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Citizen Kane Essay Research Paper Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane Essay, Research Paper Citizen Kane: Hearst or Welles ?Any man who has the brains to think and the nerve to act for the benefit of the people of the country a

Citizen Kane Essay, Research Paper

Citizen Kane: Hearst or Welles

?Any man who has the brains to think and the nerve to

act for the benefit of the people of the country a

radical by those who are content with stagnation and

willing to endure disaster.?(48 Williams) This quote

applies to two men, who in their lives were enemies, but

were more alike than either thought possible. Two men

whose names are recognizable even today, years after

both of their deaths. Two kings of the trade who used

different methods in trying to exploit the other.

William Randolph Hearst and Orson Welles were both

powerful men in history in their own right. One was a

pioneer of journalism, while the other revolutionized

the movie industry. The film Citizen Kane, one of Orson

Welles? and the film industries greatest

accomplishments, could be said was a film that used the

main character to exploit the personality of Hearst,

which can easily be pointed out, but it was also a film

depicting the personality of Orson Welles, as well. ?It

is hard to see one?s self as to look backwards without

turning around.?(57 Williams)

William Randolph Hearst was born on April 29, 1863.

His father was a multi-millionaire miner named George

Hearst. His mother, Phoebe Hearst, was a school teacher

from Missouri. George Hearst became a multi-millionaire

by traveling through the West and becoming partners in

three of the largest mining discoveries in American

history.

As a repayment of a gambling debt, George Hearst, in

1880, accepted a small newspaper. During the

mid-1800?s, William Randolph Hearst, now a student at

Harvard University, wrote to his father demanding to

take over the newspaper. His father, on the other hand,

preferred William to manage his mining industries, but

William overlooked his fathers wishes and took over the

San Francisco Examiner in 1887. William Hearst showed a

lot of adaptability and was determined to make the

Examiner popular and a big selling newspaper. Hearst

used his wealth to create a very powerful newspaper. He

hired the best writers and acquired the best equipment

possible at the time. He went on to publish and expose

corruption and stories filled with drama and

inspiration, or sensationalism.

In the late 1800?s, Hearst ended up into a

head-to-head circulation war with his former mentor

Joseph Pulitzer, owner of the New York World. To

increase their popularity, they both started to include

about the Cuban insurrection. Many stories in both

newspapers greatly exaggerated their claims to make

their stories even more sensational, such as stories

publishing the images of Spanish troops placing Cubans

into concentration camps where they suffered and died

from disease or hunger. Hearst beat out Pulitzer in the

circulation race, when he published a story of how the

Cubans sunk the U.S.S. Maine. This was only days after

Hearst was quoted saying that if you want war, you will

get one. This kind of publicity for the American

entrance into war, caused Congress to declare war on

Spain. This showed the world the power that one man

had.

Years went by, and Hearst met and soon married a want

to be star named Marion Davies. Marion Davies would

have never been known if she was never married to

Hearst. With his money, he tried to make her a star,

but the talent just was not there.

Orson Welles was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on May

6, 1915. His father was a well-to-do inventor, his

mother a beautiful concert pianist. He was gifted in

many arts, such as playing the piano, doing magic, and

painting, as a child. Soon, however, two hardships hit

young Orson. His mother died, when he was only eight

years old. He ended up having to travel with his

father, but it did not last long forever. His father

died only four years later. He became the ward of

Chicago?s Dr. Maurice Bernstein.

In 1931, he graduated from Todd School in Woodstock,

Illinois. Several years later, recommendations from a

couple of significant people, gave Orson an admittance

into Katherine Cornell?s Road Company, with which he

made his New York debut as Tybalt, from Shakespeare?s

Romeo and Juliet, in 1934. That same year, he married

and appeared on radio for the first time.

In radio, Welles became famous for his ?War of the

Worlds?, where he created paranoia by making people

believe that there were aliens that were attacking the

Earth. Radio also helped him in movies. In radio,

Welles had developed a special technique using a variety

of voices, each saying a sentence or sometimes merely a

fragment of a sentence. This he carried over into film,

photographing the various speakers in close-up against a

blank background. Put together in quick succession, the

shots gave impression of a whole town talking.

Welles also pioneered the extremely efficient

technique of positioning the camera at a particular

angle to the character so that the character can appear

to be important or weak. By placing the camera below

the person, he would seem taller and more threatening.

If the camera was placed above the person, it would make

the character seem small and weak. He also created,

which was shown in the movie Citizen Kane, that shows a

character talking engulfed in shadows, instead of the

spotlight. These were just some of the techniques, that

Welles created, that helped to revolutionize the film

industry.

