his opponent, Getty, has threatened to release news on him that will cause his downfall. Kane believes that wealth has made him invisible and unstoppable. When Kane realizes his defeat he tries to compensate it by marrying Susan Alexander.

Furthermore, Kane uses his wealth to try to prove that he can create his idealistic world. Kane tries to prove to the world that his wife is a real singer and not just a singer as was printed in the newspaper. Kane goes to great lengths to try to prove himself and becomes even more absorbed in his wealth, power, and image. In addition, the corruption of wealth can be most seen during the meal scene between Kane and Emily Norton. We can see that overtime Kane and Emilys relationship changes as Kane becomes more immersed in his newspaper and the power he has.

As Kane grows more and more corrupt his relationship with Emily gets worse. A symbol of how Kanes relationship with others have also changed. Through the events that occur in the film and Kanes life we can observe the changes Kane goes through as wealth corrupts him. Citizen Kane is an example of the many lives changed during this point in American history when the world began to see more wealth. Charles Foster Kane was a man that started out with good beliefs and a goal to see his idealism put into action.

But wealth was able to corrupt him and Kane lost sight of his goal. He became engrossed with the life that wealth brought him, as well as the power it afforded him. When the corruption destroyed Kane altogether, it was too late for him to turn back, he was already lost in his obsession. Kane wanted to return to the beginning and change his life, to the simpler times with his rosebud sled and his childhood. When his wealth had not yet got to his mind. The film Citizen Kane is a story of wealth and how it corrupted one mans ideal world.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Leave a Comment

StudyBoss » The film Citizen Kane

The film, “Citizen Kane”

In the film, “Citizen Kane” directed by Orson Welles, Charles Foster Kane had built an entire empire around Xanadu. With all of his money, he was never truly happy. He had bought many things for the wives that he had, but they too were also never truly happy.

His wives wanted something from him that he was not willing to express, and that was his true feelings. When he was a young child he had been taken away from the things that he truly loved. He loved his mother and being with his friends, most of all he loved sledding. But when he was forced to move away he was expected to grow up quickly and act as how a man would act.

His childhood had been quickly been taken away from him. He was taken away by Thatcher, he was to now be his guardian until the age of 25. Then the fortune that his mother had given him would now be his. Since he had moved from his home in Colorado, he started to look for something that would make him happy. He wanted to buy a perfect home in the perfect place he wanted his own Xanadu. He had bought many animals to try and make himself happy. But this did not work even though he had one of the biggest privately owned zoo’s in the world. He had married Emily Norton and had a child with her.

While he was married to her he tried running for governor but at the same time he was having an affair with Susan Alexander. But when the press got a hold of this information it just about ruined all of his creditability, therefore causing his to not be elected governor. When he was talking with Susan Alexander she told him everything that she always wanted but never got. She wanted to be a singer but no one would really hired her. So two weeks after his divorce with Emily Norton, he had married Susan Alexander. She would soon get everything that she ever wanted.

She lived in a huge house and had a theater built for her. But she would also learn that Charles Foster Kane did not express his feelings to her. She would be left at home by herself most of the time putting together puzzles, which symbolized her trying to put the pieces in her life back together. Charles Foster Kane was at work most of the time he owned the Inquirer. He loved being in control of what was printed in the newspaper. But in the beginning he was approached by a man telling him that he was not running the newspaper well because every year they were losing a million dollars.

But Charles Foster Kane had replied with well I guess were going to have shut down this place in sixty years, when he said this his attitude seemed to change a bit because he was being a bit sarcastic and in the move you don’t see much of that from him. Charles Foster Kane didn’t lead the happiest life that he could have. Before he died his last work was “Rosebud” this word was the key to his happiness when he was a child he had a sled and its name was Rosebud. While he said his last word he dropped the snow globe, which fell to the floor. This snow globe had symbolized his childhood, which was when he was truly happy.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Leave a Comment