This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhinus.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes. If you want to read more essays, here is the link to the table of contents: https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/table-of-contents-painter-of-the-night/
What you are about to read is not an analysis, but rather a wish. Because of my wrong perception about the main lead, I came to a false conclusion. I had imagined that Yoon Seungho had punished Deok-Jae after the incident in chapter 47. This false deduction was influenced by my first impressions. But instead of removing the essay, I chose to keep it and not changed the whole argumentation. There’s a reason for that. I am planning to write a second part: “Punishment or not?” – Reality. And now, it is time to rediscover why I came that Deok-Jae was flogged.
What caught my attention is the following picture.
Here, the servant is complaining about his poor sight. Imagine, he even bumped into a wall due to his loss of sight. He is almost blind. My confusion came with the following statement. Deok Jae remarks, if the master hadn’t beat him, then he wouldn’t be in such a poor state. With this statement, the domestic gives the impression that the noble had personally punched him. With this expression, the manhwalovers are reminded of the incident occurring during the first season. Deok Jae was beat after Baek Na-Kyum’s escape in the chapter 30. Many recognized him as the domestic opening the door, when Jung In-Hun returned with the painter by his side. He definitely suffered a lot. Due to this comment “If that bastard Yoon Seungho hadn’t beat me”, I had some doubt. However now I believe that in reality, the servant Deok Jae was punished a second time.
Therefore I’ll elaborate my points for this interpretation, while giving the contra for this theory. First, we see the servant has both hands bandaged. Unfortunately, I forgot that the bandages are there because of the cold, like my reader @Sh pointed out. Even Kim had such bandages. So the bandages can’t served as evidence for this theory.
Secondly, since he is not able to distinguish a wall now, this means that his sight deteriorated so much. Then how do you explain that in the chapter 47, he could recognize the erotic painting which is much smaller than a wall? He could identify the persons painted in the drawing. So his sight was good enough back then. I distrust that within a week, the servant’s eyes could become so bad without any cause. The first beating occurred months ago, at the end of the summer. Now, we have winter. If so, his sight would have deteriorated more progressively.
Furthermore how do you explain the prank with the stones in the rice? These objects are so small and he had to gather them. If his loss of sight had come from the blow caused by the painter’s escape, then he wouldn’t have been able to pull the prank. He could have claimed that he wasn’t responsible as he is almost blind. Yet he chose to justify his action and admit that he just played a prank He could have used the excuse with his poor sight to escape suspicion, yet he didn’t. But we shouldn’t forget that he wasn’t the only one with a bruised eye. Even the valet Kim didn’t get spared, his battered eye was on the left side. However, the latter is not suffering from a loss of sight.
Besides, if the domestic had suffered so much from the hits made by the lord, then the viciousness in his gestures in the chapter 46 are diminished. Let’s not forget that he destroyed the painter’s snowmen. Then he pushed him hard with his shoulder. His intentions were to insult and hurt the painter. If he had such a poor sight, then he could have used this as an excuse in order to hide his true objectives. He never did it.
I see another point confirming this interpretation in the following picture: Thrashed is a synonym for flogged. In other words, the domestic wished that the painter had been flogged hence he is definitely referring to the straw mat beating. Back then, the painter escaped the punishment because the lord intervened personally. That’s why Deok Jae says that Baek Na-Kyum should have received the punishment. Imagine, the artist never really suffered from the straw mat beating, yet it took a few days for him to recover. In the chapter 12, Baek Na-Kyum leaves his room for the first time before meeting Yoon Seungho indicating that he was indeed wounded, although he didn’t get really flogged. Jihwa even expected Baek Na-Kyum to be more injured after hearing the news that he had received the straw mat beating. This outlines the severity of that kind of punishment. This sentence can definitely cause disability or even death. Loss of sight is a disability.
In the chapter 51, we see a resentful Deok Jae. He hates not only his master, but also the painter. He wishes the painter’s death therefore he tries to convince Nameless to murder the low-born during the night. Deok Jae hates him so much for two reasons. While the artist was spared by Yoon Seungho, Deok Jae never received the same care. The lord never went personally there to stop the punishment. The opposite happened, my assumption is that the master was present, when he ordered the flogging. This would explain why Deok Jae expressed it that way: “If that bastard Yoon Seungho hadn’t beat me”. Since he was present during the punishment, it was as if he had beat him personally. This would stand in opposition to the painter’s fate. The latter was saved by Yoon Seungho personally.
As you all know, Byeonduck likes working with parallels and contrasts. She often creates similar situations, where she changes a few elements in order to outline the development or the differences. Remember how I associated the chapter 11 with the chapter 47 f. ex. So we have two commoners, one even stands lower than the other because he comes from a brothel which is now known among the staff, whereas the other has worked for quite some time at the mansion. Despite his higher position, Deok Jae only experienced punishments, while Baek Na-Kyum is always spared. Now, he has more reasons to resent the painter. The latter had a better fate, although he belongs to a lower social class.
Observe that the first straw mat beating was never shown directly, only through a flashback and through hearsay. This is definitely possible that Byeonduck plans to work like that again. Since the chapter 47 resembled a lot to the chapter 11, the chapter 51/52 could be perceived as the repetition of the chapter 12.
Moreover, if Deok Jae didn’t get punished with the straw mat beating, then this would diminish the lord’s intelligence and sharp eyes. He was present, when the domestic insulted the painter. The following picture represented the noble’s perspective hence he was paying attention to the painter the whole time. He must have heard the insult. Furthermore, Deok Jae admitted in front of valet Kim that he was the author of the “spoiled rice”. Fact is that the domestic made a terrible mistake, it was as if he was poisoning the food. Like the butler expressed it, with his action he disregarded the master’s authority. Yoon Seungho had to do something. Either valet Kim told him personally or the noble understood the valet’s message, when the butler sent Deok Jae alone to clean up the mess. Don’t forget that if people think that Deok Jae wasn’t disciplined for his evil actions, this makes Yoon Seungho appear as a lord lacking harshness and stringency.
I have the feeling that Byeonduck created this confusion on purpose as her style is not to give too much info to her readers. They should be treated just like the characters, not knowing everything and even contributing to generate gossips or believe rumors. Besides, I have the impression that she acted as a judge. She condemned Deok Jae to blindness due to his evil actions. Remember what I mentioned about Deok Jae’s actions in the chapter 46. In that scene, he acted, as if he was “blind” by destroying the snowmen or pushing the painter’s shoulder. Now, he is definitely suffering from blindness. Imagine the irony of his situation. There’s no doubt that his handicap will play a huge role in his demise in the end.
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