Carlson, Jerry. "Citizen Kane." PMLA Vol. 91, No. 5 (Oct, 1976): 918-20.
In his piece titled Citizen Kane, Jerry Carlson provides support for the ideas of Robert Carringer, and adds an additional level of meaning to his interpretation of ‘Rosebud.’ He begins the piece establishing support for the idea that ‘Rosebud’ is a MacGuffin, used to forward Thompsons investigation of the life of Charles Foster Kane. He adds to this by claiming also that the destruction of ‘Rosebud’ the sled acts as a device to provide closure for the audience. Because the audience knows that ‘Rosebud’ is indeed a MacGuffin, they can take satisfaction from that fact that it is destroyed before it can be used to try and explain Kane as a man. He states, “the significance of Rosebud is not as a symbol or ‘symbolic imagery,’but as a rhetorical ploy to provide a sense of closure for a narrative generated upon epistemological concepts of incompleteness.” The destruction of ‘Rosebud’ makes it okay that the film leaves open the question that Carrington describes, as to whether or not Kane can actually be understood.
This article not only provides direct support for my thesis and the ideas suggested by Robert Carrington, but it also demonstrates that other aspects of the film makes sense in relation to this proposed thesis. Because the ending of the movie and the destruction of the sled follow seamlessly from the idea of the use of ‘Rosebud’ as a MacGuffin, this argument is strengthened.