Painter Of The Night: Heroes 🦸‍♂️- part 1 (second version)

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/ 

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The first reaction many readers had was to celebrate the butler’s courage, because he chose to tell his lord the truth and confront him with his true reflection. And unlike all the other characters, he mentioned one positive aspect: the lord’s good heart. (chapter 68) In their eyes, valet Kim had turned into a hero not fearing his death. But we had another hero in this chapter, the scholar Jung In-Hun. The latter took the crying Baek Na-Kyum in his arm and brought him away from the scene, where Heena noona was getting beaten by a rich noble. (chapter 68) In her eyes, he was a hero, because he showed concern and care towards her tenderhearted brother. (chapter 68) Yet, only a few applauded Jung In-Hun for his behavior. Why? It is because many readers have already perceived his true nature: his hypocrisy and coldness hidden behind his calm demeanor and huge smiles. That’s why we need to examine more closely the behavior of these two father figures. Are they truly heroes? In order to answer this question, it is important to look at the definition of heroism and at the characteristics of a hero.

Heroism is characterized by:2

  • Acting voluntarily for the service of others who are in need, whether it is for an individual, a group, or a community
  • Performing actions without any expectation of reward or external gain
  • Recognition and acceptance of the potential risk or sacrifice made by taking heroic actions https://www.verywellmind.com/characteristics-of-heroism-2795943

So let’s start with the scholar’s heroism. I would like to remind the reader that this scene is told from Heena noona’s perspective. If the manhwalovers observe Jung In-Hun’s action, they have the impression that the scholar is indeed helping someone in need. He is comforting the upset boy. (chapter 68) So the first condition is met. However, neither the second condition or third component are present in the teacher’s gesture. Jung In-Hun is not exposing himself to danger, risking his own life as he doesn’t come to help the real person in danger: Heena noona. Actually, the real person who needed to be rescued was the gisaeng, and not the artist. (chapter 68) Yet, the so-called hero abandoned her to her misery, as he walked away from the room. (chapter 68) This shows that he wasn’t willing to risk his life or position. There are no selflessness and sacrifice. Secondly, he did hope something in return: while consoling the kind boy, he hoped to get recognition from the gisaengs. They would see him in a positive light, hence if he came to visit the brothel again, they wouldn’t ask him for money, and I can even envision that they would give him some wine or food. Furthermore, they would allow him to roam around. No one would question, why he would come to the gisaengs. His reason was simple: he liked the tenderhearted boy. Finally, we have to question about the scholar’s appearance at the brothel. Why was he there, so dressed up? This scene is relevant, because it displays how Heena noona got manipulated in the end. The teacher used Baek Na-Kyum as tool in order to save his own skin. In reality, Jung In-Hun was there in order to get noticed by rich and powerful nobles. He hoped to find some connections, as he knew that the brothel was the place, where influential aristocrats would like to spend their time. In my opinion, this is what happened. Jung In-Hun knew the importance of Baek Na-Kyum at the brothel. From my point of view, he used this knowledge to achieve his goal. He must have approached the guest at the gisaeng, while Heena noona was serving him. But the rich aristocrat got upset that a scholar was bothering him and started beating the poor woman. Seeing this, Baek Na-Kyum cried which gave Jung In-Hun the excuse to leave the place. He needed to console the boy. While reading this, the manhwalovers sense the origin of Heena noona’s prejudices towards rich aristocrats. The latter would disregard her, because the teacher was around, as the latter was hoping to get some benefit from it. With this scene, Byeonduck exposes the origin of Heena’s blindness, which is also visible in different panels, like this one: (chapter 68) As you can detect, the absence of her eyes reflect her blindness. The feelings she is projecting onto the painter’s are actually her own. (chapter 68) Now, we know why Baek Na-Kyum was so indoctrinated in the end. His own sister was also a victim of the manipulator, whom I had already diagnosed as a person suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder. Note that she uses the same vocabular than the scholar. (chapter 18) Hence I come to the conclusion, the teacher used the school in order to manipulate the commoners and the gisaengs. While he portrayed himself as righteous and kind, he described the powerful nobles as violent and arrogant, so that he would get the admiration from the commoners. In truth, he was deceiving them, since he looked down on them. Yet he needed them in order to get some connections to the powerful and rich nobles visiting the gisaeng house. On the other hand, since he didn’t want to get too close to the gisaengs, he employed the innocent boy as a shield, misleading Heena noona to think that Jung In-Hun had feelings for her brother. That’s why he hugs the protagonist so tightly. (chapter 68) For Heena, he was a hero, because he gave the impression that he cared for them, whereas it was the total opposite.

If we pay now attention to the butler’s behavior, it looks like the first aspect (“Acting voluntarily for the service of others who are in need“) is present in his action. He wanted to help Heena. (chapter 67) However, the second component (“Performing actions without any expectation of reward or external gain“) doesn’t apply, because he is not doing it for free. Let’s not forget Kim’s philosophy, which was exposed in chapter 65: (chapter 65) He hates scandal and trouble. The gisaeng created such a uproar that Kim almost lost his credibility in front of his master. (chapter 65) He had two reasons for allowing her to meet the painter. First, Kim feared that she would cause more chaos in the future. Secondly, Kim realized that Baek Na-Kyum had become a huge source of trouble. He knew that the artist had been abducted, hence he got aware that Baek Na-Kyum had become a target of nobles. Furthermore, as soon as he had been returned, his sister made such a ruckus that she had turned the mansion upside down. Besides, like I had mentioned before, due to her behavior, she had put Kim in a difficult spot. Finally, he had another ground for giving his help: (chapter 65) He had seen the painter hurt in the bedchamber, so his words “Lord Yoon will not harm Nakyum” were proven wrong. Therefore I conclude, he had something to gain from his intervention. But what exactly? In my perspective, Kim wanted to get rid of the painter. The valet had already anticipated that Heena noona would ask her brother to leave the mansion. That’s why he said her this: (chapter 67) The butler anticipated her words and actions, as he is very perceptive (see chapter 23). At the same time, he told her the truth: (chapter 67) He had never received the authorization from his master. However, the manhwalovers should recognize that he painted his master in a rather negative light, while leaving a good impression on her. (chapter 67) In his mind, the butler thought that Baek Na-Kyum would leave the place right away after the harsh treatment he had received. For him, there was no doubt that no one in his right mind would stay at such a place. He knew that Yoon Seungho would come back soon. In other words, he was not helping Heena or Baek Na-Kyum here. He was doing himself a favor: his desire was to lead a peaceful life. Therefore, this explanation contradicts the first point.

As for the third point (“Recognition and acceptance of the potential risk or sacrifice made by taking heroic actions“), the manhwalovers should question this: When he granted the favor, was he putting his life at risk or was he willing to sacrifice himself? In my opinion, he was not, as he was acting behind his master’s back. He waited for the lord’s departure, then he allowed her to enter the mansion with the hope that Baek Na-Kyum would follow her right away. That’s why he was waiting outside next to the door. At the same time, he couldn’t tell her to hurry. At no moment, he was risking his life. He was using his position as the loyal valet to make decisions on his own, and even lied to the head-maid, when she questioned his behavior. (chapter 67) In my opinion, we have here a new version of the painter’s escape from the first season: Kim acting as a shadow helped the artist to run away (chapter 29-30). However, the problem is that he got caught by Yoon Seungho. (chapter 68) What should he do now? I would like to remind the manhwaphiles that Kim had not only disobeyed his master’s order, but he had acted, as if he was a lord. He had given the permission without Yoon Seungho’s consent. (chapter 68 It is important to recall that this story takes place in Joseon, therefore Kim’s action can definitely be judged as a betrayal and usurpation of power. One might argue that he desired to help Heena, yet like I exposed above, he did out of selfishness and not because he felt concerned for the painter and for her. As such, Yoon Seungho has the right to be upset. He is the master and someone is acting behind his back, overlooking his orders. Under this perspective, the head-maid appears more loyal to her lord than Kim himself. In this scene, he was only serving his own interest.

People were rejoicing that Kim became brave, because he criticized his master for his behavior. But what they failed to realize is the importance of the timing. Why now? Observe that Kim only starts confronting the main lead after Yoon Seungho threatens him with consequences: (chapter 68). Note that the protagonist doesn’t menace to kill the gisaeng. He just desires to send her away, but he is now determined to punish his butler for his disobedience. He usurped his position, and as a lord he is allowed to do so. And that’s the moment, when Kim starts speaking the truth, which many readers associate to something positive.

However, this is important to realize that truth can also be used as manipulation. This is called paltering. Psychologists discern 3 types of lie: lie by commission, lie by omission and paltering.

Like lying by omission, paltering can involve failing to disclose relevant information, but unlike lying by omission, paltering involves the active disclosure of true but misleading information: paltering enables would-be deceivers to actively influence a target’s beliefs” (Rogers, Zeckhauser, Gino, Norton, & Schweitzer, 2016). quoted from https://workplacepsychology.net/2016/12/18/to-deceive-using-truthful-statements-is-called-paltering/

This type of lie and manipulation is often used by politicians and even traders. They try to divert attention from the real main issue, and in our case: the butler’s disobedience and abuse of power. The other advantage is that since the paltering person is using truth as his tool, it is easier to remember and not get caught by the target. Moreover, the manipulator doesn’t have to feel guilty, as it looks like ethically more correct than lies.

