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 Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)

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RedEyedGhost

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PostSubject: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:50 am

I have now consolidated all the symbolism information onto one convenient website. Please check it out, since I have stopped updating the posts in this thread. I'm still here to discuss the symbolism, of course.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jun's drawings are very detailed, and she puts a lot of clues into the pictures of things yet to come. I thought I'd compile a few things I've noticed or have been pointed out to me, and y'all can add more stuff!

Prominent Patterns: flowers in general and roses in particular, colors, mysterious floating hands, ribbons & chains, cages, feathers, butterflies, skulls, crowns, chessboards, crosses, pearls, curtains, stars, different-colored rabbits

Examples of Foreshadowing
The color insert of bandaged-eye Break sitting on top a mountain of skulls appeared in the Cheshire arc even though we don't know about his past as an illegal contractor until much later:
Spoiler:
 
We've also seen this picture of Gilbert long ago:
Spoiler:
 
He appears dressed in funeral clothing and sadly cradling a crowned skull. This is probably symbolism of his guilt and pain over not being able to protect his Master 100 years ago. Yet surely the skull is not Jack's, whereas Glen is King of the Baskervilles. And, sure enough, in the 2012 calendar, March is graced with Leo - Glen's reincarnation - wearing a nearly identical crown:
Spoiler:
 
Mysterious Hands
Speaking of crowns, there is a masculine-looking hand reaching for the King on this chessboard:
Spoiler:
 
The crown of the King chess piece looks very similar to the two Glen crowns above. The chessboard theme of alternating color polarity is very prevalent in Pandora Hearts. The floor in Alice's room in Sablier and Alyss' room in the Abyss is also in a chessboard pattern, emphasizing her duality. Given the context of a chess game, it could also be interpreted as standing for two sides in a conflict. If Glen is the black King, then the black chess pieces might represent the Baskervilles and, sure enough, both Gilbert and Vincent are leaning against black chess pieces. Break, on the other hand, is the white Knight, representing both being on the other side of the conflict and alluding to his original illegally-contracted chain (also White Knight). He holds a black chess piece in his hand, possibly representing Gilbert as his pawn.

Or are the chess pieces being played by someone else? Both the hand reaching for the King of the Baskervilles and Break holding a Baskerville piece in his hand helps to illustrate the theme of hands as symbolic of connection, influence, and manipulation. Some of these hands even hold strings, hinting at a a puppeteering role. More on that later.

Oz has a pair of hands hovering behind him here:
Spoiler:
 
Also note the blue roses in the foreground, and the yellow roses in the background. More on that later. Anyway, they seem to be masculine hands, and the left hand has a ring on its index finger. Could they be Jack's hands, symbolic of him having an influence over Oz? Yet we haven't seen Jack wear a ring, have we? Oz is studying the Lacie melody. The Lacie melody and ringed hand appears again here:
Spoiler:
 
This one also has a "dark Jack" with black roses, and Oz with white roses. More on that later. Despite the black & white chessboard theme of apparent conflict, I think that ultimately the black and white polarities in Pandora Hearts are destined for integration. This picture in particular looks like an elaborate Yin (dark/Jack) Yang (light/Oz) symbol with both polarities having a bit of the other and connected by a common flow. Just like Black Rabbit and White Rabbit may be Twins, in apparent opposition, but are also One, and ultimately want the same thing.

Jack here is caressing a feminine hand. Is it Lacie's? Alice's? Alyss'? I think it's Lacie's since the Lacie melody is so dominant in the background - which could be an indication of how much influence she has over all this.

Gilbert has a mysterious hand reaching for him too:
Spoiler:
 
It's a female hand, so could it be symbolic of some influence on Gil by one of the Alices? Vincent did say that "everyone became weird because of Alice," and he specified Gil by name.

Roses & Butterflies
Another thing about the "dark Jack" pic... they have black roses. Jack usually has yellow roses (symbolizing "jealousy" in Victorian times, but "friendship" today):
Spoiler:
 
The only other time I recall him having black roses around him was the "drugged" Jack under dark Alice:
Spoiler:
 
Jun loves her Victorian flower symbolism, and especially roses (Crimson Shell was all about roses too). Black roses are symbolic of death, hatred, and farewell. They're used at funerals but can also mean rebirth. In the picture above, it is dark Alice giving Jack black roses, likely symbolic of whatever she's so pissed off at him about. Him being unconscious and tied up, combined with Alice's domineering posture, makes me think there's some manipulation by her going on. The black roses in the picture suggest she's not just being horny but vengeful. You also see black roses of enmity(?) between Oz and Leo here:
Spoiler:
 
So what would the black roses in the picture of Jack and Oz mean? A contrast with Oz's white roses? Funerary/rebirth roses for Lacie?