The film had great writing, great directing, and had

especially great actors. The actors were all extremely

talented and worthy of the stage, yet most impressive

was the fact that most of them, including Welles, had

never set foot on a movie set before. They had the

voices that America had been listening to for years from

the Mercury Theater, which Welles became founder of in

1937, but whose faces were never seen before. This

great movies is Citizen Kane. A movie that was used to

exploit the personality of a journalism giant, or the

mind of a genius.

Citizen Kane was Welles? greatest achievement and a

landmark of cinema history. ?The narrative charts the

rise to power of a newspaper publisher whose wealth and

power ultimately leave him alone in his castle-like

refuge, Xanadu. Every aspect of the production marked

an advance in film language: the deep focus, deeply

shadowed cinematography; the discontinuous narrative;

the innovative use of sound and score; the ensemble

acting forged in the fires of Welles? Mercury Theater,

made this movie great.?(19 Murray)

Citizen Kane is, what some would consider, the

greatest film ever made. It is about Charles Foster

Kane, a wealthy and powerful man who owns the Inquirer.

It tells the life of Kane from his childhood to his

death. The movie starts with the death of Kane, and

with a group of people who want to know what Kane meant

with his dying words, ROSEBUD. While they are looking

for the answer, they come across several friends of Kane

and former wives, and the audience is told the story of

Kane?s life through these people.

?Citizen Kane is a brutal portrait of newspaper

magnate William Randolph Hearst.?(19 Murray) There are

many things in common with Charles Foster Kane, who is

played by Orson Welles, himself, and the media Mongol,

William Randolph Hearst. Both, for example, were born

into wealth. Hearst?s father was a millionaire because

of his mining industries and Kane was given, as a child,

to a wealthy banker. Their education was also similar,

in that both attended the distinguished Harvard

University, even though Kane was also in many a student

at many other distinguished universities, having been

expelled from many of them. Many similarities come when

these two are adults as well.

?This above all: to thine own self be true. And it

must follow as the night the day, thou canst not be

false to any man.?(40 Williams) This is one thing that

both Hearst and Kane did not do. They put on a show for

people, never showing who they really were. Hearst did

it by wanting to destroy the movie, Citizen Kane, not

wanting anyone to know that he was like the main

character. Kane showed it by always telling people his

truth, making them think that he was an ?honest man,? as

his friend Leland said. Even their negative qualities

were similar.

Hearst was married and then cheated on his wife for a

younger woman who had dreams of becoming a star, Marion

Davies. Kane was married and cheated on his wife with a

younger woman who also had the dream of becoming a star,

Susan. Both gave up doing what their guardians told

them to become to become publishers of newspapers. The

two men bought the best writers in the world and used

sensationalism to sell their newspapers and to enlarge

their circulation. Finally, the last thing these two

men had in common was that they named their children

after themselves. Hearst?s son and Kane?s son were both

juniors.

Another person that Kane can be used to represent is

the man who played Kane, Orson Welles. ?People only see

what they are prepared to see.?(59 Williams) The

people, at the time when Citizen Kane first came out,

only thought that the main character, Charles Foster

Kane, was a portrayal of William Hearst. Kane, however,

is also a representative of Orson Welles. There are

many similarities between the two, but the movie must be

closely watched to notice them.

One of the many similarities between Kane and Welles

is that both lost their parents. Kane lost his

parents because they gave him to the wealthy banker

and Welles lost both of his parents because of their

deaths. Kane and Welles were both very cocky and

headstrong. They both believed that they were able to

make people do think the same way that they do. Kane

had his newspaper which he used to try to get votes

when he ran, he used it to boosts Susan?s career, and

he used it to create wars and make news happen.

Welles had his radio and movies. He used radio to

cause chaos when he broadcasted his ?War of the

Worlds?, he used Citizen Kane to exploit the

personality of William Randolph Hearst, and he used

his techniques with the camera to make people think

who were the weak and who were the strong in his

movies.

Finally, the last thing that were similar between

these two characters were that they lost their

childhood and missed it more than anything else.

Kane?s last words, ROSEBUD, was the name of his sled

when he was a child, showing the audience that, though

he was rich and was powerful as an adult, the fact

that he lost his parents was still with him. Welles

lost his childhood as soon as his mother died. After

that, all he did was travel with his father, and then

his father died. Welles shows people that he misses

his childhood because he tries to have as much fun

with what he is doing. This is seen with the radio

broadcast, ?War of the Worlds.?

Who does Charles Foster Kane represent? Is it

William Randolph Hearst or is it Orson Welles? The

answer seems to be that he represents both men. At

first, it seems that Kane is a portrayal of Hearst,

which in fact he is, that is what Orson wanted Kane to

be. Kane, however, has many traits that Welles has as

well. This shows us that two men, who in their lives

were enemies, but were more alike than either thought

possible, came to create one of the greatest movies

ever, with a very strong central character who has

qualities that both possess.

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