My reaction to this film was primarily interest. I have heard this films name more times than I can count and I never really got the idea to watch it. I always assumed it was some dystopian future film that I may enjoy. This assumption was based purely on the name though, and was very, very incorrect. The best part in my opinion was Kane’s change as a person. As he became more powerful and more rich, he became more stressed and more bitter. He abandoned the values and principals he started with in exchange for whatever gave him more influence or money. The worst part of the film was the more dramatic stuff. For instance, I didn’t care much for the interactions between him and his wife. I realize they were necessary but it is my opinion that they were just annoying reminders of what not to act like. The ugliest part of this film though was the telling of the story between Kane and his wife. It was such a toxic relationship that was born out of a murdered relationship. That is also another reason I found it to be the worst part, because it was very well shown that this was ugly. The commentary we take away from this film regarding the American dream is that the materialism of the American dream cannot give you the happiness it promises. In other words, money cannot buy you happiness. My personal opinion on this is a little addition to the end of that quote. “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can at least help you be miserable in comfort.” I feel this addition is important because money can buy you comfort, which can be mistaken for happiness. I feel the American dream has changed though, and that it has come to include the idealistic and emotional parts of life that can generate happiness. The American dream today could be accurately described as buying a good house, a good car, and starting a family. The epitome of a simple and happy life. We can see a significant reduction of materialism when compared to the older version which was to move here, start an incredibly successful business, and to get rich. Overall, I would say the film accurately depicts what the American dream used to be, but it does not depict what it has become. The reason Kane can’t be happy is because he thought comfort was happiness. He sought for the comfort of being loved by all and thought it would bring him happiness. He thought becoming a successful man financially would bring him happiness. He mistook comfort for happiness and paid the price, which he couldn’t afford even with his fortune. The impact other had on him was only promoting his mistake. Others did love him and others did make him rich. This only let him bathe in the comfort of love and wealth until he realized his mistake and the rotten structure he has built his success on came crashing down. Overall an incredibly interesting movie with a simple and intriguing message.
The theme of the “love poem” poem seems to be that there is or was a class disparity in society that is leaving members of society feeling inferior to the higher echelons and leaves them conforming to their societal status. The disillusionment poems theme is that there is a standard of conformity in society, and how it ostracizes people. The how town poems theme was that everyone leads a similar life, and you should be the one to break that mold. The love poem develops its theme through a disguise that slowly drips the truth and theme through it until the reader has unknowingly transferred into an actual character and not an idea. The disillusionment poem develops its theme by also disguising itself as a standard creepy poem until it more obviously transfers it into its message about society. The how town poem develops its theme obviously straight off the bat. There is little to no disguising or deceiving as it gets straight to work. The only difficulty this presents is that the theme is spread out among more of the poem and it can seem detached at points. These poems are all fairly obviously connected through the negative messages about society and conformity in general. I feel the disillusionment poem is the most prevalent in our society today for two reasons. The first poem discussing how class disparity in society causes malicious and unwilling conformity, though it is not as prevalent today as it was in the past. As a result, I ruled out the love poem. The how town poem was addressing how everyone leads a similar life, though I also feel this is not as prevalent as counter culture and independence is very popular in modern times. As a result, I ruled out the how town poem. Then I looked at the disillusionment poem and realized that bullying still exists today, and it causes people to feel ostracized for not conforming. This is the exact message of the disillusionment poem so, as a result, I feel it is the most prevalent message/poem in society today. The poem I hate the least is also the disillusionment poem, as it was simple and did not obstruct its message with difficult disguise or confusing imagery. It was also short, so its message wasn’t fragmented as you read the poem. Since it was the simplest and most straightforward, the disillusionment poem was the one I hated the least. Overall I was not a huge fan of the three poems, and I am likely even worse at analyzing them. I do feel the messages they convey (misinterpreted or not) are still relevant in society today.