Study Guide

Citizen Kane Statues

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Many millionaires spend a lot of their money on investments and other stuff that will make them even more money, but not our boy Charles Foster Kane.

Instead, he buys up a bunch of artifacts and precious objects that will never go up in value. In fact, he loses a huge part of his fortune just buying statues, a little addiction he picked up on his first trip to Europe. As Bernstein shouts at one point,

BERNSTEIN: Hey, Mr. Leland! It's a good thing he promised not to send back any more statues.

It sounds like the guys back in America are running out of space to put all the statues.

As with almost any obsession, Kane's statue collecting tells us quite a bit about him. For example, Bernstein helps tip us off when he says that Kane,"[isn't] only collecting statues." In fact, statues represent exactly what Kane wants all the people in the world to be— objects that he can look at and that will do whatever he wants them to.

So in the end, Kane's statue-collecting symbolizes his desire to control the people around him and make them love him. Susan Alexander makes this connection directly when she says,

SUSAN: What's the difference between giving me a bracelet or giving somebody else a hundred thousand dollars for a statue you're gonna keep crated up and you'll never even look at.

In her mind, Kane is interested in collecting people around himself just like his statues. He doesn't actually care about them at all—he just wants control.

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