Trigger Warning: This essay talks in depth around topics such death, suicide, sex-related abuse, mental illness and trauma. Leader discretion is advised. 

 Monarch Wings How an effective Symbols were offered to Portray an Overlooked truth in “Never too Late.”  video clip and Lyric analysis by Sierra Walsh

Three days Grace has actually never shied away from taboo topics. Their breakout hit, “I hate Everything around You,” explosive onto the scene in 2003 v raging lyrics trying out the vicious cycle of a toxic relationship. From there, one might argue exactly how Three Days elegant would end up being one of the most significant bands experimenting intense feelings surrounding experiences with abuse, self-harm, and, substance abuse. Because that example, previous front man Adam Gontier thorough how his addiction to OxyContin to be the fuel behind the fire of the band’s 2006 single “Animal I have actually Become” off of their album One X. Nightmarish details seep into the scenes of the single’s music video such together camera angels triggering claustrophobia and how the world Gonteir encounters stability morph right into hollow-eyed monsters. Granted, extreme imagery is one expectation with a song showing addiction, and also their subsequent music videos would certainly follow the same standards.

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Off that same album, the solitary “Never too Late,” was additionally released in 2006. Upon an initial listen, the track sounds prefer an emotionally letter come a loved one battling suicidal thoughts and encouraging them come claw their method out of a dark state the mind. A band like Three job Grace would certainly be no stranger to this topic. Over there are numerous songs undertaking this topic matter; however, the music video clip to “Never also Late” throws a curveball at the expectations. In turn, the symbolism and message deserve a deep dive on just how it explores a story the is often overlooked. One might argue the “Never too Late” video clip is among the most an effective pieces the visual arts from the 2000s with its symbolic portrayal of a reality thousands of kids face while quiet bringing a message of hope because people space not identified by their previous abuse however their selection to survive.

The video clip unravels the story the a young woman suffering with PTSD due to childhood sex-related abuse. She represents about 81% of women who endure from PTSD since of sex-related violence while also being a potential example of another victim rotate survivor. Signs throughout the video, such together monarch butterfly wings, beds, and also hands further build how the viewer involves understand her state of mind, what led to an include psychotic break—as shown in the very first shot that her together an adult fighting against three nurses—and then healing native the trauma that resulted in it. While all of these have significance and also will be analyzed later, the most influential symbol is the white dress.

Traditionally in literature and movies, women in white costume are illustrated as innocent and also angelic. While this holds true in the an extremely beginning that “Never as well Late” with the little girl attract a white dress, a much more sinister meaning is introduced when the woman comes ~ above screen. She is still wearing a white dress, which have the right to highlight just how she is tho trying to host onto few of her childhood innocence. She’s wearing it when the abuse very first starts, as shown by the small girl and the guy putting his hand on her shoulder. The means the dress still perfectly fits her together an adult shows just how she never outgrew she trauma. An alternative means to display how the woman never ever truly let go of her trauma would certainly be to present that she still own the tiny white dress she had as a child. Instead, the dress seems to flourish with her, which shows how her trauma has become a component of her.

Opening with the small girl joining hands v her parents v the lyrics, “This human being will never ever be/what i expected” foreshadows lost innocence. Regardless of how much the household in the opened scene wanted to think that no damage would ever come to them, the lyrics sung throughout their first appearance foretell just how reality does no accommodate come expectations. Together a child, the girl believed that her parents would always be roughly to safeguard her indigenous dangerous people and situations. As soon as she reaches out, they space there to take she hands while lock dance. The vivid colors and toys in her bedroom show they listed for her as finest they could and also created a sanctuary for her. She mother’s yellow jacket can be seen as a depiction of that joy; however, yellow is regularly the chosen shade to represent cowardice and, in some cases, sickness. This is emphasized with the greenish tint of the room the household is in. In spite of their dancing and smiling, there is an comprise sickness in your household. The dancing is an alleged to include the joy of the girl’s childhood but the eco-friendly tint shows just how this memory—and the entirety of her childhood—becomes ruined due to the fact that of the abuse she is based on later. As an adult, she perhaps feels sick looking earlier on even the the happiest memories from she childhood because of exactly how much the abuse impacted her. 

The very first time the tiny girl is shown in her adult life is the minute she is fighting versus three nurses. Pairing this scene v the lyrics “even if ns say/it’ll it is in alright/still i hear friend say/you desire to end your life,” indicates the pertained to tone is the an unified voices the the caretakers that desire her to get rid of her suicidal thoughts and trauma. One more interpretation deserve to be the lyrics room a message from she adult me to she younger self. The an initial time she is shown as one adult, she is looking ago on she childhood as soon as she to be dancing through her parents. Her expression together she is pulled far by the nurses provides the feeling that she dreads what is to come and knowing the her happy balloon is walk to it is in destroyed. Through this implication, she becomes a representation of the one in 4 girls that experience sex-related violence before they turn eighteen.

Juxtaposing the perpetrator’s very first appearance through the text “if yes something wrong/who would have guessed” implies that she abuser to be a family members member, or, a close household friend. There is a lingering feeling that the tiny girl and her family would never ever detect any sort the danger once he was approximately because that was an excellent at hiding his true intentions. Together reported by the national Sexual Violence source Center, 90% of kids who endure this abuse carry out so in ~ the hand of someone they know. Together later displayed in the video, preestablished trust with the child and also family renders the grooming procedure much easier. Around the one minute and also fifteen secs mark, the abuser’s shadow appears on the wall next come Gontier and waves his finger in a “Don’t phone call anyone” manner in ~ the tiny girl. This shoot is a an easy yet effective way to represent grooming, a tactic countless abusers make use of in order to acquire the trust of your victims and the victim’s family. According to the Young Women’s Christian combination (YWCA), boy grooming deserve to look favor special attention, generally isolating the child/children from various other people, and/or pour it until it is full the role of a missing family member such as a father, mother, or older sibling. When the “Never too Late” video clip does not outright present what the abuser’s partnership with the girl and her household is, the does exemplify grooming habits such together isolating the girl from her parents, and also it is implied the the secrecy tactic is offered in order because that him to feeling in control.

