Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Team Snowflakes vs. Team Flower Petals: The Ships of 'Jane the Virgin' [Contributor: Connie]


Jane the Virgin is back from winter hiatus! In order to celebrate, I have decided to explore the two main ships on the show in terms of their usual motifs: Jane/Michael as Team Snowflakes and Jane/Rafael as Team Flower Petals. Of course, Team Jane wins above all, but Michael and Rafael both represent great (if flawed) men, who love Jane and want the best for her.

But their relationships look very different and have different attractions — both for Jane and for us audience members. The choice of motif is actually very indicative of each relationship — both for better and for worse — so let’s discuss!

TEAM SNOWFLAKES 


Jane and Michael have had many romantic moment under falling “snowflakes,” most notably the ceiling dust when they first meet and the fake snow at the Marbella when they reunite for their epic “let’s get back together” kiss. Snowflakes, of course, symbolize winter — which is the perfect season to represent Jane and Michael’s relationship. Winter represents steadiness, quiet, and purity.

Its use is often similar to the color white, which is often used to denote purity, light, and innocence. See Shakespeare’s use in Cymbeline, for instance, "I thought her as chaste as unsunned snow." 

Snow, especially the first snow, sometimes feels like magic; the world becomes quiet and beautiful. (I live in New York where we just had the second biggest snowstorm in the city’s history, and the quietness of the storm as it raged indeed felt like magic.)

Michael is just as steadfast, always quietly supporting Jane, and of course, respecting her desire for chastity. Michael is often a soft blanket of snow, calming Jane’s anxieties. Winter means staying at home, or being snowed in, and Michael is known for being very close with the other Villanueva women. He is very comfortable in their house. He is the person you cuddle with on the couch and watch the Netflix Yule Log with — the person who you could be with forever.

However, winter is cold and snow can go from peaceful and fun to a dangerous blizzard very quickly. Jane the Virgin is set in Miami, a city where snow is nearly impossible. Winter ends and snow eventually thaws. Jane’s love for Michael is overtaken by her attraction to Rafael, which burns just a little hotter...

TEAM FLOWER PETALS 


Jane and Rafael represent springtime. Their iconic first kiss featured falling cherry blossoms swirling around them. Springtime and flowers represent passion, rebirth, and warmth. Spring is outdoor adventure, sunshine, and growth. The intensity and liveliness of the cherry blossom gives the warrant for anyone to dream and hope for big things in the future and to be optimistic. 

Spring represents first love. Rafael solidified that position when 19-year-old Jane fell for him all those years ago. Jane and Rafael’s relationship is one of twirly, dancing, rapping dates — it is energetic. Just like flowers opening up in bloom, Jane encourages Rafael to open up to his emotions. Springtime is constantly changing, nature and creatures are growing very fast, just like Jane and Raf’s relationship. Spring also represents fertility, birth, and babies. No need to break that one down.

Jane and Rafael’s passion for one another often tests her vow of chastity; without Michael's cool blanket of snow to calm her, Jane lets her equally fiery temper match Rafael's and they erupt at one another. Just like snow can melt, flowers wilt and die, spring soon burns too hot and becomes a raging summer.

Both relationships have their magical qualities — people love winter and spring for different reasons. This is why it is so hard for Jane and many fans to choose which guy is the best for her. Yet both have their downfalls as well, the reasons why they do not last long. Placed against the other, Jane has something she needs from one relationship that the other does not provide. She both needs Michael’s peacefulness to calm her anxieties, but she needs Rafael’s passion to push her to experiences that enhance her story (as a woman and as a writer).

We do not yet know which direction the show will decide on, but with the season two mid-winter return, it seems we are expecting a decent amount of snow. Bundle up, Team Flower Petals!

1 comment: