Several motifs are used by Levinson in the film.
|In Rain Man, the road is a foundational motiff. The road is a classic symbol for journeys and conveys to the audience. The road portrays a physical journey as it reminds the audience of travelling from one place to the next; the key to any physical journey (in Rain Man's case travelling from Cincinnati to Los Angeles). Although the road is symbolic of a physical journey it connotates all types of journeys. Charlie's journey of discovery is also displayed through the highway as Charlie never knows what he might find around the next bend of the road.|
The car in the movie, is originally owned by the brothers father, is a symbol of trust.
The 3 Million Dollars
Throughout the Journey Charlie's Motif of Just gaining his share of his fathers inheritance changes for the better. At first, the money is Charlie's only objective, but as he spends more time with Raymond, he begins to understand him and they form a friendship to some extent. At the end Charlie's motif has changed from the inheritance to gaining custody of Raymond as well as being the permanent carer.