In Alfonso Cuaron's 1995 film A Little Princess, there is a scene in which Ms. Minchin is breaking out to Sarah of her father's death. During the time Minchin was speaking, Sarah was staring at a black balloon floating at the doorway, and pops right as Minchin interrupts.

So what's with this black balloon? Was it symbolic? If so, what does it symbolize?


The balloon popping is the literal depiction of "bursting your bubble":

To disabuse someone of a false notion or rationalization that has grown comfortable.

Sarah's party isn't even completed when Minchin tells her that her father is dead. So Sarah goes from the comfertable notion that her father is alive and well, with her being safe, liked, and taken care of in the school, to suddenly now being alone and penniless in the world.

Here is a clip of the actual scene:

  • This makes sense, especially with the movie's theme of "make-believe" fantasies as a tool for obscuring a darker reality. Thanks a lot, matey. Tips hat and a +15 for you. – Rapid Readers Jul 29 '17 at 19:04

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