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Week 1 Assignment

Citizen Kane is viewed as an extremely significant and poignant film for its time. It is understood that it depicts the typical “rags-to-riches American Dream,� however a number of disturbing events take place, as well. One main disturbance is that Charles Foster Kane’s parents were so poor that they essentially sold their child to Mr. Thatcher for an incredible price of $50,000 per year. It seemed that Charles’ mother made this decision to better her son’s future – both financially and to distance him from his abusive father. In the brief encounter that was seen between Charles and his parents, it was quite obvious that he was very loved and that his parents were making choices about Charles’ future that were what they thought to be in his best interest. Growing up poor, his parents had a first-hand experience of the difficulties that are accompanied by an inability to get ahead economically in a money-driven society. In their eyes, they were making the ultimate sacrifice, losing a son, in an effort to give him the opportunity to excel economically and to save him from the difficulties of living poor. Their gravest mistake, however, was not allowing their child to choose his fate for himself. Had they have known how Charles truly felt, they would have understood that love meant more to him than money ever would. The only real love Charles had ever experienced in his life was that of his parents’, who were more concerned with his future than with his heart. Although this movie depicts the rags-to-riches American dream, in which once a person becomes rich and powerful, they will live a happy, blissful life full of material things, this could not have been further from the truth for Charles. I believe that this film is very eye-opening and possibly even controversial for its time because it is questioning the “everyone wants fame and fortune� ideal of the American dream. In the case of Charles Kane, it seems as though being loved and loving in return is a much greater fortune than any amount of money. Citizen Kane shows us that it really does not matter how much money one has because true love and happiness is not a commodity that can be bought.
-HF