Citizen Kane: Viewing Questions
- What social classes can you see in the film? Name them and identify the markers of these classes and the characters who typify these classes.
- The film sort of follows our "Death of Mr. Bolos" activity from the beginning of the year. Name three sources of information the reporter, Jerry Thompson, uses to infer the character of Charles Foster Kane. Evaluate each—its advantages, its flaws.
- How effective is the organization of the movie—this elliptical, looping structure—versus a more straight-forward chronological narrative the director, Orson Welles could have employed?
- Identify five parallels or contrasts between this film and The Great Gatsby, and explain each briefly.
- Kane says, "If I hadn't been very rich, I might have been a really great man." To what extent is this true? To what extent was Kane a great man?
- This film routinely tops lists of the greatest film of all time (AFI, Sight and Sound), and critics have regularly called it a singularly American movie. What makes the movie such an enduring emblem of America?