That’s why it is important to look at the timing, when Kim reveals the truth. Here, I would like to bring another scene, where Kim’s first paltering was visible: chapter 50 Note, that in that chapter, the lord had the sword in his hand, and strangely the valet came late. As you can imagine, this is no coincidence. In my opinion, butler knew that something bad had happened and in order to escape his lord’s bad mood, he arrived late on purpose (lie by commission), but at the same time he revealed his knowledge about the cause for Baek Na-Kyum’s depressed mood in order to divert his master’s attention. That way, he could put the blame on the absent noble, but also on the painter. The latter had disregarded him due to the scholar’s words. At the same time, he made the lord feel insecure, because it showed him that he had behaved exactly like a client, a man obsessed with sex. That’s why with the butler’s intervention, the master had a relapse. What mattered for Kim was a peaceful life, the rest is (chapter 65) Yet, he never expected such a change of behavior in the main lead, that’s why he blamed the painter afterwards. (chapter 52)

Hence I come to the conclusion that Kim’s MO is mostly paltering. And now, it is time to return our attention to the conversation between Yoon Seungho and his valet. It is important to examine each argument Kim brought up: (chapter 68) Initially, it looks like he is appealing to the lord’s heart, but in reality the main point is the noble’s judgement. The valet is reprimanding his master for his lack of discernment. He misjudged the painter’s behavior. This is relevant because in this panel, I view a first emotional manipulation. His real intent is to make the lord doubt his own judgement, like “look, back then you made the wrong decision… therefore you could be wrong here”. But the readers know that Yoon Seungho is right. Heena is determined to take away his lover, so his initial judgement about Heena is indeed correct. In his eyes, she represents a source of thread, he might lose the artist. One might argue that Yoon Seungho is sequestring the painter which is also correct, yet like my reader Luzy pointed out, this is the painter’s decision. Neither Kim nor Heena nor Yoon Seungho have to make the decision for him. And here, Kim and Heena are trying to do so. The problem is that Kim got caught. But let’s go back to my initial thought. Kim used his knowledge (the lord’s misjudgment) in order to make his lord doubt himself. and he appealed to his emotions for that. This type of manipulation is called gaslighting:

“Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that’s seen in abusive relationships. It’s the act of manipulating a person by forcing them to question their thoughts, memories, and the events occurring around them. A victim of gaslighting can be pushed so far that they question their own sanity.” https://www.healthline.com/health/gaslighting#:~:text=Gaslighting%20is%20a%20form%20of,they%20question%20their%20own%20sanity.

As a conclusion, Kim made the lord feel insecure and doubt his own judgment and used facts in order to achieve his goal. The lord should rely on his butler’s discernment. But the mercy and favor for the painter are just a subterfuge, he is trying to mask his wrongdoing.

I could bring up another panel as illustration: (chapter 68) Here, he is using the past in order to distort reality and memories while speaking truth. What Kim doesn’t mention here is his involvement in that incident. (chapter 65) Kim is destroying the lord’s confidence, so that Yoon Seungho will rely on Kim’s judgement.

If you pay attention to Kim’s words during that confrontation, Kim is actually utilizing many psychological and emotional manipulations:

  • Guilty trip (chapter 68) “You are so cruel to this boy”. He might be right, yet why didn’t he say anything in chapter 64? (chapter 64) He literally looked away, because truth wasn’t helpful in this case. Feigning innocence and ignorance was more appropriate. (chapter 23)
  • Shaming and vilifying the target: (chapter 68)
  • Projection: it is a defense mechanism used to displace responsibility. Here, Kim decided to use Baek Na-Kyum as justification for his infraction: (chapter 68)
  • Triangulation: “Triangulation is a tactic used to manipulate an interaction between two people who are not communicating directly with one another. It is problematic because a third person becomes involved in a situation that should be between the two individuals involved in the conflict.” https://www.e-counseling.com/mental-health/what-is-triangulation-psychology/  (chapter 68) Here, Kim is mentioning the past, where he played an active role between the father and son. In other words, he is reminding the master that he is acting like a mediator. However, this revelation exposes the servant’s manipulation. He was one of the causes for the falling apart between father Yoon and the eldest son. We have to imagine that he never revealed the real reason for Yoon Seungho’s rebellious nature to father Yoon. And here, he is behaving like in the past. He tries to intervene between Baek Na-Kyum, Heena noona and Yoon Seungho, as if he had the right to. (chapter 68)
  • Diversion: (chapter 68) he is bringing up the past to divert Yoon Seungho from the main problem: Kim abused his position.
  • Negging: (chapter 68) making a person feel bad about herself, by giving backhanded compliments or comparing to another person. On the surface, it looks like constructive criticism, while in reality the victim is supposed to feel terrible and doubt his personality. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/negging

I have to admit that I can’t give you an illustration of all psychological tricks Kim used in this confrontation. On wikipedia, there is a whole list of different psychological manipulations, which served me as orientation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_manipulation Nonetheless, as the readers can detect, I tried to look for more info for this analysis.

After portraying Kim as a manipulator, I would like to remind my reader of two aspects: I described the butler as the gatekeeper, the one who opens the door. And now, if the manhwaphiles pay attention to this picture, (chapter 68) they will detect that the door is now open. The valet opened Pandora’s box in my opinion. That’s why Yoon Seungho was hurt and at the end ran away. (chapter 68) He had heard, how Heena noona was comparing him to misfortune, reinforcing his negative opinion about himself. He had been already prepared mentally by his butler. He was as wounded as Baek Na-Kyum, when the scholar had voiced his true thoughts about the painter. (chapter 40) While the artist’s fate is to become a prostitute, the other is destined to bring misery. He already externalized this perception about himself in chapter 49: (chapter 68) For me, chapter 68 is the new version of chapter 40. That’s why I wasn’t rejoicing at all about Kim’s behavior. He was far from being honest with his truth. In reality, he used truth mixed with emotions as his ultimate tool in order to save his own skin. In other words, he functioned as the noble’s mirror.

This scene made me think of “Snow White and the 7 dwarfs”, where the mirror of truth tells the jealous queen that Snow White is far more beautiful than her. With this truth, the queen is led to take actions against the heroine and torment her. And here, we have another allusion how truth can be used as a weapon. The mirror never told the queen how to become the most beautiful woman. He never gave her any advice, it retained information: beauty can be different. It is not just the physical aspect, but it is about the personality. Therefore we could say that the mirror of Truth manipulated the queen leading her to her own demise. However, at no moment the queen never questioned the mirror of Truth and its ulterior motive. That’s exactly how Kim behaved the whole time explaining why Yoon Seungho never suspect his words. They reflected the truth. Yet the valet never intervened for his sake and for the painter’s sake. He only did, when he noticed that his lord was angry and let others take the blame, like here the father or Yoon Seungho himself. However, the readers should remember that in this scene, Kim had abused his authority. That’s also a fact.

Therefore I don’t consider Kim as a hero, quite the opposite. He is the worst manipulator, the reason why Yoon Seungho ended up with self-hatred and became violent with his swing moods. Kim isolated him, eroded his sense of reality, making him fear his own image. Besides, he didn’t even help him, when he got raped. Since Yoon Seungho has been manipulated psychologically and emotionally for years, he ended up hating himself.

Long term effects of emotional manipulation:

  1. Isolation and numbness
  2. Requiring approval
  3. Feeling resentful
  4. excessive judging
  5. depressive disorder and anxiety” https://peaksrecovery.com/blog/effects-of-psychological-emotional-manipulation
  6. insomnia
  7. chronic pain
  8. guilt
  9. eventual feelings that their partner or parent is correct, and that they are “no good” or ugly, for example https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327080#long-term-effects

That’s the reflection Kim wanted him to have, so that the latter would never question his servant’s actions. And now, this picture has another meaning for me: (chapter 57) His gaze is only focused on his valet, not realizing that the latter is not honest with him. From my point of view, there’s a reason why Byeonduck put Jung In-Hun’s so-called heroism (chapter 68) next to the valet’s . (chapter 68) For me, she put the readers in the same situation than Heena noona’s. Just like the kisaeng, many readers expressed their admiration for the butler, because he had told the truth. They associated truth to goodness. Heena noona also watched the kindness in the scholar’s gesture leading her to think that the teacher was a honest and caring person, yet she overlooked that the teacher had in reality abandoned her. He never protected her and let her suffer. This picture truly reflects his cowardice and treachery (chapter 68) He slowly takes the artist in his arms. He doesn’t rush to her side, remains silent and immobile. His passivity reflects his true personality, but Heena is too focused on her young brother to grasp the situation. (chapter 68) The crying boy is used as a diversion. Besides, I am quite certain that Jung In-Hun was actually the source of her misery by trying to get attention from powerful nobles. Note that the scholar and Kim utilize both the painter’s to hide behind their misdeed. He serves as a justification why the scholar left the gisaeng behind and why Kim defied his master’s order. The domestic used kindness and pity as legitimations (chapter 68), while it was the opposite. He desired to get rid of them.

But there’s hope in my opinion. Baek Na-Kyum refused to listen to his sister’s words, which Kim hadn’t expected. Therefore he got caught, he anticipated Baek Nakyum’s eagerness to leave. (chapter 67) Secondly, by giving his master a reflection of his behavior, the valet lost his influence on the main lead. Remember that I wrote that Baek Na-Kyum served as the lord’s mirror, therefore he will take over the valet’s role. He will reveal his true reflections: his flaws and wrongdoings (chapter 68), but also his quality: his honesty (chapter 58). Let’s not forget that the artist realized his dedication in chapter 58. Note the huge difference. The artist never uses others in order to judge the lord. Kim will realize soon enough the consequences of opening Pandora’s box. He might have achieved his goal (the lord won’t punish him for his disobedience), yet he lost his lord’s trust. Notice that right after this quarrel, Yoon Seungho started treating Baek Na-Kyum like a noble. (chapter 69) (chapter 72) From that moment on, Yoon Seungho was no longer viewing the valet as the unofficial lord. We could say that he had lost his status as “hero” in the main lead’s eyes.

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Painter Of The night: The Joker’s plan

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.

