Citizen Kane - "Every text has a use by date"

Essay by i.omar.auHigh School, 12th gradeA, June 2007

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"I am one thing and will always be, an American." Many of the ideas manifested through the film "Citizen Kane" by Orson Welles still have some significance in today's society. The fact that every text has a use by date does not apply with this film. The language used in the film by Kane and his enigmatic life has been studied by many people and will still be studied for many years to come. Some of the theories that have been put into play in this film contain some relevance today suggesting the film's everlasting value. Innovative techniques used to achieve specific effects in the film are still being used to achieve the same purpose today. That is, the morals portrayed in the film still have worth. The uses of themes, techniques and theories overlap in the film to keep the audience aware and to allow this text to maintain textual integrity.

Orson Welles utilises flashbacks and interviews to achieve the narrative structure of the film. The responders backtrack to the days of Kane's childhood to discover why Charles is his selfish and narcissistic self. The non-chronological sequence of this film is analysed by critics as a symbol of Kane's enigmatic life. Our image of Kane builds up slowly as the responder is given more and more information through the eyes of characters involved in Kane's life. Each of these interviews provides one piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is Kane. In the film Kane's second wife Susan is in a scene where she is putting together a puzzle yet she finds difficulty in doing so as some of the pieces are missing. This is symbolic of Kane's unfathomable life. Its complex and pessimistic theme of a spiritually-failed man is told from the several perspectives of different characters which provide...