In the other picture of Oz studying the Lacie melody there are blue roses around him. It's a theme shared by dark Alice, Gilbert, and Vincent:
Spoiler:
 
Blue roses mean mystery or attaining the impossible. They are believed to be able to grant the owner youth or grant wishes (chain contracts??). In PH they are common to the three main players from 100 years ago (Alice, Gil, Vince, Oz/Jack). Oz, Gil, and Alice also have monarch butterflies (of death/rebirth?), usually blue, associated with them:
Spoiler:
 
Oz shares the white rose symbolism of humility, purity, and innocence with Alyss and Lacie:
Spoiler:
 
White roses could also mean "holy and spiritual union between the departed soul and God in heaven," thus used at funerals but also during weddings and births. This certainly ties in with Pandora Hearts' theme of contact with the dead, death itself (the Abyss itself seems to double as an afterlife), rebirth, and love that transcends lifetimes.

White roses can also mean secrecy. Break is normally seen with lavender roses, but there is a picture of him with a single wilting white rose during the Yura's Mansion arc, probably representing him trying to hide his fading life-force:
Spoiler:
 
Dunno if any of these connections mean anything, but thought I'd throw them out there.


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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:28 am

Oh Jun, she never ceases to amaze me. I would have never noticed all these little details before if I hadn't read this.

I enjoy reading your insights/theories on these things~
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:09 pm

Wow. . . xD;
Nice theories.
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:12 am

Prominent Patterns: flowers in general and roses in particular, colors, mysterious floating hands, ribbons & chains, cages, feathers, butterflies, skulls, crowns, chessboards, crosses, pearls, curtains, stars, different-colored rabbits

Ribbons & Chains
Jack has had two ribbons on his right hand so far. One in the picture of "drugged" Jack with dark Alice, and one in the picture of "dark" Jack with Oz:
Spoiler:
 
In the picture from 100 years ago, during the Sablier tragedy, he has a red ribbon. In the picture of the present, he has a white ribbon. The female (Lacie?) hand has a matching white ribbon. Oz here has black ribbons on his left arm and right leg. He also has the same limbs wrapped in blue ribbons in the blue rose picture of him studying the Lacie melody.

What do ribbons mean? In a very literal sense they represent being tied up. This could be elaborated into connection, manipulation, and/or control. Puppet strings. Is there a significance to loose ribbons versus tied ribbons? Do the colors matter? Red usually means passion, White can mean purity, Black... could mean a lot of things. The red ribbon tying up Jack's hand is accentuated by a black rose, possibly indicating that the passion it represents is a violent or vengeful one. Right and left hands are also important. Jack has his right, active, sword hand tied up. Oz has his receptive, passive hand wrapped.

But Alice herself is bound by red AND white ribbon to her twin:
Spoiler:
 
And also has red ribbons tied to her legs:
Spoiler:
 
What is the difference between ribbons around arms and ribbons around legs? I would say that arms represent purposeful action whereas legs represent overall freedom and mobility, so ribbons on arms could represent restraint/influence/direction over the mind, and ribbons on legs could represent restraint/influence/direction over the body. Alice has lost a lot of control over her B-Rabbit self and power.

Gil also has a blue ribbon wrapped all around his left hand - the Raven hand that seals B-Rabbit, which has been rather ineffectual as of late since Oz has been accessing B-Rabbit power on his own. This is one of the many reasons I think there's more to B-Rabbit power than we currently know. It's a power that overwhelms the personalities of both Oz and Jack, and might have aims of its own:
Spoiler:
 
Note that Alice has a cage-like structure on her left leg in both the picture on the bed with Jack and in the red dress with Oz and Gil. Whereas Alyss has the cage-structure on her right leg:
Spoiler:
 
This brings in a "mirroring" aspect to the polarity symbolism, which you also see in Alyss' image in the mirror in the picture of Dark Alice over Jack, and elsewhere. It suggests that opposite ends of the spectrum - which on the surface appear to be in conflict - don't just contain the seed to give rise to each other such as in a Yin Yang, and don't just flow towards harmonious integration, but are also immediate (though inverted) reflections of each other.

Dark Alice with Jack also has cages along her right arm, and over her torso like a corset. More on cages later.

To further solidify the link between ribbons and chains, we have a picture of Oz and Gilbert being linked by a white ribbon from Oz's right hand to Gil's right hand:
Spoiler:
 
There are bands of tattered black and white ribbons around them, and here we see that there are chains underneath. Although I think the symbolism of ribbons is softer and more subtle than chains, they still may be akin to silk gloves that hide the steel chains of bondage.

And what of broken and unbroken chains that we see on the manga covers?
(Unbroken, Slightly Broken, Very Broken)
Volume 1: Oz - slightly broken.
Volume 2: Gilbert - unbroken.
Volume 3: Break - slightly broken.
Volume 4: Sharon - unbroken.
Volume 5: Vincent - very broken.
Volume 6: Lottie - slightly broken.
Volume 7: Jack - very broken.
Volume 8: Cheshire - slightly broken.
Volume 9: Echo - unbroken.
Volume 10: Glen - unbroken.
Volume 11: Reim - slightly broken.
Volume 12: Ada - unbroken.
Volume 13: Lily - unbroken.
Volume 14: Elliot - unbroken.
Volume 15: Rufus - unbroken.
Volume 16: Leo - no visible chains... o.o

Feathers & Wings
There's also a lot of floating feathers in Jun's artwork, but I'm not sure what feathers would mean, if anything. Maybe they're associated with symbolic flight or literal travel. At least we know that the black-feathered chains can create a path to the Abyss, so maybe black feathers are associated with Abyss power:
Spoiler:
 
The feather Leo was stepping on in chapter 63 seems to have spontaneously turned from white to black. It seems to correlate with Leo's change from a diplomatic to a hostile mood:
Spoiler:
 
And are we supposed to think that the feather on the ground actually changed color, or did Leo move before that and now there's Jabberwocky's instead of dove feathers on the ground? Does it matter if the feather literally changed color so long as the symbolism of the overall feather ambiance changing color remains?