What caught my attention is the huge influence Min has over Jihwa. The moment The Joker starts talking to the host, the red-haired aristocrat is not willing to listen to him. Due to his suggestion, he suffered a lot in the past, therefore he doesn’t want to make the same experience again: anxiety and remorse. Yet, at the end of the chapter 67, Jihwa is sitting like an obedient monkey and paying attention to Black Heart’s words. It was, as if the red-haired noble had given up on his “humanity” in the sense, he is no longer using his brain. How could this happen? The readers will blame Yoon Seungho for this. The moment he barged in his bedchamber, Jihwa ran away from his childhood friend and hid behind the windscreen. He was too scared and didn’t want to face Yoon Seungho’s wrath. But this attitude exposed simultaneously that he was not willing to assume his responsibilities. Remember that he relied on Nameless so much. Since the latter had become his hands, it signified that the criminal was accountable for the crime. Note this panel outlines Jihwa’s escapism. “I know, he couldn’t have seen me”, the scared man imagined, because Baek Na-Kyum had his eyes covered, then he wouldn’t get caught. What he failed to realize is that first, he spoke so that the servant could have recognized his voice, Nameless was well aware of this. Then, he counted on Nameless’ promise. For me, this panel embodies Jihwa’s habit: avoiding any responsibility for a wrongdoing, which could be seen in the three wise monkeys: In reality, a perverted version, as for Jihwa, if no one sees, speaks or hears his misdeed, then it means, he has nothing to fear. He has the impression that nothing happened. Getting caught triggers his anxieties, as it is connected to the incident with the door and Yoon Seungho’s suffering. And now you understand why Jihwa was so scared after the scene Yoon Seungho made: he had been caught for the third time!! Chapter 18 , chapter 57 and chapter 67 And each time, Yoon Seungho’s anger increased. However, each time, the aristocrat with black eyes never expressed remorse and offered an apology. I would even add that he never saw these as misdeeds, as he always justified his misdeeds. In chapter 10/17, Baek Na-Kyum represented a source of temptation for his friend and he had even seduced him. Then when he sent lord Song’s fake letter to his friend, he justified his action by putting the blame on his friend for changing and cutting ties with him. Finally, the painter was the reason why he got rejected. In all three cases, he never questioned, how his actions affected his victims. That’s why even when he got caught, he never changed his behavior. This explicates why Jihwa didn’t learn his lesson, as he didn’t see the wrongdoings and its impact on others.

Hence one might think that Jihwa changed his mind because of the main lead’s behavior and menace. But it only looks like that on the surface, as from my point of view, the trigger for this switch are Min’s words. First he offered help. Then he predicted Yoon Seungho’s arrival, so that Jihwa was deceived. Black Heart had already prepared his move. He created the illusion that “To Help you” was genuine, as his prediction had become true. For me, “to help you” played a huge role, as Min is well aware of the red-haired noble’s personality. He knows that the neglected child has never been willing to take any responsibility, letting others take the blame. There’s a reason for that: Min was his teacher, The Joker who never got caught himself. For Jihwa, the idiom “to help you” is a synonym for reliability. Therefore he has the impression that thanks to Black Heart, he can keep avoiding any accountability. But Min, as The Joker, will be the one teaching him a lesson. The latter has already planned for Jihwa to take the fall, making him believe that the commoners (Heena, Kim and eventually Nameless) will be blamed for the painter’s second kidnapping. What Jihwa fails to realize is that since Black Heart revealed his secret twice, the latter needs to put a neat, clean ending, so that no one will realize the existence of a mastermind behind the second kidnapping. My prediction is that Min has already calculated Jihwa’s death. This is the devil talking, when he voices those words: He is tempting Jihwa. The Joker was there, when Yoon Seungho warned the former friend and used his sword against him. That’s why the Joker could only laugh, when he saw Jihwa trembling after seeing the weapon so closely. He had to contain his laugh and smile behind his hand. He saw it as a confirmation that the noble would retaliate, if Baek Na-Kyum got abducted a second time. The lord wouldn’t even question his childhood friend. That way, Min would be able to get away, while Yoon Seungho would have to face infuriated aristocrats who would despise him for killing one of their fellows for a low-born. Imagine the destruction he is preparing, just to taste the painter.

That’s how strong his desire and needs are. The devastation he is plotting mirrors the power of his feelings or better said obsession. There’s no doubt that the kiss worsened his condition. That’s why he waited at Jihwa’s door the next morning. He could barely contain his impatience and his jealousy. The lord was far from being in a good mood. His smile is actually an expression of his anger and resent. As time passed on, his desire for the artist got so strong that at the end, he felt the need to approach Yoon Seungho’s mansion. But there, he had to see the painter’s smooth legs in the main lead’s arms. And now, imagine Min’s face, when he saw this: even the merchant, who never had sex with a man before was already bewitched by them. And now, you comprehend why Min has the sensation that he has been bewitched and can’t escape from this attraction. Therefore, it becomes comprehensible why Min wishes to have Jihwa killed in the end. He resents him for putting him in a misery. He had ordered his red-haired servant to bring him the painter, but the childish man had not only disobeyed him twice, but he had made it more difficult for Min to obtain the painter. Yoon Seungho would be on his guard now. That’s the other reason why Black Heart has already projected Jihwa’s death.

But why doesn’t Jihwa realize that? Why doesn’t he use his brain or his ears? I mean, Yoon Seungho warned him, but in reality he was asking Jihwa to stop meddling in his life. In other words, Yoon Seungho was still lenient, as he didn’t ask for a punishment. The only thing the noble needed to do was to avoid his friend’s path. But the problem is that Jihwa got so anxious, as he had been caught that he could no longer think straight. His anxiety was so strong that he wasn’t even able to walk. Observe the presence of The Joker on the windscreen. Since the aristocrat is so paralyzed by his anxiety, his weakened condition explains why he falls for Black Heart’s manipulation so easily. At the same time, this drawing illustrates that Jihwa’s fear is more linked to getting caught than to Yoon Seungho’s wrath. Let’s not forget that in chapter 59, the readers heard about the protagonist’s rage shocking the noble with the mole. Yet, Jihwa didn’t seem to upset and traumatized after that, which the friend noted. He was even surprised that the red-haired noble was able to maintain his relationship with his childhood friend. I see it as a proof that his angst is linked to apprehension and arrest. That’s why I believe that the advice given by Min before the appearance of the main lead played a huge role. Since Jihwa has internalized avoidance and escapism, assistance sounds like avoidance of responsibility. And now, you understand, Jihwa has been following his “teacher”‘s rules so faithfully: This explicates why The Joker knows how to manipulate the young man. Note that in this scene, he is actually contradicting his own doctrine. While the red-haired aristocrat decided to run away (escapism), the devil convinced him otherwise. Yet, the childish protagonist was not able to notice the hypocrisy and the lies. Yoon Seungho had indeed proposed a neat and clean ending: Never to cross his path. Nothing was clearer and neater than the sword swayed next to his face. He never expressed the desire to get revenge or to have him punished. However, Jihwa couldn’t think properly, too emotionally upset. Besides, the manhwaworms can perceive in the panel above that the red-haired noble is is hiding his face and covering his ears, unable to face reality and truth. Consequently, he is blind and deaf so that he is not able to perceive evil standing right in front of him.

As a first conclusion, Min is seducing Jihwa for the second time, asking his disciple to follow his rules: Baek Na-Kyum’s abduction, rape and murder. The irony is that The Joker presents himself as savior to his terrified servant, making him believe that he just needs to follow his instructions. Like I mentioned above, there’s no doubt that Min is planning to use Heena noona and even Kim. First, he heard from the guardian that people believed that the sister was involved in the artist’s disappearance. Secondly, he saw the uproar she caused at the entrance of the propriety. Moreover, the Joker must have noticed how Kim was standing at the door, yet the latter never stopped him and allowed him to be pushed away. This gesture signalized that the valet was a pushover. Besides, I have to admit that I am suspecting Kim to have met Min during that night in chapter 52/53/54. Back then, I was wondering where the man was, when the door of Baek Na-Kyum’s study was destroyed and when Deok-Jae fled. Furthermore, between the time Yoon Seungho brought Baek Na-Kyum to his room and Black Heart’s return, minutes elapsed… yet Kim never intervened. I have the impression, he played a similar role than during the night of the rape. He acted in the shadow, following his favorite philosophy: He is very similar to Jihwa, he is avoiding any responsibility by faking ignorance, whereas Jihwa has not learned to recognize evil and wrongdoings. Therefore I believe that The Joker must have recognized the butler’s true personality. Besides, because the valet doesn’t want to get into trouble with a noble, he can only accept any request from them. To sum up, in my opinion, the Joker’s plan is to involve Nameless, Heena noona and Kim, but he will make Jihwa the scapegoat. In Black Heart’s plot, his disciple killed the artist due to his fiery jealousy, whereas he tells the “monkey” that commoners like Heena noona will be blamed for this. However, Min already talked to Kim and asked him to let Heena noona to meet her brother. Min is expecting that the gisaeng will try to convince her brother to escape from the mansion. She just needs to get the opportunity to speak with Baek Na-Kyum. These words are important, as it shows that Kim has already envisaged what she will say to him. Hence Kim said this: he doesn’t need to say anything, while at the same time, he is putting the whole blame on her. He will say that he had no idea that she entered the mansion, therefore he justified his intervention: Kim has many reasons to act like this. First, the lord noticed his lack of competence (chapter 65) , secondly the painter caused him so many worries that he can only consider the low-born as a source of trouble now. Min must have convinced him that he won’t get caught due to the gisaeng’s intervention and scream. Besides Jihwa will get suspected, if a second kidnapping occurs. Therefore, he can always feign ignorance.

