Conflicts in Citizen Kane

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Conflicts in the film “Citizen Kane”

In the film “Citizen Kane”, Orson Welles’ debut film, many conflicts are perpetrated. I feel one of the most showcased conflicts in this film is Welles’ portrayal of William Randolph Hearst as a man who could never experience true happiness through his use of purchasing all things that he loved in one way or another. Although many things were acquired through non-monetary means throughout his life, money was typically the motivation or the main way he gained his greatest acquisitions. I, too, feel conflicted on this subject because in my opinion, money can buy many things I love and desire, but at the same time, how much can I truly appreciate something gained so easily without regard? I’ll attempt to shed light on why I feel the money vs. happiness conflict within the film is a true paradox.

First of all, money buys everything one needs in this world. That is fact. It buys you food, clothing, water, living essentials and so on. However, in this film you hardly see Charles Foster Kane expend money on any of this. The way he used his wealth would hardly be called necessary by any means, as he would purchase a newspaper company, hobbyist items such as his statue collection and even spending money to build a whole new opera house, which was a direct result of the woman he was seeing’s unhappiness. An example would be having all the money in the world and dying of the most preventable death, like starvation in a first world country. Being so close to anything you want, yet you might as well be a million miles away. As I said before, money can buy basically everything you want and need, but how much would it affect you without a true desire for it, and earning it for yourself?

This particular film uses many effects and symbols that allude to the massive amount of conflicts within it. In the opening scene, you can see the camera slowly pan upwards to show a chain link fence surrounding Kane’s castle, as well as many...
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