This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.
I used the following website as inspiration for this essay. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/duck
This is my last daily analysis about Painter Of The Night. My goal was to write one essay a day until the release of the second season and I really did it. I have still some new ideas about this manhwa, so don’t worry. I’ll still post something about this terrific manhwa. Since I was able to compare this story to many classic novels (French, Russian, British, German) from the 18th Century and the 19th Century it shows how good Byeonduck is. She has not only talented hands but also a brilliant creativity and mind. But let’s stop there and start with the new essay.
In many different analyses, I was able to compare the characters with animals. Baek Na-Kyum was a lamb due to his innocence and purity, Yoon Seungho an eagle because of his behavior: he is a loner with very sharp eyes, ruthless but majestic. On the other hand, an eagle is very loyal once tamed, this explains why he got calmer and more docile later. Then we had Jung In-Hun embodied by a peacock, a snake and chameleon, Jihwa was associated to a crane (that’s how he perceived himself) and a pheasant and Min reminded me of a snake, a magpie and a crow. The manhwaphiles could observe how I always connected birds to the nobles. Since Seung-Won appeared so little, just like his father, I had a hard time to find a bird corresponding to his personality. I simply had too few elements.
Yet because of my “sexy” brain based on @inoosyub, I think, I have found the right solution. You are more than welcome to disagree or discuss it. However, the fun will be to see if my association will be confirmed in the second season. Now, I am quite sure that you’re dying to know what kind of bird symbolizes Seung-Won.
From my perspective, it is the duck. First, I had to find a bird that is associated to beauty and vanity. Remember that I described that Seung-Won pays a lot of attention to his apparel and appearances. A duck is not considered as beautiful per se but we have the fairy tale of the ugly Duckling. Here, in this story, the ducks are conceited and perceived themselves as pretty compared to the baby swan (vanity). Furthermore, in this fairy tale the ducks are excluding a family member because of his different appearance, just like in the manhwa. Yoon Seungho got abandoned by his father and his brother. In the ugly Duckling, the duck represents the family and their intolerant behavior outlines the strong bond between the ducks and their babies resembling them. Seung-Won is indeed supported by his father, the former even speaks for the family. The duck symbolizes the family and this isn’t surprising, when in Korea, couple of ducks are offered for a wedding. One of the purpose of marriage is to continue the family heritage.
The fairy tale contains so many parallels with Painter Of The Night. We have to imagine that our poor Seungho is the swan who has to grow up on his own despite the isolation and harshness of life but thanks to his love for the painter, he is able to transform himself into a beautiful swan and get the admiration he never received in the beginning therefore I predict that Yoon Seungho’s reputation could change in the future. Sure, not right now because of his scandalous relationship with a low-born. Yet, I believe that the moment the servants witness how their master becomes a teacher and even changes his attitude, the commoners will judge him less harshly than the nobles.
But let’s return our attention to the ugly Duckling. In this fairy tale, the other animals made fun of the ugly Duckling. They must have talked behind his back too so the bad reputation Yoon Seungho has right now corresponds to the time, when the ugly Duckling hasn’t metamorphosed yet. This fits our story because like I mentioned it yesterday, the lord’s transformation is not completed yet. The lack of consideration of the duck resembles the selfishness of the younger brother who never cared for the protagonist, until he realized that he needed his brother’s support for his own career.
But there are other reasons why I believe Seung-Won has the features of a duck. When the bird waddles, it definitely attracts the attention of bystanders and we know that Seung-Won likes getting attention due to the bright colors of his robes and belt. At the same time, this bird is awkward. The younger brother is characterized by a certain clumsiness because he can’t lie very well so that his intentions are immediately perceived. He is sweating and avoiding his older brother’s gaze. Then his hands are on his knees showing his discomfort. Yet he has no problem to lie about the father’s illness and to suggest Yoon Seungho to visit his parent, well aware of the significance of this visit. He is quite arrogant to think that his brother wouldn’t catch the meaning behind this visitation. He is underestimating the protagonist because he believes in the rumors that Yoon Seungho lives in debauchery. He has the impression that his older brother is not so smart, however the way his suggestion is rejected reveals that Yoon Seung-Won knows very well how his brother became a famous sodomite. This shows that the brother is neither cunning nor smart. The duck is not considered as a smart bird, compared to the magpie or the eagle.