And now, you will ask the role played by the second Joker, Nameless. Where does he intervene? In order to answer that question, it is important to examine the circumstances which led to the first abduction. The reason is simple. Since this story is based on the principle, “history is repeating itself”, this signifies that the second crime will be similar, yet the chronology and the roles will be switched.

  1. Min as instigator at his friend’s house
  2. First, the crime was postponed, for Nameless hoped that Jihwa would change his mind: DELAY. This signifies that time passed on leading to the second lead’s agony: IMPATIENCE
  3. Nameless hired Deok-Jae as spy: SPY
  4. Deok-Jae was asked to push Baek Na-Kyum to leave the mansion which ended up in a failure: FIRST ATTEMPT FAILED
  5. Min saw the incident with Deok-Jae, the latter could escape: BRUTAL BEATING, ESCAPE
  6. Kim brought the painter to the doctor without his lord’s permission: VISIT TO THE DOCTOR
  7. The doctor saw something but out of fear, he remained silent: WITNESS
  8. In Nameless’ opinion, Jihwa’s fake letter contributed to organize the crime: JIHWA’S ROLE
  9. Deok-Jae’s death due to blackmail: SERVANT’S DEATH
  10. Nameless told him that Jihwa would have to make the choice and take his responsibility: RESPONSIBILITY
  11. The consequence: an uproar in town due to the behavior of Yoon Seungho’s servants.

If you look at the summary, you’ll notice that we have 4 persons involved in the first kidnapping: Min, Jihwa, Nameless and Deok-Jae. Yet, Kim and the physician helped them indirectly, as Kim allowed the artist to leave the mansion without his lord’s permission and the physician acted, as though he saw nothing. In other words, we have 6 participants. Therefore, I believe that there will be another person involved in the second abduction beside Nameless, Min, Jihwa, Heena and Kim. This seems to corroborate my theory that Nameless has already planted a spy at Yoon Seungho’s mansion. But there’s another person who could play an important role in the second kidnapping: the head-maid of the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that she will help them, but she will be involved, because she will help the noble and the painter.

Now, I will explain my prediction. The numbers at the beginning of each paragraph are referring to the list of the elements for the first kidnapping.

1./2. What caught my attention is the importance of time and how the first crime got delayed. Since I portrayed Min as extremely impatient due to his strong desire to taste the painter, I believe that he will be the one suffering the most!! (DELAY, IMPATIENCE) The Joker is fell into his own trap! Why?

4. His plan to use Heena noona will fail (1. ATTEMPT FAILED). From my point of view, Baek Na-Kyum will reject her offer and explain that he prefers staying at the mansion. Let’s not forget that the painter dreamed of Yoon Seungho while resting. His dream was a mixture of dream and reality, yet as you know, the artist’s dream has always come true. Besides, when he woke up, he imagined that he was seeing his lord, exposing his desire to have him by his side. That’s why I believe that Baek Na-Kyum won’t follow her suggestion. Besides, the manhwaphiles shouldn’t forget that the head-maid was heading to the painter’s chamber. Consequently, I am expecting a new version from chapter 46. From my point of view, her words will have an influence on the low-born and his sister. Another evidence for this theory is the incident in Baek Na-Kyum’s study in chapter 53. The artist refused to leave the propriety, although he was hurt by Deok-Jae. In my opinion, the commoner will reject her offer so that Min is forced to wait. Imagine Min’s torments!! They will be so different from Jihwa’s. I have the feeling that unlike his disciple who drank to hide his anxieties, the lord Min will resort to opium. Min’s new hanbok in chapter 56 exposes his transformation: the pattern reminds the readers of the opium smoke. Furthermore, his return was announced with this picture: There’s no doubt for me that Min will get caught and will suffer the consequences of his manipulations. Since The Joker’s return, I have always predicted his death: he gets suffocated due to strangulation. First, Yoon Seungho broke the pheasant’s neck during the hunt with Min (chapter 41). The blood on his hands comes from the wounds caused by the arrows. But I also noticed a progression, how the lord used his hands during the second season: from this (chapter 61) to this (chapter 67). His hands are getting closer to the throat, for me a clue that Yoon Seungho will eliminate his rival personally.

6. Because of his impatience and his increasing urges, I sense that Min will decide to put Kim under pressure, either directly or through Jihwa. Since the domestic is a pushover, he will be forced to follow the order. That’s why Kim will have to lie to the painter. I have the impression that he will use the sister as excuse. She desires to meet him outside the mansion. It is also possible that a visit to the doctor could be the cause for the artist to believe the hypocrite valet. (BAEK NA-KYUM’s VISIT AS CAUSE FOR HIS DISAPPEARANCE) Kim will lead Baek Na-Kyum to the trap. Honestly, I am expecting a new version of chapter 29, when Jung In-Hun led the painter back to the mansion. Yet, this time it will be the other way around.

9. This time, valet Kim won’t be able to escape his fate. He will be executed by his own master in the end (SERVANT’S DEATH). I doubt that Yoon Seungho will believe his words:

7./ 11. In my perspective, his departure will be noticed. Since Kim can’t ask the low-born to leave during the night, the second attempt will happen during the day. Because Kim and Baek Na-Kyum will walk through town, inhabitants will notice their move. Remember how Jung In-Hun felt uncomfortable, when Baek Na-Kyum met him on the street. He was annoyed, as he feared people’s gaze and asked the painter to follow him to an isolated place. Since I am imagining a new version of chapter 29, I am expecting that Baek Na-Kyum’s walk through town will attract people’s attention. Let’s not forget that in chapter 64, his escape caused a huge uproar, and I doubt that people will have already forgotten the artist. Since the low-born was seen many times in that town and no one paid attention to him before, Kim will imagine that no one will notice the artist. Remember that no one observed them, when they went to the doctor for the first time. And in the mean time, Baek Na-Kyum won’t leave the propriety for the time being. However, Kim is not expecting that people will witness him.

10./8/ 3 As for Nameless, I believe that he will play a similar role: he will ask Jihwa to become responsible and no longer avoid his wrongdoings, as Jihwa played a role in the second crime. I also think, the criminal will force him to witness the consequences of his choices and will refuse to take the fall. I am still expecting that Jihwa will be punished for Deok-Jae’s death. It is still possible that the red-haired noble changes his mind, and tries to stop the second abduction. There’s no doubt that Min’s plan will affect the second lead’s relationship with the criminal. I have the feeling that Nameless will play a key role in Min’s demise. First, the Joker has truly perceived Nameless’ true role: Do you remember that a buffoon is a synonym for “joker”? From my point of view, Nameless has already placed a spy at Yoon Seungho’s mansion. I am still convinced that the new guardian is giving info to the criminal due to his explanations to Min. His words reflected the butcher’s plan so well, besides he was so sure for the desertion without feeling angry and hurt. Sure, I made a mistake and mistook the man at Jihwa’s mansion as the same person due to the color of the shirt. However, this doesn’t mean that Nameless abandoned the idea of planting a spy. He warned the painter not to talk. From my point of view, the butcher never expected the lord’s reaction. Imagine, his servants caused such an uproar so that Nameless should have realized that his attempt to transform the disappearance into a normal escape failed. And if my assumption about the guardian as spy is correct, Nameless will realize that there’s a mastermind behind the abduction… especially if Jihwa argues with him about the discovery and reproaches him his bad work. I have to admit that I am uncertain about the criminal’s role. It is definitely possible that Jihwa is asked to contact Nameless again. Let’s not forget, Min believes that Nameless is someone who will do anything for money. He can’t imagine that the criminal was the one who convinced the red-haired noble not to commit the murder. However, this time the butcher will refuse. Even if Jihwa’s involvement has been revealed, I doubt that the criminal is not aware of Yoon Seungho’s visit to the family Lee. Since Yoon Seungho didn’t retaliate against Jihwa and only warned him, Nameless has no reason to intervene first. From my point of view, it looks like Yoon Seungho is still not looking too closely to the circumstances of the abduction and Deok-Jae’s servant. But it could change, forcing Nameless to intervene. Due to my previous analyses about Nameless, I came to the conclusion that he represents Jihwa’s conscience, hence he is his liberator. Consequently Nameless can eventually become Jihwa’s hands again, yet this time, Jihwa will never be able to escape his fate: he will be caught and be forced to become responsible. As you can sense, I am still unsure about Nameless’ actions. My instinct is to say that he will refuse to help the red-haired noble first, but could change his mind. One thing is sure: Nameless will confront Jihwa and let him see the consequences of his decisions. I am still hoping that he plays a huge role in the discovery of the mastermind, but there’s nothing sure, as Byeonduck prefers characters with flaws. In her story, there’s no hero, except the artist, if we overlook his lies in the beginning.

My prediction is that Baek Na-Kyum’s second abduction won’t be successful due to Nameless, the presence of witnesses and Min’s miscalculations. The latter will become impatient. Secondly, he doesn’t pay attention to commoners and is underestimating the butcher’s influence on Jihwa. Finally, he is underestimating his opponent Yoon Seungho and his own obsession for the painter. In this scene, Min is not only lying to Jihwa, but also to himself. I doubt, that his thirst for the artist will be satisfied with a single sex session. Like I mentioned it before, Min became fascinated by the artist’s gaze oozing desire and purity. Furthermore, I believe that the artist will resist this time due to the scene at the pavilion in chapter 25, it is still possible that he is able to escape too. Finally, the lord will know for sure that the artist didn’t run away from him this time. That’s why he will use other means to find his lover: that’s how the purge will take place. As you can anticipate it, my predictions are based on observations, therefore it can definitely turn out differently. Yet, I think the list I made could be helpful to envision the evolution of the story. In other words, you are more than welcome to imagine a different story about the second kidnapping.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: Painting and desires – part 2 (fourth version)

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. 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/

Thanks to my reader @nakyuhm, I could definitely improve this version.

