Citizen Kane is undoubtedly one of the best screenplays of all time. Orson Welles’ cautionary tale is as socially relevant today, as it was back in 1941.
The main character possessed the superficial things that many misguided souls in modern society deem utopia prerequisites. A story rich with many of the necessary evils: media, politics, greed, money, and power- a film that subliminally whispers ‘school is now session’ by way of intellectual atonement.
“Mr. Kane was a man who got everything he wanted, and then lost it. Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn’t get, or something he lost.”
Conversely, it WOULD be much easier for the audience to believe that Kane’s last utterance was a Hollywood-esque’ homage to a secret love; instead, pioneer Welles forgoes the cliched crescendo and sends the audience on a soul searching mission-through a dying declaration of one, philosophically profound word: Rosebud.
Kane’s last utterance was perhaps an allusion to the only time in Kane’s wretched life, that he experienced true happiness. In his dying moments, Kane did not lament, nor recall his wealth or power (or even his demise), but a time of great happiness.
A dying declaration is thought to be sacred, based on Latin theory Emo moriturus praesumitur mentiri, simply put- a dying person is not presumed to lie. Kane’s utterance is a symbolic warning. A simple truth. It wasn’t the childhood sled (Rosebud) that Kane missed the most. Rosebud was symbolic of simpler times when his life was not dominated by blind ambition.
Sometimes, in the quest for validation, it’s possible to lose sight of who we are, and what really makes us happy. Perhaps, what we THINK will bring us happiness will instead (when achieved or attained), leave us empty and alone.
What makes you happy? Does it truly make you happy? Or, have you been conditioned to believe that it will make you happy?
Live passionately; do what you love-love what you do, love who you will, and share that love with the world.
Don’t take Rosebud for granted.
Note: Every now and then a reprieve is in order (if only to remind me that I’m still human). Therefore,a temporary intellectual escape was required (today), it lasted 3 hours. At times I retreat to the comforts of music, prose, poetry, and my wonderful DVD library. Today, I watched Citizen Kane (again). It inspired me to write this piece. I’m now ready to begin anew. Fighting for what I believe in, fighting for those who can’t (or won’t) fight for themselves, and doing what I can to make this world a better place. Join me. – Annie
One thought on “Dying Declaration”
Ah, Rosebud. The proverbial dying declaration. This is a great piece. I rather enjoyed your departure from politics. Although, Kane is wrought with politics of its own. You get the point. You really should hang up the activist hat for a while and write full time. The passion is evident. Great read.