The other reason for associating the noble with this bird is his lack of courage. There are many expressions in English illustrating avoidance and cowardice. To duck means lower the head or the body to avoid a blow or missile. Then to duck out signifies to evade responsibility. As you can observe, “duck” is definitely linked to gutlessness which fits our second character. Let’s not forget that the brother thought that sending letters would be enough to move his brother. We have to envision that he even avoided to meet Yoon Seungho personally, until it became absolutely necessary due to the urgency of the matter. We should remember that the latter didn’t support his brother the moment he was abandoned by the father, he preferred following the father.
Furthermore, we have the expression “to water of a duck’s back” meaning that this has little or no effect. The brother’s actions had no effect on the protagonist in reality. The moment Yoon Seung-Won is about to leave, he receives a paper hand-delivered by the valet Kim. Look at the figure’s smile, he thinks that his move did succeed, whereas there is only raillery coming from Yoon Seungho. The latter remembered the words expressed by his loyal assistant the same morning.
“The younger master specifically requested that I bring back a response.”
Imagine, the brother was there but the protagonist never handed-over himself the paper, he let the servant do it. Seung-Won doesn’t even grasp the meaning behind the way the paper was delivered thereby he doesn’t realize the mockery coming from his brother. That’s why we could say that the protagonist and his brother were playing ducks and drakes with each other.
If someone plays ducks and drakes with people, they treat them badly by being dishonest with them or not taking them seriously.
The smile illustrates Seung-Won’s naivety, lack of intelligence and foresight. His call had no effect, in fact it did the opposite. It even infuriated more the seme, despite the hidden pain. What caught my attention is that Seung-Won didn’t even look at the content of the paper because in the chapter 44, he has no idea why his father is not coming out to bid farewell. The son is so filial, like a duckling following the mother obediently.
Moreover, a duck is defenseless, that’s why there is this saying a “sitting duck”.
“sitting duck”: something or someone is unprotected and vulnerable to an easy attack.
We have to remember that this kind of bird only has a small beak that is not sharp therefore it is not so dangerous like an eagle or even a swan. The latter can be aggressive and even attack people. Actually, the duck behaves the opposite. The small bird flies away or enters the pond in order to avoid the danger. In other words, the duck is not ruthless, violent and dangerous which the manhwaphiles could observe in the younger master’s behavior. Seung-Won is not really attacking his brother, he just hopes that the latter will help him. The younger master might have disturbed his brother, yet he didn’t dare to open the door, when he heard someone yelling. He might make its plumage swell through his robes in order to impress people and create the illusion that he is stronger and more resilient, yet there is nothing concrete behind the appearances. Seung-Won is not a fighter that’s why he chose the path to become an official. He imagines that once he has a position he can increase his influence and power. Yet I doubt that he will be acting on his own, he will be like the duckling following the father’s orders. We can already anticipate that he will become a lame duck.
If a politician or a government is a lame duck, they have little real power, for example because their period of office is coming to an end. I couldn’t help myself connecting him to the following
So when Jung In-Hun meets the younger master at the capital, does it mean that the teacher won’t be able to get what he wants through the naive and rather simple-minded lord? Let’s not forget that there is the following idiom: “milking a duck”.
milking a duck: An impossible task. Used in comparisons to tasks or activities that are or seem to be impossible.Trying to get a straight answer out of this candidate is proving harder than milking a duck.
In my opinion, Jung In-Hun will be become the tool of the Yoon family to a certain extent. That’s how I perceive it right now. The father Yoon can’t turn his second son into another sodomite but he needs a helper and pawn for sure. Therefore, the saying “milking a duck” could come true in some way. On the other hand, I sense that Jung In-Hun’s investigations will lead him to the father because the dirty secret is more threatening for the elder master Yoon than Yoon Seungho in reality. In other words, I have the impression that at the end, Jung In-Hun and Eldest Master Yoon will rely on each other.
As a conclusion, the duck shows many similarities to the character Seung-Won. He is coward, vain, selfish and conceited because he can not imagine how smart his brother is. I have the impression that his career won’t be so brilliant hence he needed Yoon Seungho’s support. Yet, the brother refused and when the younger master meets Jung In-hun for the civil service examination, I sense that the scholar might be able to manipulate Seung-Won letting him thinking that he has impressed his own brother. But the results of the exam will affect their relationship and their position could be switched. Seung-Won will have the upper-hand. But these are just speculations so far.
Tomorrow, I’ll post something about the new episode. Happy reading.
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