I guess, you are surprised by the choice of the picture for the illustration, but as you can guess, there’s reason for this. While reading the second episode from Alternative Universe, two elements caught my attention: the role played by the servant Jung In-Hun and the words said by the main lead Yoon Seungho to the noble Baek Na-Kyum.

First, the domestic shows kindness and care to his young master reminding me of the butler Kim in the original, implying that we have a fake affection. But if Jung In-Hun replaces Kim, it signifies that Baek Na-Kyum is now living the life of the noble Yoon Seungho in the original story. From that moment, I tried to verify this theory: We have an older sister who seems to be jealous of her younger brother, because she mocks him by calling him a baby. The source of her resent is simple: since Baek Na-Kyum is the only son of their family, he always gets the attention and admiration from the father, while she, as an older sister, is overlooked due to her gender. Hence I connected her to Yoon Seung-Won, the younger brother, for I had already pointed out in one of my former analyses that there existed a certain jealousy between them due to their father. This was truly palpable in this incident. Back then, I had imagined that it was related to the topknot incident. However, I think now that what we are witnessing is a straw mat beating. The younger master, who betrayed his older brother out of jealousy, never imagined that his father would retaliate like that. He had envisioned that his brother would get into trouble and loses the father’s admiration, yet not to this extent. Another allusion to jealousy was the words expressed by the main lead, when he confessed to his lover: (chapter 55) From my point of view, he was reliving his past, when he saw his brother getting the father’s attention. Let’s not forget that this story is based on the principle: history keeps repeating itself, therefore the jealousy resented towards the low noble was the present, while in the past, Yoon Seungho resented his brother in the past, it was the moment where jealousy reached his peak. That’s why I saw the roles played by the sister and Jung In-Hun as a confirmation that Byeonduck had chosen to reveal the protagonist’s past in the Alternative Universe by switching their places. Yet, this means that the readers will always see the uke suffering. She desires the readers to imagine the main lead’s traumatic past. While many readers are liking the Alternative Universe because of the humor and the lightness, I am convinced that we are actually headed to a huge tragedy, a repetition of the original story… as it represents Yoon Seungho’s past. On the other hand, it is important to remember that although this is just a repetition of the story, we shouldn’t forget that the story is not simply a pure repetition, as the elements and the chronology are changed. As a conclusion, Baek Na-Kyum will suffer a similar tragedy than the protagonist in the main story, yet it will also be a little different, maybe less painful.

But if Baek Na-Kyum represents the powerful noble Yoon Seungho from the original story, this means that the latter was a painter too. What caught my attention is the following panel: He showed the picture, while saying that it was signed Na-Min. However, if the readers pay attention to the painting, there’s no signature on it. Besides, I doubt that as a commoner, he is able to read, remember that the artist in the original story can’t read either. One might argue that the shopkeeper told him the name of the creator, when he showed him the painting. Yet, this argument is incorrect for three reasons. First, the merchant had no reason to mention him, because the former knows that Baek Na-Kyum is selling his pictures directly in order to keep his hobby a secret. Moreover, imagine, Baek Na-Kyum portrayed the famous sodomite Yoon Seungho who is a commoner. The merchant would have questioned him about the circumstances, how he got a painting from the noble. How could the innocent noble have painted the commoner as model? This would have shocked the merchant. From my point of view, the shopkeeper didn’t recognize the artist’s work at all, but he proposed him 5 coins due to his greed. He must have repeated the following remarks: In my perspective, the trader was just repeating the criticisms heard from someone else. Compare the two reviews, you will notice that the commoner is much more accurate in his review. And he is able to discern the origin of the flaws for such a drawing. That’s why I came to the conclusion that Yoon Seungho was a painter himself. In order to become an arts critic, you need to understand the subject, therefore many painting critics are artists themselves. My explanation is that he discovered the noble’s work by sleeping with nobles. His clients would buy the pictures, which the commoner couldn’t afford himself. What caught my attention is the following panel: Baek Na-Kyum questions his competence with his rhetorical question. In the main lead’s eyes, Yoon Seungho doesn’t have the eye to know… and to judge his paintings. But this question made me think the exact opposite. From my point of view, Yoon Seungho recognized the artist’s style, hence he could name it. And there’s no doubt that he is familiar with his paintings. But unlike Baek Na-Kyum, the commoner is not famous due to his social status. And you understand why I came to this idea that the powerful noble Yoon Seungho in the original story could have been an artist in his youth, a painter and even a poet. From that moment, I started to search for clues in order to corroborate my theory.

First, I remembered this scene in chapter 36: Yoon Seungho used to punish his servants with paint. Note that he doesn’t say “write” but paint on their skin. This showed that the noble used to like painting. When I read chapter 36, I made the following mistake: Yoon Seungho was writing, hence I didn’t pay too much attention to his drawing on the painter’s body. However, I changed my mind, the moment I viewed his lines on Baek Na-Kyum’s body: It definitely looks like a plant and his lines show a certain confidence. Don’t forget that the artist was shivering due to the stroke of the brush, yet there’s no mishap or zigzag on his body. If I include the following panel from the Alternative Universe, then you’ll realize that it is a painting on Yoon Seungho’s body and the author is a painter. This could be judged as another evidence for my theory. A painter drew lines on the body of another artist. Therefore I come to the deduction that in chapter 36, Yoon Seungho started showing his passion to Baek Na-Kyum: he used to paint. The manhwaphiles should remember that in the previous chapter, the lord asked the commoner about his likes and dislikes. Such a conversation implies that the counterpart will also ask about the likes and dislikes of the partner. What does Yoon Seungho like in reality? My answer would be: he liked painting, but exactly like the low-born, he was forced to abandon his passion due to his father.

But this was not the first time that Yoon Seungho painted. First, in chapter 8, we have the following panel: someone attempted to draw a scene of men copulating. Since my hypothesis is Yoon Seungho was a painter in his youth, then it looks like he was the creator of his drawing. Then in chapter 23, the manhwaphiles certainly remember the book he showed to Baek Na-Kyum in order to revive his memory: Therefore Yoon Seungho could have been the author of this picture. Note the progression between the picture from chapter 8 and 23. This time, the artist included colors and the design is more precise, just like the lines are more firm. Then this would explain why Yoon Seungho knew what it meant, when an artist doesn’t practice for a long time. (chapter 2). In that same chapter, the artist noticed how well furnished his study was. He had such an expensive paper, and so many brushes revealing the aristocrat’s knowledge. And now it becomes comprehensible, why the lord could only laugh at the fake excuse given by Jung In-Hun in chapter 30: The low noble had brought the artist to the shop in order to buy him ink and brushes. The lord knew that the painter had everything he needed. In my opinion, Yoon Seungho was the one who took care of that room. That’s why the study is next to his bedchamber.

Another evidence for this theory is the picture Byeonduck chose as illustration for the first season of Painter Of The Night: Note that the drawing behind the noble is not only torn, but it was made on an expensive paper indicating that this work was made by someone rich. Secondly, Baek Na-Kyum never created such a painting in the first season for the protagonist, yet the main lead painted a similar picture in his youth: . However, there exist small divergences: the uke in the purple drawing is embracing his lover exposing such a passion and strong love. And since I explained that Baek Na-Kyum was making the same experiences than the main lead, it looks like the author of this painting in this picture could have been Yoon Seungho who saw two nobles making love and reproduced the scene. Furthermore, observe that the color of the drawing is purple, exactly like the color of the main lead’s robe. We know that Yoon Seungho likes purple very much, he put on a purple hanbok in order to impress the painter in chapter 23. So in my opinion, Yoon Seungho used to paint in secret, exactly like the noble Baek Na-Kyum, as he knew that his father would never allow such a hobby. He had many reasons for that. First, since Father Yoon is portrayed as a controlling father, it means that he was paying attention to the main lead’s every move. While the father might have described painting or poetry as too feminine, the real reason for this interdiction was different. Father Yoon couldn’t allow that Yoon Seungho’s reputation outshines his own. Note that no one remembers the protagonist’s previous reputation. He was intelligent and talented, until father Yoon started spreading the rumor that his son was ill. He needed to get treated. Then later he portrayed him as unruly and difficult in front of people, like the former servant explained in chapter 37. Yoon Seungho liked paintings and even poetry, a thorn in the eye for Father Yoon, as it represented a source of threat for father Yoon. There’s no ambiguity that such an ambitious and greedy man would reject arts. Why? According to my theory, the main lead is the illegitimate son of a kisaeng and the grandfather, so seeing his half-brother getting more famous would definitely infuriate him. Moreover, it would be a constant reminder of Yoon Seungho’s true origins. Finally, if Yoon Seungho became famous as an artist, he could get close to power, like for example he becomes the personal painter of the king. However, when father Yoon discovered that his son had caught the king’s attention, he realized that he could use the protagonist differently. As the king’s courtesan or prostitute, Yoon Seungho would lose all his rights. He would never get recognition and power as well, while father Yoon as his pimp would benefit from it. That’s why when the father mentions “illness”, he could definitely be referring to painting. Yoon Seungho learnt that he had to paint during the night to outlive his passion, and now you understand why I saw the combination of this illustration with the title Painter Of The Night as another possible evidence for my theory: Yoon Seungho was also a painter of the night, just like the noble Baek Na-Kyum in the Alternative Universe.