But what are white feathers? Leo was talking about wanting to destroy the Will of the Abyss, and how the Abyss used to be a beautiful golden world before the Will of the Abyss went haywire when he stomped on the feather. Are white feathers representative of the harmony of the Abyss and Leo stomping it could represent the Will's disruption of it? Or is the white symbolic of the Will herself, and Leo's action symbolic of his desire to destroy it?

Jack is also accompanied by white feathers:
Spoiler:
 
Indeed, white feathers are associated with the Vessalius household in general, and are given in acknowledgement of a Vessalius' coming of age:
Spoiler:
 
The White/Black feather contrast between Vessalius and Baskerville is shown nicely here:
Spoiler:
 
And yet the actual emblem of the Vessalius dukedom is two golden wings around a green gemstone:
Spoiler:
 
Jack wears this crest even 100 years ago, before the Sablier tragedy, so it predates the acquisition of the Griffon chain by Vessalius. Yellow and green are colors associated with Vessalius - in their hair, eyes, roses, clothing - but gold is the color of the harmonious Abyss. In the context of the Abyss, golden wings can represent the angelic wings of light that transport the disembodied soul through the Golden World. It might even be connected to the sword-wielding angels that Oz, Alice, and Gil saw in a memory from 100 years ago.

But what's green? If I were to wildly speculate, I'd say that green is a color of water, along with blue, and the Abyss itself is a very watery place. The Japanese word "aoi" could mean either "blue" or "green." Jack's green coat is often drawn with shades of blue, looking overall turquoise. Jack himself has been compared to water. If the green gem then represents the Abyss, and the golden wings wrap around it, it could be symbolic of the Vessalius in a kind of Psychopomp role - guides to the souls of the dead. However, this ventures into shinigami (death god) territory, and that is expressly given to the Baskervilles (the "Crimson Shinigami"). And besides, we have no knowledge of the Vessalius dukedom having anything to do with the Abyss prior to the Sablier tragedy, since Glen kept all the Abyss gates to himself. Hrm...

Blue is another color feathers in Pandora Hearts come in. Blue-feathered wings have appeared in Oz and Gil's hats, and have also been worn by Echo (who, despite being Baskerville, has white feathers around her):
Spoiler:
 
We get the fullest explanation of blue feathers during St. Belligeron's Day: "This festival originated from the legend of the blue-winged angel, Belligeron, who fell in love with a human. In order to let her travel to earth safely, everyone wore clothes with blue feathers on them to help cover the true identity of the angel." Kinda odd to go out of the way to mention that. It's a day when "you can hide your identity under gorgeous clothes, and spend the day as someone else," and feathers have been linked to masquerade:
Spoiler:
 
On St. Belligeron Day, it is customary to give a blue feather to someone important to you:
Spoiler:
 
As such, blue feathers appear to be linked to love, devotion, paranormal relationships, and maybe secrecy or disguise. Echo's blue-winged outfit in particular likely symbolizes the freedom she felt from setting aside her day-to-day identity and being renewed in the guise of someone else. This liberation is emphasized by the presence of an empty bird cage:
Spoiler:
 
Gil loves him some blue feathers:
Spoiler:
 
Stuff in Cages
Feathers are everywhere, including a blue one in this little cage on a chain that Gilbert is holding:
Spoiler:
 
A key and a feather in a cage are simply too random for Gil to be holding for no reason, so they gotta mean something! Perhaps this is the blue feather representing Gil's love and devotion that he never got the chance to give Oz during St. Belligeron Day, chained as it is to Oz, and showing how possessive Gil is(/was? XD) of Oz. The little key is small enough to open this cage, and maybe echoes Break's warning to Gil of not grasping onto Oz so tightly.

But Raven's feathers are all over this picture. Maybe it's more likely that this feather in a cage is symbolic of Gil's contract with Raven, further reinforced by it dangling on a chain. After all, his contract with Raven is anchored onto an amulet that he carries around on a chain. The key in this context would represent Raven granting access to the Abyss. This is connected to the wish-granting aspect of the color blue, as with blue roses. And, actually, all the cages I've seen are linked to blue roses.

