Citizen Kane Charles Foster Kane

Citizen Kane: Charles Foster Kane – Who Was He? Essay, Research Paper

Citizen Kane: Charles Foster Kane – Who Was He?

The story of Citizen Kane drew many people to the theatres since they

wanted to find out who this Kane fellow is or was. It is unarguably one of the

best films ever produced. Orson Wells portrays Kane as mysterious person but

also a sad person. The different accounts are shown throughout the movie through

the reporter wanting to find out who or what Rosebud is. Rosebud was Kane’s

last dying words.

The first person the reporter Jerry Thompson sees is the owner of Walter

Parks Thatcher’s estate and holdings. Thatcher is long dead and who? visits his

library and is allowed to inspect the financier’s memoirs in manuscript. Through

Thatcher’s words we see Kane as a boy playing with his sled on a snow-swept

Colorado farm. Through his mother, the boy has just inherited a great fortune.

Unable to settle his bill, a prospector who boarded with the Kanes left behind

stock certificates that make Mrs. Kane the sole owner of one of the world’s

great silver mines. She then makes her son the ward of the bank that administers

her estate, and Thatcher, whom the angry young Kane bashes with a sled, takes

the boy East to be raised. The movie then shows Kane growing up, making life

miserable for Thatcher. The mature Kane decides to take direct control of a

small, struggling newspaper, and immediately begins using it to attack Thatcher

and others among America’s financial elite. This displays the mystery with Kane

as he wants to expand on something small into something big, but we don’t know


The next account was given by Bernstein, Kane’s devoted assistant. He

explains the beginnings as a newspaper czar and his takeover of the New York

Enquirer, in which he fired its editor, hired an expensive, top-notch staff, and

enlisted his college friend Jedediah Leland as the drama critic. Kane is at

first a crusader for the understanding, opening his first editorial with a

“declaration of principles.” He becomes a champion of the little person, hyping

his circulation with juicy scandals, crime exposes, etc. In a surprise move Kane

marries Emily Norton, the president’s niece. For the first time here we see

Kane starting a love story. However this wasn’t to last and it paved the way

for the second-love.

The reporter then visits a half-drunk Susan Alexander in a nightclub.

She recalls her meeting and eventual affair with the married Kane and their

discovery by Leland, who is led to their love nest by Kane’s political rival,

“Big Jim” Gettys. Until that point, Kane is heavily favored to defeat Gettys in

an upcoming senatorial election, but Gettys warns that unless the publisher

withdraws from the race, he’ll take the story to the media. Furious, Kane

refuses, and the following day his political aspirations are dashed by newspaper

accounts. He does not have to deal with an ugly divorce, however, since his wife

and son are killed in an auto accident. It seems that the love story began to

intensify at this point since his first wife was now dead and he begins a new

love with Alexander. However, Kane had to realize that her singing talents were

not the best and despite building Xanadu their lives would become miserable and


At the conclusion, we find out what Rosebud was and how Kane’s last

requests were not fulfilled. He was betrayed by all and no one cared for the

last wish. By the end, we can see Kane as a depressed, unsatisfied man brought

up with power and greed but no love. Overall Citizen Kane was a mysterious man

with ambitions to become famous, a lover to things and people, and a sad man

without satisfaction in life.


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