Another point supporting this theory would the appearance of designs on the main lead’s hanboks. This clearly reveals his passion for drawings and he has such a fine eye for designs: (chapter 45) (chapter 50) (chapter 53) and (chapter 67) Even when he died in a figurative sense, the last hanbok indicates that his liking for drawings has not died yet. Nevertheless, all the pattern have something in common: the presence of nature. There are always animals or plants. And this observation led me to the next conclusion, Yoon Seungho was a painter, but unlike his lover, he loved painting nature. This explains why the main lead painted a plant on the low-born’s body in chapter 36. And we have a clue that Yoon Seungho loves plants and animals, if we use the story from Alternative Universe: Remember how the cat caught the noble’s attention and the latter used a plant to play with the animal.

But how come that he created an erotic painting, if according to my hypothesis, the main lead was preferring nature and animals? In my opinion, Jihwa was responsible for this. Since no one in his mansion paid attention to his whereabouts, he witnessed sodomy and that’s how he discovered his sexual orientation. Then one night, he led his childhood friend to the place where the couple was having sex and Jihwa begged his friend to paint for him what they had seen. The drawing in the illustration for the first season was discovered by the father who destroyed it, because someone tattled on Yoon Seungho. Let’s not forget that in the Alternative Universe we have a lord peeping tom: Moreover, the painter’s sexuality resurfaces the moment he witnesses sex between Jihwa and Yoon Seungho, a new version of voyeurism. Why do I think that Jihwa was the one who led the innocent noble to become a voyeur? Note that in the Alternative Universe, the cat is the one leading Baek Na-Kyum to the cabin and even strokes the artist’s butt, while the latter is beholding the scene: So the main lead was not alone, when he saw the commoner having a fellatio. Besides, the manhwalovers should recall how Baek Na-Kyum saw two nobles having sex at the gisaeng house. The aristocrats hid their sexual orientation behind the gisaengs. On the surface, they would behave like normal men, while in reality they loved another man. I doubt that Yoon Seungho could leave his mansion like that, especially if he was monitored by the staff and especially by his butler and his brother. From my point of view, Jihwa and his friend must have witnessed it at the pavilion. Note that the pavilion played a huge role in the first season: emancipation for Yoon Seungho in chapter 3 and the same for Baek Na-Kyum, as the latter was forced to admit that he loved his teacher in chapter 25. Furthermore, I would like to outline that each scene at the pavilion was linked to painting. After witnessing how two nobles made love, Jihwa begged his friend to paint for him (new version of chapter 8). Simultaneously, the red-haired friend decided to make some advances, as he had always felt attracted to him: That’s why Jihwa decided to visit him during the night, since no one noticed his absence from home. So while the innocent man, Yoon Seungho, was focused on the drawing requested by his friend, Jihwa said this: This interpretation would explain why Yoon Seungho couldn’t perceive Baek Na-Kyum’s preference and why Jihwa was an expert for recognizing virgins. However, during that night, the door opened and Jihwa, too scared to get caught, left his friend behind. What followed, you can imagine: Father Yoon believed to see in his son a homosexual due to the painting and punished him. He beat him and asked for some medication from the doctor. Since there was an erotic painting in his son’s room, the father went to father Lee and told him about the painting. However, father Yoon blamed his son for the incident. That’s how Jihwa was separated from his friend, yet the latter chose to remain silent and let Yoon Seungho suffer the consequences from his request. Then he must have heard from the staff that a teacher was hired for a conversion therapy. This would explain why Yoon Seungho relived his second abandonment during that night of revelations: first, the friend who ran away because he had been able to escape and later the rape with Kim at the door: Besides, the manhwaphiles will certainly recall how worried Baek Na-Kyum was in chapter 16 and 17, after leaving the lord’s bedchamber in a hurry. He couldn’t eat and kept wondering if someone had seen him or not, a new version of what the red-haired noble had experienced. In my opinion, there were two incidents occurring with the painting:

  1. The first one was Yoon Seung-Won who gave a painting to his father, so that his admired brother would lose all his credibility by his father… and I believe that Kim played a role in it, as he could be the one who gave the painting (chapter 37) to the younger master. This led to the straw mat beating. The scholar Jung In-Hun told his future sponsor this: We have to envision that the powerful main lead experienced a similar incident.
  2. The incident with the door: my idea is that his father was tipped off by Kim so that the latter wouldn’t be blamed for this. Remember what I wrote once: in chapter 16, Kim was the one who opened the door, yet he had been manipulated by the vicious and envious Deok-Jae.

I have to admit that I have no idea about the identity of the persons involved in the love session at the pavilion. One thing is sure: One of the fathers was caught making love to another man. And now, you can comprehend why I got more and more convinced that Yoon Seungho was a painter.

I sense that Jihwa’s spirit and love for nature inspired Yoon Seungho in his drawings. Note that the windscreens in Jihwa and Yoon Seungho’s chamber have a pattern containing trees and plants. I believe, Yoon Seungho could sense free spirit in his childhood friend, reminding him of nature and freedom. That’s why I believe that the cat in Alternative Universe represents Jihwa. First, we have the presence of red . Moreover, Jihwa is represented by an animal in the original story, the monkey. Furthermore, the behavior of Baek Na-Kyum in Alternative Universe reminds us of a cat’s… Furthermore, like my reader @Peperon21428670 pointed out, I had already associated the painter to nature. This explicates why Yoon Seungho chose to paint a plant on the artist’s body that night. He sensed the connection between nature and the artist. And since Jihwa and Baek Na-Kyum are similar, then the cat embodying free spirit and longing for affection can only represent the second lead. This would stand in opposition to Yoon Seungho’s mansion, which the eldest son felt like a cage and prison. This explicates why Yoon Seungho was painting nature and liked his childhood friend so much. He embodied everything what the main lead couldn’t have. Furthermore, with this new approach, it would confirm that there were two people watching the nobles making love at the pavilion, as Baek Na-Kyum peeped at Yoon Seungho with the cat by his side. With this new interpretation, the manhwalovers can better grasp why Jihwa was waiting for Yoon Seungho’s love, as he hoped that he would see the same gaze than in the past. However, from my point of view, Yoon Seungho could never feel like before due to the abandonment he experienced, when Jihwa left him. Furthermore, since Yoon Seungho’s passion for painting was killed by the coercive persuasion and sexual assaults, he could never gaze at his childhood friend the same way. This would explicate why Jihwa is so convinced that he knows Yoon Seungho’s true past (chapter 57), whereas he is only aware of the peak of the iceberg.

So if Yoon Seungho was a painter forced to vow to never paint, it becomes understandable why Baek Na-Kyum’s paintings affected the main lead so much. They healed his eyes which had been ruined by his traumatic experiences. (chapter 57) His keen eyes were revived and the light in them returned. Slowly the lord rediscovered his love for arts and paintings… inciting him to draw again.

Arts therapy is nowadays used as a method to heal people suffering from mental illnesses due to huge traumas. That’s why Yoon Seungho could only fall in love with the painter’s work. They were kindred spirits, and when the lord saw the painter for the first time, he fell in love at first sight, unaware of his emotions. Just like in the first special episode… Yoon Seungho’s face inspired the noble so much that he drew a threesome.

Therefore, with this new perception, the manhwaworms comprehend why Yoon Seungho wanted to scratch Jihwa’s face in the chapter 67. Since in the past his face was a source of inspiration, the symbol for innocence, youth, freedom, carefree, naturality, honesty, happiness for the painter Yoon Seungho, the latter can only associate his face to dishonesty, deception, pain and suffering now. Although Jihwa didn’t get scolded or caught with his lie, he felt guilty, but he never felt the courage to correct the truth. That’s how Jihwa started behaving like a coward and playing tricks. With this incident, he learnt a terrible lesson: he learnt how someone else could take responsibility for his actions and decisions. Since it was never revealed, the young aristocrat faked his smile and cheerfulness due to his guilt. However, with the separation from his friend, he got lost and found himself a new “friend”: The Joker who perverted his innocence and naturality in the end. That’s why when they reunited, Yoon Seungho sensed the transformation in his childhood friend. And once Jihwa discovered that his friend was interested again in painting, he looked for pictures hoping to catch Yoon Seungho’s interest. However, he was rather bored, when he looked at the picture (chapter 9). Then in chapter 12, he proposed to hire a painter from the Royal Academy , because he knew how much his friend liked painting. Yet he couldn’t encourage him to paint himself, for he would have been confronted with the past. The red-haired aristocrat thought, he could manage to get rid of the artist without reminding Yoon Seungho of the incident with the door. And if my theory is correct, this scene implies that the noble never apologized for his friend’s suffering.

Now, the noble is able to perceive his friend’s corrupted nature, hence he describes his friend’s face as vile. (chapter 67) The face is no longer a source of inspiration, rather of suffocation, and this picture contrasts so much to the main lead’s reaction, when he looked at the artist’s face in the following drawing. (chapter 25) He noticed the absence of facial expressions. Therefore he recommended him to use a mirror (chapter 28). As you can see, the muse’s face and facial expressions are very important for the powerful aristocrat. I believe that at some point, he will destroy the painting made with Jihwa so that there are no picture left with him, a new version of chapter 2. For me, the chapter 67 marks the beginning of Baek Na-Kyum’s influence as the lord’s muse. With him, he is learning what love and courage are and he will inspire the master to paint again. Finally, he will be able to discern between fake and genuine affection and concern leading Kim to lose his master’s trust.

And now it is important to remember the painting sent to father Yoon: Imagine how he must have felt. He tried so desperately to stop his son from being linked to arts and painting, and here he receives an erotic painting. He can only be reminded of the past incident. At the same time, he is also criticized for his hypocrisy. He forced his son to prostitution for his own goal, but acted as if he was proper and righteous. No wonder that he was so enraged and could barely contain his fury. He was confronted with his lies and wrongdoings, one could say that he was finally seeing his failure as father. Because of this new approach, I come to the conclusion that Kim was the one sending the painting, hoping that the eldest master would intervene, as he prefers father Yoon to his actual master who is always linked to scandal and uproar, which contrasts to Kim’s philosophy. The butler hoped for an intervention, but since father Yoon hates himself to be connected to sodomy and would like to keep his reputation intact, he chose not to intervene.

