Study Guide

Citizen Kane Scene 21

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Scene 21

Scene 21

  • We return to the movie's present, where Mr. Thompson is speaking to Susan in her nightclub. She mentions that she has lost all her money in the Great Depression and pretends she doesn't mind it all that much.
  • Thompson says that even with everything that's happened, he feels sorry for Charles Kane. Susan says that she does too, then notices that it's morning and they've been talking all night.
  • We return to Xanadu in the present, where Thompson is speaking with Kane's butler. The butler tells him he knows all about "rosebud" and he'll tell for a thousand dollars.
  • Thompson promises the money, so the butler goes on about how Mr. Kane used to do a lot of strange things. The butler specifically recalls the day Kane's wife Susan left him.
  • We flash back in time to see Charles throwing a fit and tossing his wife's suitcases against a bedroom wall. He goes on to trash the entire room.
  • The only thing Kane doesn't destroy is a snow globe, which he picks up and takes with him. Before leaving though, he looks down at the thing and whispers, "rosebud." We can tell now that this snow globe is the same one he breaks when he dies in the movie's opening scene.
  • The entire staff of Xanadu is in the hallway. They've heard him whisper "rosebud" and the butler steps forward. Charles just walks out of the room and past all of them in silence, pocketing the snow globe on his way.
  • Back in the present, Mr. Thompson asks the butler if this is all he knows about "rosebud" and the butler says yes. Thompson thinks this info is hardly worth a thousand bucks, so he walks away without giving the butler a cent.

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