Citizen Kane Essay

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An inherent tension between stability and change is revealed through characterisation in Welles’ Citizen Kane. To what extent does your interpretation of Citizen Kane align with this view? In your response, make detailed reference to the film. The characterisation of Charles Foster Kane in Welles’ Citizen Kane remains fairly stable and consistent throughout the course of the film. Despite the changes that Kane experiences in his life, he remains inherently stable in his character and traits. As the film progresses, the themes that are represented in Kane’s character such as corruption and power become more extreme however are ever-present throughout the majority of Kane’s life. There are three key moments of change which show us the lead up to the person that Kane is, the stability of Kane’s character traits and the refusal to become something he isn’t. The moment when Kane was taken from his home, taken from a stable family environment to go and live with Thatcher was a key moment of change in Kane’s life which set him up for the person he became with a distorted view of love and an inability to selflessly love another person. The scene in which Kane and Gettys have a confrontation is one that shows a lot about the characterisation of Kane. While the physical stability of Kane is lost is this moment as he is definitely is a position of less power than Gettys, the stability of his character remains. He is still selfish and power hungry which is reflected when he refuses to back down to Gettys and makes the decision to abandon his family before abandoning his own pride. The third key moment of change that really shows the stability of Kane’s character and the refusal to be anything that he isn’t is in the scene where Susan Alexander leaves him. Kane has an inability to see past himself and think about any situation in a selfless manner. Susan’s feelings are

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