With this new theory, I believe that Baek Na-Kyum will become the lord’s muse, just like the main lead will become Baek Na-Kyum’s source of inspiration. At the same time, I imagine that Yoon Seungho becomes the painter’s teacher as well, in the sense that the aristocrat teaches him how to paint other topics: nature for example.

So the painter of the night is not only referring to Baek Na-Kyum, but also to Yoon Seungho. That’s why Byeonduck chose this illustration for the first season: the past and the present are visible in this panel.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My instagram-tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support. Thanks for reading and for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

Painter Of The Night: Absence

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/

It would be great if you could make some donations/sponsoring: Ko-fi.com/bebebisous33  That way, you can support me with “coffee” so that I have the energy to keep examining manhwas. Besides, I need to cover up the expenses for this blog.

The chapter 67 caught me by surprise, because it proved me wrong in one aspect: Lee Jihwa is not like Baek Na-Kyum, in the sense that he is no orphan. The red-haired aristocrat has a father, an old-bearded man. (chapter 67) My first thought was: “Where were you all this time?”

I couldn’t help myself laughing, when Yoon Seungho barged into Lee’s mansion in chapter 67, because I immediately connected it to chapter 3, when the protagonist visited his childhood friend early in the morning. Back then, he barged with an erected phallus (chapter 3) and had sex with Jihwa at the pavilion, where both were not quiet at all. The red-haired noble kept even moaning. (chapter 3) Their intercourse was noticeable, but at no moment father Lee interrupted them. And now, the erected phallus was switched to a sword, and unlike in chapter 3, where the second lead was eager to meet his sex partner, the master chose to hide behind a windscreen. (chapter 67) However, this time father Lee intervened. Why all of the sudden? For the first time, his son caused a real trouble, because someone entered his house with a sword: a huge scandal! Furthermore, he must have realized that his son’s life was in danger, hence he had to intervene. The domestics couldn’t deal with such a powerful noble. And now, you understand why I couldn’t restrain myself from smiling, because the father Lee’s reproach sounded so hypocrite. (chapter 67) Where was he, when Yoon Seungho had sex at the pavilion? Why didn’t he intervene, especially if he sees the main lead as responsible for his son’s debauchery?

Because of this question, I was reminded of the song called “Papaoutai” from Stromae, a French speaking singer from Belgium. I am posting the video with the english subtitles.

In this song, the singer outlines the importance of fathers for children. However, he does it by criticizing their absence (Papaoutai = Papa où tu es?/ Papa, where are you?). Although this represents his main message, he also questions the role played by fathers in our modern societies. He points out that’s easy to become a father biologically, but being a father symbolizes responsibilities. He explains it, men don’t become fathers naturally, since it is a work process: “nobody knows how to make Papas” / Mister “know-it-all” would’ve inherited it, is that it? Does it come from sucking our thumbs, or what”. Moreover, for him many fathers don’t take their role seriously (“Genitors or genius, tell us who gives birth to irresponsibles”). The author exposes that a father needs to think a lot about his role as father. As a conclusion, the singer would like men to become more responsible for raising their children.

And it is time to return our attention to Painter Of The Night. Byeonduck utilizes her work to show the importance of fathers in sons’ life, as she exposes different types of negative behavior of fathers.

First, we have Father Lee. He only appeared after 66 episodes. His absence had given the impression that he was inexistent and Jihwa was an orphan. We could describe father Lee as ghost. And now, you understand why I chose such a title: Absence. What does it mean for children, when their father is not by their side?

Absence of parents is a synonym for parental neglect. What is child neglect exactly? There are 6 different types of child neglect:

  1. Physical Neglect or Deprivation of Needs Neglect
  2. Medical Neglect
  3. Educational Neglect
  4. Emotional Neglect
  5. Supervisory Neglect
  6. Environmental Neglect from https://www.kaplanco.com/ii/six-types-of-neglect

Many people think that this situation only happens in families with a low income, because it is related to physical and supervisory neglect which is more visible. However reality is different. We find neglected children in wealthy families. How so? The affluent children live in comfort, but they are often starved of love and affection (Emotional Neglect). This happens, when parents are too busy to spend time with their children. Therefore they hire personal to take care of their children or send them to boarding school. As you can imagine, Lee Jihwa is a child suffering from supervisory, emotional and educational neglect.

Since Father Lee relies on his servants to take care of his son, they are not qualified or responsible enough to care for him (supervisory neglect). Due to their lower status, they are not allowed to teach him or reprimand him. That’s why in chapter 9, only the servant asked Jihwa where he was going so early at dawn. Jihwa had not to justify his departure to his father. Then in chapter 41, one domestic finds the young man sleeping on the street, while looking for him. (chapter 41) He spent the whole night drinking and his father never asked about his whereabouts. He never showed any concern, as he has his staff to take care of him. In other words, he put the whole responsibility on the domestics. After confessing to Yoon Seungho in public, no servant shows up and takes care of him indicating that neither father Lee nor the staff heard about the scandal. Nameless was the one who was asked by the inn owner, if he could take care of the young noble. (chapter 59) He even gave him a dry robe and a home for the night. Since the servant only showed up the next morning in chapter 41 and he didn’t even appear during the night in chapter 59, it illustrates that the staff is more attached to the mansion than to the impulsive noble himself in truth.

This is not surprising that in chapter 67, the servant does his best to protect his master. Despite his rude behavior in chapter 50 (chapter 50), he is even willing to risk his life . (chapter 67) He simply follows his master’s request, as he feels, that’s his duty and lord Lee could ask for his accountability. (chapter 67) Amazing, when you compare it to Kim’s behavior. We could say that the staff does feel responsible for their young master to a certain extent. Why? I believe, they all know that father Lee doesn’t pay attention to his young son and they are now responsible for him. On the other hand, their care is limited, because they are domestics to the mansion. They are not obliged to give him the emotional comfort and the education he needs. As long as there’s no real scandal, then everything is fine in father Lee and the staff’s mind. Remember that in chapter 45, the town folks described the second lead as the “mistress”, showing that even they had noticed the lord’s movements, whereas father Lee has no knowledge about it. (chapter 45) That’s how isolated the father is cut off from reality and world. This is not surprising that his son resembles him, he also lives in his own world.

But what are the consequences of emotional neglect? I would like to quote a passage from a website in French (translated)

It can also be so because a lack of love and human contact hinders its development. In some cases, neglect traps the child in sensory isolation, slowly and continuously undermining his or her mind to the point where there is little desire to connect with others and explore the world. Thus, parental neglect is a terrible absence. http://educationsante.be/article/la-negligence-parentale-est-une-terrible-absence/

Remember how I had described the red-haired noble, before Nameless helped him to become more responsible: I compared him to a blind and deaf person , which corresponds to the expression “sensory isolation”. Back then, I had imagined that he had been abused as well. I was wrong, since it was just neglect which I had already detected. However, the consequences of such a severe neglect are as terrible as abuse. Consequently, abuse and neglect are often considered the same.

Now, I will list how neglect affects the child’s personality (I won’t add to each characteristic a picture):

  1. Extremely low tolerance for frustration (chapter 13) (chapter 13); aggression (chapter 17)
  2. Sense of entitlement (chapter 51)
  3. Lack of appropriate guilt (chapter 59) In chapter 56, Jihwa sent a fake letter reminding Yoon Seungho of his trauma, yet he acts as if the other is to blame and shows no remorse. That’s why many children suffering from emotional neglect have problems with rules and laws.
  4. Lack of coping skills: Jihwa is unable to accept any rejection or criticism. We could observe this in chapter 5, when the lord sent him away. He didn’t pay attention to the reason why Yoon Seungho couldn’t focus on him.
  5. Boredom (chapter 9)
  6. Lack of purpose: This explicates why Jihwa was so obsessed to obtain his friend’s love. Since he has been neglected by his own father, the main lead became his “surrogate” father, who gave him attention because he criticized him and even punished him.
  7. Blaming others (chapter 57)
  8. Reduced empathy
  9. Poor planning skills: When he enters Yoon Seungho’s mansion in chapter 17, he is not able to hide his frustration and starts assaulting the painter so that he creates a ruckus. That’s how Jihwa is caught. As for the kidnapping and murder, he left the whole responsibility on the commoner. He never paid attention to his actions and whereabouts. He believed the criminal and that was it. Sure, Nameless didn’t take advantage from Jihwa, but this shows that he relies too much on others. This is not surprising that the second lead listens to Min’s words and manipulation (chapter 67), although he had lied to him in the past.
  10. Difficulties with competition: this explains why he uses tricks to act behind the painter’s back.
  11. Problems withstanding peer pressure quoted from https://www.paracelsus-recovery.com/blog/affluent-neglect/
  12. depression
  13. Anxiety (chapter 67)
  14. Low self-esteem
  15. substance misuse (chapter 50)
  16. shunning emotional closeness or intimacy: That’s why Jihwa kept waiting for the main lead’s confession. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/childhood-emotional-neglect#symptoms-in-children

The effects of neglect are such that it leaves sequels on so many levels: socially, emotionally, intellectually and psychologically. Children exposed to neglect are at a greater risk of developing conduct disorders and of participating in delinquent behavior, which is visible in the red-haired figure: he trespasses proprieties, ruins a painting, he even had the painter kidnapped. Due to his scheme, the vicious servant Deok-Jae was killed. Then their knowledge and cognitive capacities are diminished, which is also perceptible in the young man. The latter is not able to recognize evil at all, hence he can’t detect hypocrisy and manipulations. And this leads me to the following observation: Byeonduck chose the monkey as an animal for Jihwa. The manhwaphiles can see the singe in the windscreen. (red circle). Because of the character’s previous deafness and blindness, I immediately connected it to the wise 3 monkeys:

The Three Wise Monkeys Royalty Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock  Illustration. Image 35588575.

