Everything Everywhere: The Meaning of Bagels and Google Eyes Explained
The symbolism of The Everything Everywhere All At Once is heavy, but there is no clearer visual metaphor for this absurd comedy than its bagels and wide-eyed eyes.
The symbolism of Everything Everywhere All At Once—especially the bagel and the round eyes—befits the film's absurdly comedic style, but the meaning of these two objects is much deeper than it first appears. Everything Everywhere, directed by Daniels, lives up to its name with its multiverse premise and minimalist tone. In fact, apart from Michelle Yeoh and Quan Kehui who won the Golden Globe and their first Oscar nominations for the roles of Evelyn and Wang Weimeng respectively, the film has received a total of 11 Academy Award nominations. Notably, this includes a 2023 Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design Achievement, for the team she led to create the now iconic bagel costume.
The dichotomy between absurdity and meaning is best illustrated by two key symbols of Everything Everywhere: the glassy eye and the bagel. The two symbols are visually opposed to each other, with the villain Jobu Tupaki's bagel being black with a white center, and the round eyes being white with a black center. They are visually opposed, but when considered side by side, the round eyes and the bagel resemble the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang, which promotes balance and opposites The forces in nature and the multiverse complement each other. This is what the Everything Everywhere All At Once symbolism means.
What Everything Everywhere All At Once's Bagels Represent
Beyond Everything Everywhere All at Once bagels and round eyes, circles are everywhere in the movie. When Evelyn first visited the IRS building, Inspector Deidre circled her paperwork in black ink, telling Evelyn she would have to produce more accurate paperwork for the year. Nothing is going to go according to Evelyn's plan, but time is ticking relentlessly. Even in the struggling laundromat downstairs from her house, the circular windows of the washing machines hum humming year-round. In a not-so-subtle elaboration of the symbolism of Everything Everywhere All at Once, Evelyn becomes aware of the cycle of her life—at a birthday party at the laundromat she runs, she delivers a not-so-inspiring speech, saying, "Another year of pretending we know what we're doing when in reality we're just spinning in circles."
Thus, the circle becomes an object representing Evelyn Wang's dissatisfaction with her extremely ordinary life with her family . This dissatisfaction negatively affects the philosophy of her daughter Joy and Job Tupaki, another evil version of Joy multiverse. Jobu Tupaki's faith is also influenced by her ability to jump freely and experience the entire multiverse in Everything Everywhere All At Once.
After realizing the meaninglessness of her own existence, Jobu Tupaki created the All Things Bagel as her tool for destroying the multiverse. Essentially, the bagel becomes emblematic of Evelyn and Job's nihilistic worldview—every inch of it has seasonings, everything from the multiverse, but it's hollow at its core, like a black hole. The destructiveness of the bagel, and the fact that its original purpose was to destroy its creator, Jobu Tupaki, suggests that the bagel can also become a symbol of despair once the hole in its existence is discovered.
What Everything Everywhere All At Once's Googly Eyes Really Mean
The only way to overcome existential fear is to keep your eyes open - a statement that in itself proves the absurdity of Daniels' film. Googly eyes are synonymous with Evelyn's husband Waymond in the hilarious Everything Everywhere All At Once. To her annoyance, he puts them on everything he can find. Evelyn, dissatisfied with her life and her husband, averts her gooey eyes and rejects his trivial attempts to encourage humor and humour. happiness. Despite her interference, he remains undeterred. Thus, those round eyes symbolize Waymond's philosophy that people can find joy in existence even when it is meaningless. As he says in the film, "The only thing I know is how to be kind."
Since googly eyes resist bagels, googly eyes can be seen as representing existentialism - the human quest to create meaning for ourselves. As Everything Everywhere grew, Evelyn saw the value in Waymond and his beliefs. In the final clash between Michelle Yeoh's Evelyn and Xu Xiaoni's Jobutupaki, instead of removing all of her dumb eyes, Evelyn places one in the center of her forehead. This is a reference to the Hindu brow space, which is located between the eyes, as it is believed to be the location of the sixth chakra, which represents hidden wisdom and enlightenment.
In Everything Everywhere All At Once, Evelyn's revelation is that she must create her own meaning, and use this newfound purpose to combat the nihilistic fears of Jubo Tupaki and her multiverse-destroying bagel. However, this enlightenment cannot be achieved if Evelyn does not embrace the nihilistic philosophy of everything bagel represent. Thus, one cannot be without the other, and the coexistence of the bagel and the big eyes is a testament to the balanced ideal behind the yin-yang philosophy.
The Everything Everywhere All At Once Symbolism Reveals Its Core Message
While it's easy to get lost in the symbolism, easter eggs, and references of Everything Everywhere All At Once, it's important to remember its core message: the value of finding meaning in the vast, infinite nonsense of the multiverse . Combined with the film's extreme absurdism and Evelyn's relationship with Joy, everything at the same time the bagels, eyes and other related themes/metaphors point to this way of life. Symbolism may seem silly, but all at once actually assumes that finding meaning itself is the meaning of life—the only real remedy for the nihilistic absurdity of random universes.
Everything Everywhere All At Once's Awards Validate Its Symbolism
Everything Everywhere All At Once bagged two Golden Globes and 11 Oscar nominations, suggesting its deep symbolism wasn't lost on critics. Indeed, these awards speak volumes about critical and audience reception in an era when the superhero genre is commercially dominant. Everything Everywhere is far less financially successful than most MCU movies, but uses The multiverse as a more engaging symbol/storytelling tool. There's something to be said about how this unusual film from indie studio A24 earned its first Oscar nomination, including veterans like Daniels, Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu, as well as Including unnamed cast members such as lead costume designer Shirley Kurata. Hopefully neither the Academy nor the cast and crew of Everything Everywhere All At Once will waste this opportunity to finally set their sights on the Oscars.