Citizen Kane: Summary Essay

916 words - 4 pages

The film Citizen Kane, directed by Orson Welles, is a grand example of how a man can be corrupted by wealth. Through the characters in the film it can be observed 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 gives you power to help change that world. 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. Citizen Kane is the story of a man's failed intent to make the world better because of the corruption wealth brought him.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". As Kane becomes more wealthy and more corrupted by his wealth, his long time friend Leeland returns the document and we see that Kane understands that he is no longer the same man he was 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 for him. 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 Kane's 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 set at a time in American History where the world is changing and money is at the center of that world. 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 objective, which is replaced by his obsession to be in control and make all the decisions, a power he finds through wealth. It is because of this obsession that his idealistic world is corrupted.Furthermore, the film revolves around a newspaper. A newspaper reaches everyone and during this time...

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