Visual Symbols In La Misma Luna

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"Symbols are profound expressions of human nature. They have occurred in all cultures at all times, and from their first appearance in Paleolithic cave paintings they have accompanied the development of civilization. However, symbols are more than just cultural artifacts: in their correct context, they still speak powerfully to us, simultaneously addressing our intellect, emotions and spirit. Their study is the study of humanity itself." (Fontana 32). Throughout history human beings have used visual symbols as a meaning of communication, and help individuals cope with change. A visual symbol stands for something, and is connected to something through some form of relation (visual similarity, history, etc). Often visual symbols depicts a real…show more content…
The back story is that Rosario Reyes, has a young son, Carlitos, and is left to provide for Carlitos by herself since her husband left her. She makes the difficult decision to leave her son with her elderly mother, Benita, while she seeks work in the United States. Rosario’s vivid descriptions of where she lives or the “same moon” connects them when they look out the window at night from their distant locations. These visuals elements unite them so much that both characters can envision their presence, “This element gives Carlitos the idea that he can find his mother: he feels like he has already been there” (Drake 85-98). Rosario’s ability to describe and Carlito’s ability to visualize reflect a bond so strong despite time and distance that they can still “see the world through each other’s eyes”. “The same moon”, referenced in the title, refers to a phrase Rosario tells Carlitos to bring them closer together in spite of the great distance between them. Even when someone is miles away, Carlitos can always remember that his mother and himself are under the same sky, looking at the same sun, moon, and stars. This phrase and visual symbol is an emblem of their bond of love. The moon becomes directly incorporated into a scene midway through the film once Carlos has already crossed the border into the United States and has made it Arizona with his stubborn travel companion, fellow illegal…show more content…
After hitching a ride, they both manage to get work at a restaurant by working in the kitchen outside of Tucson. After their first day on the job, Carlos lies in bed in the dark thinking about his mother while he looks at the full moon outside the window. Carlitos turns to Enrique in the other bed, and explains to him how his mother told him that whenever he misses her, he should just look at the moon and it will be that same one she is seeing, that way he can feel closer to her and not feel so sad. As he tells Enrique about the visual symbol of the moon, the camera cuts back and forth between Carlito and the iridescent moon through the window. “The moon of the film’s title is used several times in evening scenes to dramatize the bond between mother and son, even though it emphasizes their separation” (Doherty 19). The moon is a feminine symbol, universally representing the rhythm of time as it embodies the cycle. “The phases of the moon symbolize immortality and eternity, enlightenment or the dark side of Nature herself. It might reflect inner knowledge, or the phases of man's condition on earth, since it controls the tides, the rains, the waters, and the seasons” (Moon). The moon illustrates the median of light from the day and dark from the night, representing the realm between the conscious and the unconscious while Carlitos is falling asleep

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