Citizen Kane is an American drama film released in 1941. It follows the life of the main character, Charles Foster Kane, and the investigation into “rosebud” – the last word spoken before his death. Kane was a wealthy newspaper tycoon who lived a reserved lifestyle; he had many possessions but isolated himself from the public eye wherever possible towards the end of his life. The director’s portrayal of the films main themes are shown in such a way that a Year 12 group of students would be able to understand, and therefore can easily make links with society and even their own lives. I would highly recommend Citizen Kane for a Year 12 book club.
I will be talking about 2 main points shown in Citizen Kane that I believe are good discussion points for an English class, and which are relevant to our world today. It is an interesting point to note that although the film was released in 1941, many of the ideas can be translated into the present day. First I will talk about the idea of “Loss” in the film, and then I will discuss Materialism and how a group of year 12 students can relate to, and learn from this theme.
Loss is a complex idea in the film, as it is not an immediately obvious theme. Defining what “Loss” is in the film is an interesting thought to discuss. The movie uses flashbacks to tell the story of Charles Kane’s life, this technique is used by the director to show a retrospective view on his life and to emphasise his losses. One of the first flashbacks show him as a child, when he was innocent and happy. In the picture on the screen, what you can see is his Mother handing over custody to Thatcher, who is going to take him to New York to be educated and given a successful life. In the background you can see Kane outside in the snow, he is representing innocence, but the fact that he is framed by the window hints that he is going to become trapped in his new guardianship. This loss continues throughout the film, he loses his wife, his newspaper...
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