ANALYSIS OF SHADOW AND EGO
Twenty-four seconds. Numerically speaking, that’s the only difference between Interlude: Shadow and Outro: Ego. It takes only a fraction of that to see these songs (and their MVs) are as different as the shadow and ego themselves. So what are the differences? What are the similarities? Strap in, ARMY! Let’s journey through these together.
An interlude is defined as a musical composition inserted between the parts of a longer composition. Having Shadow as an interlude suggests that Map of the Soul: Persona and Map of the Soul: 7 are two parts of the same story. Of course, this isn’t a new concept to us, is it ARMY? We know BTS’s music is presented in eras. Somehow, though, this feels different. If you have followed Jung’s theories (or read our articles featuring Dr. Stein), you know there will be a time when one’s persona must meet and embrace the shadow. Perhaps this happened with Dionysus, a song that celebrates freeing yourself and embracing every part of yourself.
Releasing the shadow can be scary, though. BTS has to explore the conflict of who they want to be and who their personas are in the public eye. “I’m afraid, flying high is terrifying,” SUGA raps, “No one told me how lonely it is up here. I can leap in the air but also plunge…” As the shadow becomes more acceptable, BTS must figure out how to marry it to their persona. “I’m you, you are me...we are one body...you can never break me off,” SUGA says. This shows that BTS now understands that the persona and shadow are one and the same. Not only are they impossible to divide, but they actually complete each other. Perhaps this is why SUGA has two different colored eyes at the 2:17 mark in the trailer.
In stark contrast to the edgy and dark concept of Shadow, Ego is as bright as anything we would expect from J-Hope. With a fun beat and bright colors, the MV starts with a very famous quote: “We are now going to progress to some steps which are a bit more difficult. Ready, set, and begin.” You know that one, don’t you? Does it give you chills, too?
Instantly, ARMY are transported to the past as flashes of our favorite MVs speed across the screen: Boy With Luv, Idol, Fake Love, DNA, Not Today, Spring Day, Boy Meets Evil, Save Me, Fire, Run, Dope, War of Hormone, Danger, Just One Day, Boy In Luv, N.O., We Are Bulletproof Pt.2, and No More Dream (all of these clips happen in ten seconds’ time so forgive me if I missed one or two, ARMY). Representing the part of our soul which provides thoughts, memories, and emotions, it makes sense that the video shows these.
“I go back every day, to me of yesterday,” J-Hope raps, “But in this world, you know, there are truths unchanged. Time rushes ever forward, there are no ifs, buts or maybes.” Embracing his shadow has taught J-Hope to let go of his past and simply move forward. Choices can’t be changed, so it’s best to trust yourself and look ahead. After all, the way is shinin’.
While the concepts, colors, and musicality are very different, there are some similarities with these videos and songs. For one, both of them start with a throwback: The intro of Shadow is from O!RUL8,2? while the words that begin the MV for Ego are from 2 Cool 4 Skool. Both songs are also solo songs, with no confirmed appearance from the other members in either the song or the MVs. And of course, both songs are based on Jung’s “Map of the Soul.”
As a proud ARMY myself, I love seeing the different sides of BTS. To hear and watch Shadow one month and then experience Ego the next is exhilarating. That isn’t just me, is it?
As always, we would love to hear your thoughts! Can you think of other similarities or differences? Did I miss any clips during the ten-second walk down memory lane? Let us know what you are thinking in the comments or on our social media. Purple you!
Written by Marcie
Edited by Tori
Design by Connie
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