Including Ada having a skull in a cage with a blue rose:
Spoiler:
 
And Alice holding B-Rabbit in a cage garlanded with blue roses:
Spoiler:
 
But cages, just like chains, are symbols of bondage and entrapment. Such as the entrapment of a Chain by a Contractor... or the other way around? OR could they also mean protection? Recall the picture of Break with the white rose again:
Spoiler:
 
I always thought that Gilbert's presence here was just to show him releasing Raven, since those are Raven's wings next to him. But if you look closely, Break looks like he's inside a cage. Gil does tend to put things important to him in "cages." The chapter this picture came from had Break fighting a losing battle against two Baskervilles where he was forced to release Mad Hatter. Raven realized that Break's life-force (white rose) was weakening so he came over there to interrupt the fight and help. In doing so, he did manage to restrain Break's Mad Hatter power and stood as a physical barrier between Break and the Baskervilles, shielding him inside a metaphorical cage... and allowing the dis-empowerment of Break's handicap to sink in.


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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:35 am

wow, this is very interesting, youv'e pointed out some stuff I would never have noticed. this is a very interesting topic.

I find it interesting that in alot of pictures there the B-rabbit doll-thing separate, which could have been hintiing at the B-rabbit power not being Alice's power?

There's also alot of other different types of flowers used in some pictures but I can't really tell what kind they're meant to be.



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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:11 am

Oh wow. These theories are.. amazing. So many tiny details, that mean so much, can give away so much. This is genious. I'm completely enthralled with these ideas now.
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:53 am

I'm glad y'all appreciate it 'cause my brain is so fried!! XD (I also add stuff into the older posts as I notice them, so if you're curious, check when I last edited. Not usually huge things, though.)

Prominent Patterns: flowers in general and roses in particular, colors, mysterious floating hands, ribbons & chains, cages, feathers, butterflies, skulls, crowns, chessboards, crosses, pearls, curtains, stars, different-colored rabbits

Crosses
You can find many crosses in Pandora Hearts art. The most obvious one is the cross marking Lacie's grave:
Spoiler:
 
This likely evokes all the feelings that modern visitors to cemeteries have when they come to spend time with departed loved ones. However, in Victorian times, different kinds of crosses had different meanings in a funerary setting. Lacie's looks like a hybrid of an Ionic Cross standing on a Calvary Cross pedestal. The Ionic Cross means everlasting salvation, love, and glory, with the circle representing eternity. The three steps of the Calvary Cross base represent faith, hope, and love/charity. Taken together this is powerful imagery of what Lacie must've meant to Jack and Glen, and perhaps who she is as a being. Glen's cover featured him beside the Lacie cross:
Spoiler:
 
There are also two elements of the "trinity" concept present in the Lacie cross: the triune pedestal and the tri-flared ends of its arms. Needless to say the trinity of "Alice, Celia, Lacie" comes to mind, as well as "Alice, Alyss, Lacie." The circle in Pandora Hearts also has potential additional meanings. The contractor symbol is a circle, and it's progression is modeled after the arm of a circular clock (such as the prophecised one that stopped). By extension these mean passage of time and completion of a cycle, or even prophetic events and a connection to the Abyss itself (where you go once the contract symbol goes full circle).

The arm ends look a little like very toned down Fleur-de-lis symbols, or "lily flower" in French. These are strongly linked to royalty, and also to the purity and chastity of the Virgin Mary. The "virgin" who gave birth to a holy god-child... which in this case could be Alice... maybe... not...? Huge stretch, I know. The Fleur-de-lis are more pronounced in the music watch:
Spoiler:
 
Here the central Lacie cross stands on a horizontal crescent moon. If the Fleur-de-lis link to the Virgin Mary can be made, then this alludes to religious imagery of her as Queen of Heaven (or, in this case, of the Abyss), standing on a crescent moon. The watch also has several other interesting symbols, particularly related to twins. Aside from the large cross in the middle, there are two little pointed crosses, which might indicate twin graves. There are two crescent moons, one waxing and one waning - a very intriguing reference to increasing light (white) and decreasing light (black), a light/dark duality which could be indicating the Alice twins. There are two sickle or scythe-like designs poised over the little crosses. Both sickles and scythes are symbols of the harvest, and in particular of "death" as the last harvest. B-Rabbit's weapon is a scythe.

The arms of the Lacie cross end in diamond shapes similar to those on the Pandora cross:
Spoiler:
 
This looks like a flared out Greek Cross with rounded ends. The distinctive characteristic of the Greek Cross are its equal-length arms, and since it's one of the earliest Christian symbols, it also draws on the pre-Christian polytheistic symbolism of planet Earth with its four cardinal directions, and the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, with ether, the fifth element, at the center. These elements correspond to the body, mind, will, emotion, and spirit respectively.

Of course, we know what the designs on the Pandora cross stand for. The diamonds on the arms are the four Abyss gates claimed by Pandora, giving them access to four of Glen's chains: Owl, Dodo, Griffon, and Raven. The square at the center represents the fifth gate, still owned by the Baskervilles, and giving access to Jabberwocky. I'm not sure if it would make sense to try aligning these with the four elements and their correspondences (Dodo=Barma=Mind=Air?? D:), but I do think it makes sense to say that the central square corresponds to the Abyss itself, and the spiritual element of ether. The other four gate symbols link into it, after all, just like they access the Abyss.

