The only thing Charles Kane wants out of life is love. The problem is that he has no clue how to go about getting it.
He spends his whole life—and all of Citizen Kane—trying to use his money to make people like him, and when that doesn't work he just throws more and more money around.
But it isn't all Charles' fault. After all, what do you expect from a boy who was raised by a bank instead of his parents? Instead of love, money governed his young years, so it's natural that he thinks money should control all his relationships with people. Sadly, this is the core belief that ends up ruining his life.
Questions About Love
Who is the first person that tells Charles that he tries to "buy" people's love? How does Charles react?
Do you agree with Kane when he says that people can only love on their own selfish terms and that there's no such thing as true two-way partnership? Why or why not?
How do you think Charles would have turned out if he'd grown up with his parents instead of Mr. Thatcher at the bank? Why?
Chew on This
Citizen Kane shows us that money can never possibly compensate for the loss of a mother's love.
Citizen Kane demonstrates how growing up with money will warp a child's experience of love and make them think that money can bring them other people's love.