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Film & Society

The producer of the biography of Kane's life recognizes the fact that a human being is not necessarily the sum of his activities and property, while asking his reporters the real meaning of Charles Foster Kane. In an effort to find the real Charles Foster Kane - a composite of a number of historical personalities such as the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst; the aerospace and movie mogul Howard Hughes; and the Chicago utilities magnate Samuel Insull - the film helps the viewer discover that there is something deeper that drives the life and achievements of a person. This depth of insight may be called the meaning of life, the interpretation of life, or an individual's motivating force to do what he does and to live the way he lives.
Charles Foster Kane died following a successful business life with the word "Rosebud" on his lips. This word apparently had nothing to do whatsoever with the kind of persona possessed by Kane. Was it the name he had decided on for a new business venture, given that wealth and power were Kane's predominant interests as revealed by his biography In any case, Kane's story unfolds in a series of flashbacks, each one providing insight into an attribute of Kane previously hidden from the viewer. The life story of Kane is told by a succession of people that were connected with him. Each of these people saw a separate side of the man, and none of them could see him whole. Thus, all people in relation to Kane saw him differently, and each one's viewpoint was imbued with prejudices, making the recollections rather vague and unreliable. The man himself never gets to tell his own story. How close would his story be to the reminiscences of his associates We cannot tell, and all that we are left with is our own interpretation. If money is our preoccupation, perhaps we will define Kane's life as a money-making enterprise, just as a person dealing with aggression in the home is most likely to view the Thematic Apperception cards with an eye for violence.

Kane's life had changed irrevocably from a materialistic standpoint. He was a rich man who knew how to remain prosperous through his business undertakings. Yet, viewers of the film have noticed that riches did not necessarily bring unconditional happiness in the man's life. Rather, he seemed to have felt vulnerable and alone, and on his deathbed he remembered the simple snow globe and the Rosebud, which was the sled he used in his youth. Kane appears to feel nostalgic about his childhood as death knocks at his door. Was he trying to recall certain values that he had failed to live by due to his ever increasing occupation with the guarding of wealth Once again, the interpretation depends on the viewer. It will be not considered wrong to assert here that Kane was remembering his childhood and the Rosebud at the end of his life because death marks a return to a state of being we were closer to at the time we were children. Would it also be correct to state that the meaning of life is really to remember that state of being and live as intimately attached to it as possible, so that death takes us to a world that feels better than this one and we are not taken by surprise right at the end of this life term Literature on near death experience has often mentioned the dark tunnel experience, whereby a person ...Show more

Summary

This paper discusses three films, Citizen Kane, It's A Wonderful Life, and Wall Street to describe the economic problems that capitalism presents to the American economy. Moreover, it defines the meaning of life as understood by capitalists. It is found that self-interest as opposed to the communal spirit is the ruling force in the life of a capitalist.
Author : darionlangosh
Film & Society essay example
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