The Abyss seems to play the role of an afterlife in Pandora Hearts, so it being linked with funerary symbols like crosses isn't that unusual. All the dead people hang out in the Abyss (Alice, Alyss, Cheshire, Jack, Glen, and now Lacie), and the Abyss "gives willpower to the unliving." Disembodied souls journey through the Golden World of the Abyss for 100 years before reincarnating. Jack repeats this idea to Isla Yura before killing him: "may your soul be banished from this world for 100 years." And here again we see a cross, but this time in the guise of a sword:
Spoiler:
 
Spoiler:
 
Elliot, of course, also wore a the cross emblem. It features prominently behind him on the cover of Volume 14 and he wore one all through the Yura's Mansion arc. All the Nightrays wear it, and we all know what happened to the Nightray bloodline...
Spoiler:
 
It's almost as if running around wearing a funerary ornament marks you for death... which doesn't bode well for Gilbert, or especially Vincent, and everybody in Pandora, for that matter. But I wouldn't panic just yet. Break, who is virtually guaranteed to die by the end of the story, doesn't wear crosses. Not even his cane-sword resembles a cross. The only time I can recall him having one is when he showed his Pandora cross to Oz:
Spoiler:
 
Leo, on the other hand, has a cross on top of the crown he wears as King of the Baskervilles:
Spoiler:
 
Alice, and various stuffed rabbits, are seen with crosses quite often:
Spoiler:
 
Of course, human Alice died during the Sablier tragedy, so her link to a funerary symbol isn't that unusual, and would explain why it's next to the mirror in her old room.


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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:15 pm

I have a few things I've noticed. *attempting to be helpfull*

Flowers:

Apparently white roses can also mean secrecy.


Attemp at identifying other types of flowers:

In This picture there are what I'm pretty sure are poinsettias , though I don't think they have any symbolism as all I can find oout about them is that it's a christmas flower. Though it is interesting that there is a single one above Gil, Alice and Oz with a ribbon tied to it and a string coming from it. At first I thought that it was the telephone cable but looking at it again I can't actually see if it is connected to the phone.

Also on the volume cover with Elliot and in This image there are similar looking flowers which are Stacices. Which would be fitting for Elliot.


There are quite a few pictures of Sharon with flowers like these, in the volume cover she was on, as well as Here and also on the chair Here. They might be a type of lily. I'm not really sure, there are so many types of lily as well.


In the Chessboard picture Oz is holding some dark coloured Flowers and Break has This one. The one Oz is holding might be tulips? though I've never seen any that colour so maybe not.....It might be some kind of bellflower. I'm not sure what the one break has is supposed to be.


-------------------------------

Other things:

in This(rather creepy) picture Ada's metal skirt thing(what are those called again? I know there's a name for them....) is very cage-like. It also has Blue roses tied around it.
The background being a checked pattern is probably symbolic of the fact that Vincent was trying o use her and manipulate her.

In This picture of vincent, the white rabbit doll ras had its head ripped off but the brown one has been stabbed with scissors.


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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:14 pm

Ah yeah, "secrecy" would make a lot of sense for Break's white rose picture! He was trying to hide his fading life-force. Elliot's flower is true too, and that was at least explained within the manga itself.

I need to add stuff about stars and curtains, but especially the pearls. The pearls are all over the place, and I've thought they are similar to the ribbons/strings/chains symbolism but I wasn't sure. Often they just hang around in the background. Now I noticed that in at least one picture, the pearl garlands transform into chains! D: And they've also been seen holding up character dolls like puppets. I think the chain, ribbon, string, pearl stuff are all varying degrees of manipulative subtlety. Pearls, which come from the deep sea, are probably strongly linked to the aquatic nature of the Abyss.
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:15 am

Glad there was something helpfull.

Taking a break from flowers(trying to figure out what they are is making my head hurt. Why must there be so many types of flowers? and ones that look so similar?)

Some other observations:

Volume covers and the chains:


Volume 1
On the cover of Volume 1, , Oz is still wearing the clothes from the ceremony, although they are only half on and he is wearing the outfit he started wearing after getting out of the abyss, this being the first volume, with the first four chapters means it likely symbolises that this is both the beginning of the story and that for Oz, everything has changed and his old, normal life is being left behind.
He is also holding the Lacie pocketwatch, which also appears in the background., it makes sense for it to be here as it and Lacie herself are very important to the plot and the watch plays quite a large part in the first few chapters.
Also it's interesting to note that the chains are wrapped around Oz's arm, though they are quite loose and that they are broken at one end and dissapearing from the page at the other, as well as the fact that Oz appears to be holding on to them, maybe symbolising his choice to form a contract?
The chains also look strangely coloured compared to the others, though I can't quite work out why that is.

Volume 2
On the cover of Volume 2 we have Gilbert, apparently sitting on air which I'm sure symbolises something, though I'm not sure what. He also has one hand wrapped up instead of wearing a glove, though not the one that seals B-Rabbit, I believe?
The other arm is the one he has a chain wrapped around and unlike Oz, it looks tight at the top and gets slightly looser lower down. It also only goes in one direction, trailing off the page from the bottom right corner. I'm not sure what to make of it since if wasn't Gil, I would have said it was because he was only bound and loyal to one master and that was why the chains were so tight.

