In the episode 14, we discover why the writer chose to name this drama “Love in Sadness”. In this episode, YMR visits SJW’s mother, Im Yun Hwa (IYH), as she is the director of a nursing facility. Here, IYH shows YMR her garden with her flowers. YMR is now able to understand why SJW loves flowers so much. He got his passion from his mother. In this scene, the mother chooses to plant a gentian and this is what she says to her guest:
These words and her action reveal a lot about SJW’s mother. She doesn’t perceive YMR as a burden because she has WHK’s face. In fact, she views the young woman as a good omen. In my opinion, when she explains the origin of the gentian in her garden, she was making an analogy. YMR is like the gentian that suddenly appeared in her garden. No one expected her appearance but she had an impact on SJW’s life and heart. Then during their conversation, IYH explains the meaning of the gentian, love in sadness. For her, if a person can embrace someone’s sorrow, then it is true love. Then she adds that her son is looking for a love like that. With her words, IYH is trying to covey to YMR that her son truly loves her. In this scene, we can see how much IYH loves her son and she wants to make sure that YMR doesn’t misunderstand SJW because he gave her WHK’s face. The viewer already knows that YMR is well aware of SJW’s deep feelings for her. Due to the former episodes, we had the impression that the writer chose this title because of tragic loves (the story of Hyacinth and Adonis) and had more tragedy in his mind. However with this revelation, I came to realize that the writer had a different intention, as love in Sadness has a different meaning: true love. Notice that all this time, SJW, KIW, HSH and JHR have been struggling due to a loved one. But were they really in love? Was it love or obsession or illusion or self-deception?
SJW thought that he loved WHK because he accepted everything from her and never argued with her. He actually fell more in love with her face and lived in an illusion as he never wanted to see WHK for whom she really was. To me, SJW didn’t truly love WHK because he faked happiness. Like IYH said, true love is when a person can embrace his/her partner’s sorrow. Right now, we have the impression that WHK was a selfish and ruthless woman but I believe that WHK might have been hiding a huge secret from SJW and his friends. JHR thinks that WHK had an abortion but just before the accident happened, she had cold hands and she complained about her stomach. I have the feeling that WHK could have been dying. If my theory is correct, she didn’t want to burden her husband’s happiness. Maybe in her own way, she tried to make SJW, HSH and even JHR happy, unaware that SJW had already caught her. She thought that JHR would reveal the abortion to SJW so that it would create a riff between herself and SJW. Maybe she thought that at some point, SJW would turn to JHR and find solace in his friend’s arms. If WHK was really dying, then she feared that SJW wouldn’t be able to overcome her death. As conclusion, it is definitely possible that WHK ruined her reputation on purpose.
Right now, SJW is clearly in love with YMR because he is not afraid of confronting her or risking his own life for her. He knows her trauma and will do anything for her. But now, what about JHR? Does she really love SJW? In my opinion, she is not in love with him. Based on her conversations with KIW, it becomes clear that JHR is longing for love. She has the impression that she has never been loved.
The words she is saying to KIW could be perceived as if she was talking to herself. She thinks that SJW never loved her which is wrong. SJW did love her but as a sister, as a part of his family but for her, it was not love. Furthermore, she blamed her parents because they died so early so that she could never experience love. However, a love coming from the parents is different from the love coming from a man. So SJW with his mother did try to let her experience love but she never saw it as such. She is definitely living in an illusion. She has reduced the meaning of love: love can only be between a man and woman therefore SJW became her obsession. She was loved by SJW but she never viewed it as such because she had a different definition of love. Now, she is trying to woo KIW believing that she is the only one who can fix KIW. She knows what kind of person he is. But does she love KIW? To me, she doesn’t love KIW too. She is just trying to make herself feel better and superior. With her words “YMR who abandoned you” or in an earlier conversation, JHR always implied that YMR had never loved KIW hence he became a monster. By receiving love from her, he will be able to change.
In this scene, JHR implies that YMR never loved her husband sincerely. She thinks that since she knows his true nature (monster, snake-like eyes of yours), she can control and even manipulate him. She thought so because KIW confided a lot to her: he visited her after hurting his fist or when he was too drunk. All this time, JHR thought that she had the upper-hand. Since KIW is a man with strong emotions, she believed that the chaebol would fall for her as she was direct and frank. But her words unveiled her weaknesses: not only her arrogance but also her savior complex. Notice that she did it with SJW once. She also thought that once WHK was dead, she would be able to replace her and become SJW’s wife. Here, she is doing the same with KIW. She is not loving him, she is acting like a psychiatrist. All her attempts unveil that she doesn’t love herself at all in my opinion. She thinks that once a man loves her as a woman, she will feel loved. However, she is deceiving herself. JHR doesn’t know what love is therefore she doesn’t know what true love is. She is not honestly feeling sympathy for KIW’s pain because in reality, she is more talking to herself. She wished, someone would say these words to her. This explains why KIW deceives JHR in the end. He never bought her “sympathy” and her speech for love. Her arrogance made her forget the true personality of KIW: a royal cobra.
As for KIW, it is clear that he has never loved his wife. Like he confessed to JHR in the episode 13, when he saw YMR’s face for the first time, she looked so much like his mother that it took his breath away. KIW is not just suffering from abandonment issues, he doesn’t know what love is. For him, love is possession which he learnt from his father. He treats YMR like an object which he can mistreat, when he feels like it. KIW doesn’t know what true love is as he can not embrace his mother’s sorrow. He resents her for running away all this time and for choosing death over him. For him, love and betrayal are connected to each other that’s why he has always expected that YMR would leave his side. Yet, he has not realized that he was the reason for all this.
Finally, HSH claimed that he loved WHK, however he decided to leave her behind, when she was hurt because he would lose everything: his reputation, his friend aso. Just like IYH said, true love is when someone is loving another in pain and when the partner is having a hard time… HSH was just a selfish person in the end.
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