An interesting style selection is the way the abuser’s angles space shot. Just his torso and lower half of his body are displayed which highlights 2 possibilities. First, the viewer is claimed to be seeing everything from the little girl’s perspective. This offers the abuser a much more domineering aura due to the fact that the girl–and by proxy, the viewer–never look at his confront except for once he kneels down to smirk at her. Even then, his eyes are never shown. Dehumanizing him creates an expressionless monster the she wants to escape, yet somehow he always finds her. The childhood sanctuary of she bedroom is violated once he flips her bed end after she operation away and also tries come hide.

Second, the abuser’s face is never presented relates come how small he reasons the woman to feel, also in adulthood. Often, a authorize that a protagonist is heal from trauma is the capacity to look your abusers in the eye and also literally face everything lock feared. However, the only time she is able come look up in ~ his confront is just prior to the point of view of death appears, which leads to the opportunity she never got over her are afraid of him, rather, took comfort in the fact that the would someday die. Till then, she felt prefer she could never feel safe. In the step of she being border in the hospital bed, the persistent flashbacks an outcome in the straps acquisition the type of his hands trapping her versus the mattress. Similar to how her bedroom was seen as a place she could seek refuge in childhood, the hospital bed is yet an additional place she feels her abuser have the right to victimize her, regardless of how hospitals are meant to it is in a place for healing. Overall, the feature presented the many are the abusers hands, i m sorry is possibly a play at how she suffered at the hands of this man, which is further displayed by the black color handprints all over her together a child and her bedroom walls. Regardless of whereby she goes, she feels like he will always have a master on her till the work he dies.

After the flashback to the household dancing, the woman’s parents space not presented again until around a minute and a half into the video. They have band aids over your eyes, i m sorry at very first glance looks as though that symbolizes how they were blind to the situation. However, tape aids space not tough to remove, and also pairing this through the family still dancing also though the background changed to a hospital setting, signifies that her parents preferred to ~ do so their resides would go back to normal. Also, mirroring them v the second chorus “even if ns say/it’ll it is in alright” hints at the possibility that her parents saw the signs of her abuse, but, stayed in denial around how long their daughter’s trauma would affect their lives. Must that implication it is in the path the video clip wanted to take, it would certainly reflect the truth that just 12% of kid sex abuse instances are ever before reported come the authorities. In the paper definition of the video, this statistic creates a much more chilling environment through the symbolism that the woman being alone in adulthood and also her parents shown “blindness” to her abuse earlier in the video.

As one adult, the girl is displayed by herself other than for the first appearance of her fighting the nurses. Many of she time on display screen is spent restrained top top a bed, signifying she is still haunted by she past. One have the right to deduce this signifies how abandoned she feel while trying to heal, especially due to the fact that she is left alone. However, the viewer look at the start of her healing process when the memory of the an initial time her abuser touched she freezes through his hand on she shoulder and black feathers start to cascade from the ceiling. Accept that “the human being we knew/won’t come back/the time we lost/can’t acquire it back” calls attention to the fact that she’s unable to offer herself the childhood she deserved, however she can step into the adulthood she deserves. 

From a classic symbolism standpoint, black feathers indicate that a person is being protected by an point of view or deceased love one. In the video’s case, the black feathers room from the point of view of death as he appears in she room. The angel fights the perpetrator, together if to display how the abuser was attempting to ward turn off his inevitable death. The viewer does not view what happens, and the small girl is completely calm throughout the whole fight. After ~ a couple of moments, both the abuser and also the angel disappear. While no heavy explanation is given, the angel’s appearance and also the way the girl calmly city hall the battle happening in prior of her implies her tormentor died. The angel’s feathers proceed falling on she in the hospital bed which reasons the abuser’s hands (thus the restraints) to whither earlier and release her, i m sorry symbolizes exactly how the news of his fatality gave she closure. The king butterfly landing close to her medicine suggests that she is being reborn right into a more powerful woman. This new world whereby her perpetrator will certainly never be able to touch she again will enable her to begin a brand-new chapter. She can’t change the past yet she deserve to make certain she defies as plenty of odds as feasible and allows herself lead a happy life, thus her young me going back to bed safely, and she smiles once she is turn off the hospital bed.

See more: Love Is Putting Someone Before Yourself, True Love Is Putting Someone Else Before Yourself

Safety and happiness space virtues every child need to have farming up. That course, there are many adults that take their responsibility of protecting youngsters seriously. However, this truth should not be a factor that kids such as the one shown in the “Never also Late” video are overlooked. As formerly mentioned, only 12% that child sex-related abuse situations are report to the authorities but making a generalization as to why that is would certainly be a large disservice to survivors and their families. An important perspective to keep in psychic is situations of abuse prefer these need to be analyzed and handled on a case-by-case level with the utmost professionalism, respect, and, compassion. Educating oneself about where to find accurate information, resources, and, support is one more surefire means to add to the defense of survivors. Music videos and evaluation such as “Never too Late” are intended come raise awareness and also are not claimed to replace the trained professionals that offer their communities. Hopefully, art and music such together this track and video clip will proceed to help raise awareness come dire situations and inspire those in must reach out to the network the people specialized to improving their quality of life. As claimed before, it is never ever too so late to for sure one’s future happiness and also healing.