Volume 3
On Volume 3 Break(and emily....who's been in a few random images I've seen where Break is no where in sight O_o) was the cover star. The only "interesting things I can see about this one is that break has his hand up on his eye...or non-eye, whatever....that his other hand is holding on to his sword. The chains in this one are wrapped around bothe the arm holding the sword and the sword itself and like in Gilbert's cover they are quite tight and only trail in on direction, however Breaks chain, well Breaks before it reaches the edge of the page. The fact that the way it is wrapped round binds his hand to his sword is probably symbolic, maybe of the fact that he has been asked to destroy the Will of the Abyss?
It' also interesting that the image behind him is of the illegal contractor mark, I'm not sure whether his past had been revealed at that point when the volume was originaly released but if it hadn't then it might be another example of foreshadowing, or it could have just been because he's a member of pandora.

Volume 4
Volume 4 had Sharon on the cover. I don't have much to say about this one, the flowers I think are Lilies of some kind, but I'm not sure, though watever they are they appear in more pictures of Sharon. Here they appear to be growing from the chain at one point, which here is wrapped around her ankle and like in Oz's cover is loose. The chain here also goes in two directions, off the page and in the other direction it appears to simply end right about her knee. Her chain is also green at some parts unlike any of the others.
The outline of flowers behind her are Lilies of the valley and symbolise Sweetness, humility, and renewed happiness.

Volume 5
Volume 5 had Vincent. All I think is of note about this one is that the chains aren't wrapped around him at all and that the way they are broken it looks as though they had been broken by the scissors, which are very large in the background and that they have been broken directly behind him.

Volume 6
On Volume 6 Lotti appears to have also learned the art of sitting on air.
She is using the chains to strangle the B-rabbit instead of being tied up by them like the other characters, who are either bound themselves by the chains or simply surrounded by them. Here is another picture that shows her with the B-rabbit in a situation where she might be trying to kill it.
she also seems to have a pink rose in her hair, I'm not sure whether to call it a dark pink one or a light pink one, both of which have different meanings.
The crown behind her looks like the one of her chain.

Volume 7
Well look who it is. Jack is holding out his hand for some reason, an invitation?
His background image is ripples. Look at his chains, or lack of chains rather, there is hardly any and what is left is a few badly broken pieces, they've been almost totaly destroyed. To me it looks like they are being thrown away from Jack. Parts of the chains also look like they are coloured yellow or gold and some parts look blue.

Volume 8
On this one Cheshire turned up. One of the first things I noticed was that the Will of the Abyss rabbit doll that Cheshire is holding(very protectively) is wearing purple instead of blue, if that means anything? There are also alot of chains, which seem to meet up around the Abyss-doll, though they do not wrap around either it or cheshire. The only part of the chains which touch him are the end, which he is holding and that breaks up just after it leaves his hand. He's also surrounding by torn pages, likely Alice's memories and alluding to his role in attempting to protect them.
Parts of the chains also look red on the left side.

Volume 9
Echo here is lying tied by chains around both of her arms and one of her legs, the chains appear more loose than on Gilbert but tighter than on Oz. It's also interesting that one of her arms has the chain wrapped around it three times while the other and her leg only have it wrapped twice, perhaps symbolising that there is something that has more of a hold of her than any other thing?
The images in the background appear to be the feathers from the day with Oz and the thing that Zwei wears in her hair. Likely representing both her freedom and her entrappment(when Zwei is in control).
The chains here look light blue mostly.

Volume 10
Volume 10 was Glen, looking rather sad. You've already covered the cross appearing. He's also holding the Lacie pocket watch.
His chain goes in a curve from one side to the other without being broken or wrapping around anything, it's also almost totaly red, rust? There are also those red feathers which remind me of the picture of Oz, Leo, Vincent and Gilbert at the opera, where there is one red wing and one purple wing, I think.

Volume 11
Here it was Reim, sitting surrounded by paperwork? and sweets, representing his friendship with Break. The chain here is wrapped around the hand holding a bit of the paper up, I can't really tell how tightly because of the writing covering it but it looks fairly tight. It is going in two directions from his wrist, one you can't see where it ends and the other is going off the page but is broken just before reaching the edge before continuing. The way the chains are hanging give the imression of them not being tied to anything other than Reim and unlike some of the others give the impression he would still be able to move about fine despite the chains.

Volume 12
Ada, is kneeling and looks quite sad, she is also wearing a black veil, which is associated with mourning. She has a chain wrapped around her ankle and one wrapped around her arm, though they don't appear connected and the chain on her arm appears more loose than the one on her ankle. The blue roses appear to be falling away from her. I'm not sure what any of these things could mean though.

Volume 13
Lily the only things here are the fact that, like Glen here chain goes from one side to the other without being broken or wrapping around anything. It also has some charms on it, three stars and a dog-like one which likely represents her Chain. The stars might represent her childish personality?

Volume 14
Elliot. most things have already been mentioned about this one so the only thing I'll say is that it's interesting that his chains here are covered by black cloth. Maybe representing the fact that he was unaware of being a contractor? oh and that the chains are like Break, wrapped around the arm holding a sword.

