Not A Gentleman

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Welles, Citizen Kane
EL237--Writing About Literature

Remember the scene when Kane is being shaked down by Getty's for the governor's race. When Kane is telling Susan not to worry about this "gentleman". Getty's response is priceless:

Gentleman? I don't know what a gentleman is?

The fact is the selfishness on Kane is also very ungentlemanlike, but the problem is that he will not identify that there is a problem in the first place. By Kane wanting the world to love him and everything that he does, he is detached from the rest of the planet. In essence, he is already building Xanadu before he had started by isolating himself from reality. William Randolph Hearst (whom the movie is based on) at that time was looked at as detacted from the rest of the population. I watched a documentary about the clash between Hearst and Welles over Citizen Kane. Hearst at that time was known to be the megolomanic monster that Kane has become over time. We can see Kane as a huge comparison to the media/news mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose business seems to be on the matter of power and opinion than fact. Money seems to blind him from the truth that the people around him showed. He was willing to have his son's name dragged through the mud in order to prove that he could be governor.

Do you think that it was hard for Kane to change his ways because of the position that he was in?

2 Comments

I think that Daniella's blog entry explains it well. She mentioned about how Kane didn't really know true love. He grew up believing that money was everything. As such, he was corrupted. I think that it was difficult for him to change his ways once he started down this track. In order to change, he would have to realize that there was a problem. Without this realization, he couldn't change.

It is hard to change your ways. Kane hah spent so long in that lavish lifestyle of his that he could not understand people who lived any way else. he detached himself from the public on purpose, distancing himself from people so that he could not get hurt again. That incident with Rosebud and his parents scarred Kane for life.