Study Guide

Citizen Kane Scene 17

Scene 17

Scene 17

  • Back at Susan Alexander's club, it looks like Thompson has gotten her to talk. She almost wishes she had never sung for Charles Kane the first time she met him.
  • Susan says that she was never interested in having her own opera house. Everything was always Charles' idea.
  • We flash back to Susan's life with Charles. Charles waits in the doorway, while Susan's voice coach aggressively coaches her through her singing.
  • When she's finished, the instructor says Susan will never be a good singer.
  • But Kane tells him to shut up and keep instructing her. The man is worried he'll be the laughingstock of the musical world if he keeps trying to coach Susan—a lost cause in his mind.
  • Then we flash right back to the opera scene we saw Susan Alexander in earlier in the movie (remember when the stagehand held his nose?).
  • Out in the audience, Charles Kane watches Susan sing. Somewhere else in the audience, we see Leland preparing to write his scathing review.
  • Later on, we see the people in the audience bored out of their minds. But Charles is still fixed on his new wife, even as he hears people nearby laugh at how horrible she is.
  • When it's all over, people clap politely. Kane claps extra hard and stands up even as other people let their applause die off.