Volume 15
Rufus. I've not looked at this one much, so the only things I can say are that the chain here is so hidden I almost didn't see it, it's also red in colour. He also has outlines of feathers on his clothes. Could he have some kind of connection to the other red feathers?

--------------

Well I don't know if there was anything usefull or interesting amongst all that but I hope there was at least something that made it worth reading. Laughing

It took me quite awhile to type up this, it must have taken ages to do what you did RedEyedGhost.


Last edited by Howl on Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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LBrook9

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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:35 pm

One thing I could point out with the whole volume cover chain things...
Eliot and Echo both have a very large amount of chains compared to some other characters (Like Lily)
This could in some ways be because both of them were/are tied down by something they can't control, for Echo it would be Zwei and with Eliot it would be Humpty Dumpty, although it seems that Echo vaguely knew about Zwei there still wasn't anything she could do about it, and Eliot was completely clueless.
Ada, Gil, Break, Reim and Oz Only have the chain wrapped around one arm, maybe showing that while they are tied down slightly (Ada by Oz or Vincent, Gil by Oz, Break by his rapidly shortening life, Reim by Break and Oz by his contract) they still have more freedom than Echo or Eliot. (Maybe you should just never have an 'E' name XD) Oddly enough in the story they are also the ones who generally get told off (Apart from Reim and Ada) for doing stupid things, (Although when Ada decided to protect Vince that could be an instance and Reim with 'playing' with Lily).
Sharon has a chain wrapped only round her leg, maybe showing that its a handicap because she's always looking out for the other characters.

Then you get to the Baskervilles, (Mainly, discluding Gil) if you include the maybe volume cover with Leo on the front, these characters (Glen, Lottie, Lily, Leo) have very few chains (None in Leo's case) and while Lily and Glen have a chain that goes behind them, as if they've put stuff behind them but are still carrying on (Like nothing really seems to tie Lily down) and with Lotti its almost as if she's in control of everything in her life, while this obviously isn't the case, she's obviously not got things that make her hesitate like Gil or Break etc. And she doesn't really have anything that affects her relationships with other characters that are completely out of her control like Eliot and Echo.

With Jack and Vince's cover the chains are just in tatters, these two characters, in some ways, are very similar. They both lie to protect people, and they both seem to know secrets no one else does. Maybe the broken chains are showing this, like how they both know the truth about Sablier. No one else really does. And maybe because they went against the rules and stuff...and maybe because now neither of them are really tied to anything...since everyone Jack knew is dead (except Gil and Vince) and Vince is discarding everything for Gil.

Then with Rufus, he's hiding SO many things that it's impossible to know what ties him down or singles him out. Maybe that's why he only has one chain that isn't broken, but not tying him down. (Similar to Cheshire.)
Also with Rufus, there appears to be like material obscuring the chains, maybe the mask that he always wears? This would be remeniscent to Eliot's cover where the chains are wound around cloth. This would make sense for him as his 'major secret' is totally obvious, its very hard to hide, but as the cloth and the chain sort of switch as to whether they're at the foreground or the background maybe it's showing him in control (Cloth at the front, obscuring what he doesn't want to see) and then when his Chain made him do stuff (Chains at the front, shwoing restraint, control and dominance.)

---
Also, with the whole hands thing, in the first picture Oz has a blue ribbon on his arm and leg and they're done up in a bow wrapped round a few times, but in the second picture where he's upside down, the ribbon on his leg is still tight, the ribbon on his arm is coming loose, also the hands have come down and are caressing his face.
An interesting thing to note may be that throughout Gil and Vince have often worn blue ribbons/roses/feathers, Mainly Gil. Obviously it could just be random. XD I just thought I'd mention that.
Because it seems like in the two pictures of Oz they've just flipped it and changed the dark colours to white, except for the ribbon on his arm. It's almost like he's trying to break free or something, or maybe the closer the hands get the more of 'OZ' is released. Like, say they were Jack's hands, then it could show the restraints placed on Oz and Jack being released, dunno if that makes sense to you XD Im bad at explaining!!

I dunno, just what I think personally ^^
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:47 am

@Howl: in the chessboard pic, somebody on LJ pointed out that the flower Break has is an iris. One source says it means "Message."

I wish I could comment more thoroughly on the stuff everybody brought up, but my big monitor just died and I'm stuck on a tiny netbook without a mouse and the view is so claustrophobic. T_T

Right now my favorite covers are Jack (vol 7) and Glen (vol 10)

Volume 7 because not just because his chains are by far the most broken and glowing gold, but because of the ripples in the background. The ripples I think represent the shallow water ripply place that Jack usually hangs out at when he interacts with Oz. This also looks identical to the place Alice was sitting at the end of chapter 1 when she heard the Lacie melody - ie: the Abyss. And the Abyss that we've seen (such as when Oz got chased by the Card and Baby) is filled with water. Jack is likewise explicitly compared to water, where he emanated a freakishly powerful aura. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that Jack seems extremely connected to the Abyss, right down to his aquatic green/blue coat, and the ripples on his cover emphasize this. The aura he radiated is also... unnatural, and like nothing we've ever seen from Jack in flashbacks, so I think he's practically possessed by the Abyss or by some powerful Abyss entity (*cough*Lacie*cough*).

