Who is Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) and what where the defining moments of his life? These are the questions that lead Thompson (William Alland) and the viewer on a captivating goose chase through the memories of Kane’s closest associates. Like the many possible meanings contained within the word kane, such as the Irish interpretation “little battler”, the Japanese translation of “money” and “gold”, the Welsh’s interpretation of “beautiful”, and the Hawaiian’s definition as “man”, friends and family each had there own interpretations of Charles Foster Kane. Collectively, these views show Kane as a character that was thrown into a position of power and money, and that underneath the façade of glamour and monetary possessions, he was a lonely and complex individual deprived of a normal childhood experience.
The down hill relationship between Kane and his best friend Jedediah (Joseph Cotton) parallels the deterioration in the principles and growing self-delusion of Kane. Both men enter the newspaper business as friends and equals and both have the grand idea that they are going to infuse their idealistic principles of equality to become the voice for the American working class. Kane writes down these ideas on a sheet of paper and calls it the “Declaration of Principles”, and he hands the paper to Jedediah for safe keeping. This act symbolizes the climax of their relationship, and also a period where each character’s ideals are both aligned.
As the movie progresses, Kane transforms into a character that is larger than life with an attitude that is obsessed with self-promotion. As a result, there is a change in how he approaches the newspaper business. Kane is no longer concerned so much with the welfare of the people as much as he is in making them see the world how he wants. Jedediah, although at a sacrifice of his own image and emotional well being, has stuck to his principles in attempting to portray the news as fairly as he can. Jedediah...
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