Today I'll be looking at some correlations between the BTS MVs and short films, and Lewis Carroll's novel:
'Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There'.
The novel is a sequel to Alice in Wonderland written in 1871.
The novel starts with Alice sitting in an armchair and playing with Kitty, a black cat. Alice pretends that Kitty talks back to her and that Kitty is in fact the Red Queen in a game of chess. Kitty, however, doesn't play along and Alice lifts the cat and threatens to put it into the "looking-glass house"; the place at the other side of the mirror that hangs above the fireplace.
At this point things begin to get interesting.
Alice wonders if there is a way to step through the mirror and into the looking-glass house.
All of a sudden she is on the mantelpiece above the fireplace, right in front of the mirror. She touches it and finds that she can pass through the mirror. In Lewis Carroll's novel, the mirror is a portal to another world. A world that is familiar and yet very different.
Let's take a short moment to consider this.
In Blood, Sweat and Tears Jin approaches a mirror after he has kissed the statue. He seems drawn to this mirror. It's almost as if he has realised something.
He takes note of the flowers by the mirror. The flowers in the reflection are a different kind. The flowers are a signal that there is another world inside the mirror, inside the looking glass.
Something that he already felt during his short film.
In Jin's short film, he pulls the curtains away in his room and finds a mirror instead of a window. He touches this mirror and creates ripples. The mirror is like water.
Before Jin saw the mirror, he already felt the ripples as his world became distorted as if blurred by the ripples.
These ripples are all over Jin's house and he becomes increasingly aware of their meaning. At the end of the short film the ripples are shown to us, lain out as Polaroid photos on the floor of Jin's room after he has left.
They are ripples from the world inside the mirror, from the world in which Rap Monster, V, Jimin, Suga, Jungkook and J-Hope. Signs that show up in each of their MVs are all collected around Jin's home.
They all belong to him. They're all facets of him.
This brings me to another passage in Lewis Carroll's 'Through the Looking Glass'.
But first let me catch you up on what happens in the story... When Alice passes through the looking glass, she sees a world that is much similar to her own and yet very different and strange. There are living chess pieces for one!
Alice goes into a flower garden where the flowers talk and think that Alice is merely a walking and talking flower.
Then Alice meets the Red Queen from the chess game. There is in fact a giant chess game going on in this world and Alice joins the game as a white pawn, set on making it to the other end of the field to become a queen.
Alice begins to make her way across the chess board. Here she meets Tweedledee and Tweedledum. They bring her attention to the Red King who loudly snores, deep in a dream.
Tweedledee tells Alice that she is not real. She exists only in the Red King's dreams and as soon as he wakes, she will vanish and cease to exist.
The thought makes Alice cry Tweedledum and Tweedledee try to comfort her and tell her that her tears are not real. Alice decides that like everyone in the Looking Glass world, Tweedledum and Tweedledee are talking nonsense.
In fact, everything in the Looking Glass world is inverted, just like in a mirror. If Alice wants to go forward then she needs to backwards and everyone says the opposite of what's true. So quite possibly Tweedledee's words also mean the opposite and that Alice is actually the only one who is real in this world.
I believe that the same is true for Jin. He is in the Looking Glass world when he is with the other members but in his room, at the other side of the mirror, the elements that belong to the characters he meets in the Looking Glass world all belong to him and come from him. It's his imagination that creates them, just like Alice's imagination creates all of the characters in her story.
At the end of the novel, Alice wakes up. She is sitting in the same armchair as at the beginning of the novel with the black cat Kitty in her lap, who had transformed to the Red Queen in Alice's dream.
At the very end, after she wakes up, Alice wonders if it was her dream or that of the Red King.
Who is truly alive and who conjures everyone else into these dreams, or mirror realities?
Personally I am of the belief that Jin is real and alive and that everyone else spring from his memory and mind.
They come from Jin's psyche, are parts of his conscious, but they don't exist unless Jin dreams them up. Unless he watches over them and dreams up their stories.
Jin is almost always depicted in a room with a bed.
In I Need U (both Korean and the Japanese) and in his short film too he seems the view his world in a distorted fashion as he lies on his bed.
In the Wings Trailer Jin is standing up looking down.
Everyone else lies down, but Jin is standing watching down, almost as if he is watching over the others.
What he looks at is his own reflection in mirror-like water.
Could he in reality be looking into his own mind and down at the other members who spring from his imagination?
To end this theory on a fun note I'll share a short snippet from 'Through the Looking Glass' that makes me laugh a lot, as an ARMY.
It's at a point in the story when the White Queen wants to hire Alice and pay her two pence a week and jam every other day. Alice says that she can't, and, anyways, she doesn't want any jam today.
'You couldn't have it if you did want it,' the Queen said. 'The rule is jam tomorrow and jam yesterday - but never jam today.'
'It must come sometimes, to jam today,' Alice objected.
'No it can't,' said the Queen. 'It's jam every other day: today isn't every other day, you know.'
Sorry, Jimin, no jam not today, only yesterday and tomorrow.