And with Volume 10, in addition to what Howl and LBrook9 pointed out... I was thinking today how I knew that Glen had feathers on the cover, but I couldn't remember how many. But I thought to myself "if he has 5, it will further reinforce my faith in Jun's thoughtfulness." So I checked when I got home and he indeed does have 5! Five red-tinted black feathers for his 5 black-feathered chains (5th feather in the middle-left of the page behind the "P"). ^_^ I'm sorry, I know they're red feathers, I know they match the opera picture, and I know that when Jun means black she draws black, but my mind irrationally defaults them to black. O.o; Silly brain. Lets just say "his 5 feathered chains." Razz I should prolly add that to the feathers section sometime...
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:54 pm

Wow. I didn't even really notice the feathers XD
They're blood coloured ;DDD
If you think back to the pic of Gil and Oz with the white and black feathers, those were both tinted blue, I know that getting from black to crimson is kind of, hasty, but it IS worth thinking about I think.
(You have an amazing memory!)

I also think Jack is probably connected to the Abyss, I mean, why was JACK reincarnated. Glen is obvious. He's GLEN. but why Jack? Why not some other random character?
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:32 pm

Oh I think everybody gets reincarnated. I think this is a[n awkwardly translated ^^;] description of the PH afterlife: the disembodied soul transforms into light and journeys through the Golden World for 100 years with angelic wings. Jack repeated the same sentiment to Yura, implying Yura will also be reincarnated after 100 years. And Glen takes 100 years to reincarnate too if he doesn't transfer his soul to a new vessel. Seems like a universal pattern.


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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:37 pm

Ahhh ok, I thought they just became part of the Abyss or something XDDD
I fail =P
I don't even remember reading chapter 41 ^^''

But i guess that makes sense, although I'm not sure anything makes sense anymore T_T
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:24 am

Can't this mean that it was Vincent who killed Alice? http://www.mangareader.net/350-24648-2/pandora-hearts/chapter-19.html
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:24 pm

It could, but the white rabbit is completely beheaded, and Vincent hasn't killed the WIll yet, and he doesn't want to, he wants to use her.
Theoretically it oculd be anyone who killed Alice. Vince is just one of the main suspects.
It also looks a bit like Breaks hat on the floor. But its slightly to small to tell.
I don't think we could really ever say who actually killed Alice without it being said and backed up in PH -_-'
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:23 am

Wow, I ended up savings those pictures lol

But, surely this topic is very intresting!!
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:50 pm

OKAY. I have now made a section on my website dedicated to Pandora Hearts, called Pandora's Box! Corny name, I know, but it accurately expresses how I feel. Once you open the symbolism box, more and more stuff keeps flying out and it's impossible to close and then you go INSANE...!!! XD

Errm, anyways... If anyone's curious, I put a whole bunch of new information on there, including write ups for all the volume covers and color inserts, and a symbol glossary. There's also a new section about Curtains & Pearls, as well as some new bits of info in the Roses & Butterflies, Stuff in Cages, Crosses, etc.

My brain is so fried. Again. But I hope everyone may appreciate the fruits of my insanity. And of course I credited everybody that pointed stuff out to me! This way I can just edit that one site and not have to make edits in 3 or 4 different forums. Though, of course, still discuss it in 3 or 4 different forums. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:29 pm

3 or 4? You mean you posted it on more places other than here and livejournal? That must have been hard to keep track of.

Anyway I'm going to check that out. Despite the fact that my brain is likely to tired to actually take anything in.
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:41 pm

Yep, here, LJ, FallenSyndicate, MAL ^^;;
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:57 pm

Oh awesome. I'll definatly check it out!!
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:49 am

I really like the way the website was laid out -it was really pleasing to the eye ^^
But anyhow, I noticed something while I was looking through the pictures - in the colored page for chapter 63, the deep blue background with the stars, appears to be the same as the background in the Calendar page for January, with the the lines running through the back sort just beyond the curtains, giving the appearance akin to a draped birds cage or something (I originally though that the stars were hanging from them, but it appears that they continue downwards even after the stars) . I don't know if this is significant or not, and I'm probably just trying to read something into it... but I thought it was worth mentioning, and wondered if anyone had any other opinions on this.

Comparison v
Spoiler:
 

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:59 am

Ahh yeah, I did notice that, and I think it's probably significant, but I'm not sure what to do with it yet. Anyone have ideas?

And thank you! Happy you like the layout! ^_^
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PostSubject: Re: Jun's Picture Symbolism (roses, hands, butterflies, etc.)   Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:07 pm

I know this hasn't been replied to in a while, but as Lacie's cover has been released...
I was looking at it...and I noticed that there are 5 chains, (two wrap round her arms so it looks like more I think) Maybe this is symbolising her links to Glen and Glen's 5 chains. And as two of them are wrapped around her arms its kind of showing how she was restrained?
Maybe....=O

Just thought I'd share my opinion XD
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