Citizen Kane By Orson Welles Essay

Citizen Kane By Orson Welles Essay

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Citizen Kane, directed and produced by Orson Welles, defies the conventional style of classic Hollywood films. The film introduced a variety of radical techniques and cinematography way ahead of its time such as shadowing and deep focus. Told through the memories of his associates in a flashback form, Citizen Kane follows an idealistic man with principles Charles Foster Kane, played by Orson Welles, who becomes changed and misguided by wealth and what accompanies wealth. Through the story telling of Kane 's life, we are able to see how wealth changes, not only Kane 's ideals, but his actions and how he perceives the world. Through his choice of shadowing, deep focus, and wardrobe, Orson Wells portrays the transformation of Charles Foster Kane from a young idealist to a tyrannical, egotistical tycoon who dies an isolated death.
In his childhood and early adulthood, Charles Foster Kane exemplifies an innocent idealist. Through the flashback of Walter Thatcher, Kane`s appointed guardian, the viewed is given a peak into the childhood and early adult life of Charles Kane. Kane`s first appearance embodies innocence; a young Kane is seen playing with his sled in the snow, carefree and happy. Through the use of deep focus (Source 1), this image stays in focus throughout the rest of the scene, where Charles`s mother signs the papers to transfer guardianship to Thatcher so that Charles can have a better life. Welles keeps his audience aware of the fact that an innocent child`s fate is being determined while he plays happily in the snow. Charles who is the carefree and jubilant is outside playing with his sleigh when Thatcher comes to take him away. Charles, however, chooses to shove his sleigh at Thatcher in an attempt to resist him which ...


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...ually leaves Charles because she felt lonely even when having numerous guests. As Susan walks out the door, Kane trashes their room. Kane knows that it is all over for him- he has lost everything. Susan`s room is full of things that represent his wealth, and he knows that material objects could never add up to a loving relationship. Kane is therefore left in his Gothic palace Xanadu, whose loneliness and grandeur represents Kane`s own life. Kane 's wealth isolates him from others throughout the years, and his life ends in loneliness at Xanadu. He dies surrounded only by his possessions, poor substitutions for true companions.
Through the perspectives of the people closest to him, the film depicts Charles Foster Kane 's journey from a man who had everything - wealth, power, connections, women - to an old, isolated man who dies alone in his massive, unfinished estate.

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