In Asia, the monkeys are considered as wise, because they represent proper behavior. Confucius says:

“Look not at what is contrary to propriety, listen not what is contrary to propriety and finally speak not what is contrary to propriety.”

In other words, the 3 monkeys serve as role model. One should behave properly by avoiding any form of evil. Since Min is the Joker, also visible in the windscreen (yellow circle), it explains why Jihwa has become such a bully in the end. Min became his role model replacing the father. Consequently, the red-haired aristocrat can’t recognize evil. That’s why Lee Jihwa appeared as a spoiled child with a delinquent behavior in the end. Byeonduck is displaying the extreme consequences of a father’s the absence. And this leads me to the next question: what is the role of a father in the end?

“The function of the father is to separate the child from the mother. He must intervene between the mother and the child to allow the child to develop his identity outside the maternal symbiosis” from https://www.psycho-ressources.com/bibli/fonction-pere.html

And now, the manhwaphiles comprehend why the red-haired noble has such a low self-esteem. (chapter 67) This is is visible in this panel. The character can’t even stand. Min, the Joker and surrogate father, treats Jihwa as his servant and punishes him, because he had not followed his order. Jihwa has not entirely developed his identity, since he has always lived in his own limited world. A father has not only to provide security and comfort, he helps the child to learn self-control and boundaries. A father is associated to rules and should teach his child how to channel aggressivity. In other words, he serves as a role model for the child. But with the absence of a father, this is impossible. And since the domestics belong to the lower social class, Lee Jihwa always had the upper hand and could do anything: his father never appeared, when Jihwa was destroying his room with his sword in chapter 21. Besides, father Lee never paid attention to the friends his son had. He blames Yoon Seungho for his son’s debauchery, yet at no moment he intervened in the past. The main lead is correct to blame the father and put his son in a different light. (chapter 67) And now, the readers can understand the role Nameless is slowly taking over: he will be the father and lover teaching him how to recognize evil and even think critically. We saw Jihwa rejecting Min’s advice (chapter 67), but it was short-lived due to Yoon Seungho’s appearance. We have to assume that Yoon Seungho played the role of the father after the former had been abandoned by his own father. However, he could never assume this function properly, as he was suffering himself and couldn’t give him the emotional and educational comfort Jihwa needed. Let’s not forget that the protagonist chose to ignore his own feelings, to even numb them. Hence it was impossible for them to connect emotionally.

After discerning Father Lee’s behavior, I could easily portray father Yoon, who stands in opposition to father Lee. He is a controlling father using his sons as his pawns and tools for his own career. Here, I gathered the characteristics for a controlling parent:

  1. Interfering in nearly every aspect of the child’s life.
  2. Criticizing any choice a child tries to make independently.
  3. High, truly unattainable standards.
  4. Conditional love.
  5. Rigid (and unrealistic) rules.
  6. Lack of empathy and respect.
  7. Unreasonably harsh punishment. 8. 
  8. Lack of appreciation for the child’s individuality.
  9. Expecting the child to act like a parent.
  10. Manipulation through gifts.
  11. Playing on guilt and/or shame. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/signs-of-controlling-parents-and-how-to-cope-as-adult

This explicates why Yoon Seungho had been longing to see admiration and love in his father’s gaze, always hoping that at some point he would get it. The existence of the rules I elaborated is a proof of this abusive parent. And now, you understand why Father Yoon described his eldest son as ill, suffering from wayward yang. (chapter 57) “wayward” is a synonym for rebellious indicating that Yoon Seungho had started questioning his father’s behavior and words. Simultaneously, I believe that the father judged his son’s behavior as too childish, thus he said that he had been suffering from an illness for a long time. The adolescence represents an important step in the child’s development. That’s the moment when a teenager decides to take his distance from his father in order to find his own identity. Since the main lead was described as intelligent, it was normal that the main character would decide to make his own decision and could sense his father’s flaws. Consequently father Yoon could only see the critical remarks as a sign of insubordination. This is not surprising that he blamed his son, when something happened due to Jihwa. (chapter 67) Since Father Lee never paid attention to his own son’s behavior, the former was more than pleased to hear that Yoon Seungho was responsible for an incident. Father Lee was following the rule:

The Three Wise Monkeys Royalty Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock  Illustration. Image 35588575.

But unlike before, this is the Western interpretation: he acts as if he doesn’t see evil or hear evil. He will never talk badly about his son. That way, he escapes any responsibility for his son’s failures. But like Confucius wrote:

“The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them”.

From my point of view, father Lee will pay a huge price for his negligence due to his son. I saw in the chapter 67 a confirmation that Jihwa will cause a huge tragedy which ends with a terrible punishment. It is getting more probable that Jihwa will lose his title as noble (chapter 67) and it is even possible that he gets a scar or a tattoo. (chapter 67) This scene was important as it represented a new version of chapter 18. This time, the lord aimed at Jihwa’s face and the servant was not harmed. The main lead put the whole responsibility on the former friend.

But since I had described the role played by the servants in the Lee mansion, it is also important to take a look at the domestic’s function, when father Yoon was the master of the house. What caught my attention is that father Yoon has been also represented like a ghost, very similar to father Lee. However, while the latter represents lack of interests for the son, the other stands in opposition to this. He is everywhere due to his servants. All of them were asked to pay attention to his children and their behavior. In other words, he is also absent. The domestics must have reported him everything. And now, you can understand why Yoon Seungho kept his distance from his staff as the lord of the mansion. He didn’t want to be observed by them, that’s why he relied more on Kim in the end. With his help, he could maintain a certain gap and escape their “monitoring”. There is another evidence for this theory: remember that Yoon Seungho asked his servants through Kim to pay a closer look at Baek Na-Kyum, but they didn’t take his request very seriously. Hence the painter could escape the mansion in chapter 29. And you all know that the artist is reliving the noble’s past. This explicates why Yoon Seungho targeted the amateur spy in chapter 18, he was reminded of his own past. He could only get furious.

However, there’s another huge difference in the role played by Father Yoon’s servants. Since they only had to report to him, that means that they didn’t need to take any responsibility, as the lord was the one who made all the decisions afterwards. And now, you understand why Kim rejects any form of responsibility by saying (chapter 65). Father Yoon put a lot of trust in valet Kim in the end, as he relied on his information. This is another evidence for me that Kim is responsible for the main lead’s suffering. Since father Yoon was relying on Kim’s eyes and ears, his perception got changed and this in a negative way. That’s how he became blind. He contributed to the terror ruling at the mansion, but since Kim was kind and caring, Yoon Seungho believed this illusion, while Kim was his biggest spy. I am quite sure that he played a major role, when Yoon Seungho got separated from Lee Jihwa and received his reeducation therapy. For me, there’s no doubt that his responsibility kept getting bigger, when he saw the main lead getting raped, and he decided to close the door and ignore the incident. He just needed to say that this was not his business. Another possibility is that he could justify his choice by saying that it was done for the main lead’s best interest. Let’s not forget that Kim was the one who presented the physician to father Yoon. (chapter 57) There’s no doubt that father Yoon put all his trust in Kim. This explicates why Kim acts, as if he had the authority to give orders. (chapter 67) He must have developed this habit, because father Yoon gave him some power. Observe that he sometimes dresses like a noble (chapter 57) due to the hat and the robe. What caught my attention is that he acts behind his lord’s back, when the latter is absent. (chapter 68) Besides, since this story is based on the principe that history keeps repeating itself, then Yoon Seungho is making the same mistake like his father. However, Yoon Seungho will realize it thanks to the painter and the head-maid. Father Yoon put all his trust in his valet, unable to recognize evil in his butler. Just a reminder:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” from Edmund Burke

This is not just about silence and passivity, it is also about responsibility. Note that in chapter 67, Kim voices that he has been given the permission (chapter 67), so he is not assuming anything in case something happens. And in front of Heena noona and Baek Na-Kyum, he has the same attitude: (chapter 67) if Heena noona gets caught, then they can’t put the blame on him. He will feign ignorance. He has no idea how she entered the mansion. He is also applying the saying from the three monkeys:

The Three Wise Monkeys Royalty Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock  Illustration. Image 35588575.

He didn’t see or hear anything. He won’t tattle too. Nonetheless, he is acting only like that, when it concerns Yoon Seungho. It is a different story, when it comes to father Yoon. That’s why Kim still keeps thinking about his previous master. (chapter 57) By examining Kim again, I have to admit that I suddenly had this question: who gave the painting to Yoon Seung-Won? Did the valet act on the lord’s order? (chapter 37) Or did he decide to act on his own? Let’s not forget that during that evening, the valet had been reprimanded by Yoon Seung-Won for lying to him. It is possible that the valet chose to give the painting in order to put the blame on Yoon Seungho, as he feared that the young master could report his lie and behavior to father Yoon. The latter might not be present at the mansion, but there’s no doubt that he asked his trusted servant to keep an eye on his eldest son, whom he considered as a troublemaker. This would explain why the main lead keeps taking the medicine. And now, you can grasp why Kim is more loyal to father Yoon than his actual master. The latter gives him more freedom, yet he expects from him more responsibility. Under the ruling of father Yoon, the butler could avoid any trouble by tattling on the young master Yoon Seungho or by faking ignorance, when it was necessary. Since father Yoon put all his trust in the valet, he was not able to see evil or hear evil in the end. Kim framed innocents or he feigned ignorance. As a conclusion, Father Yoon was put in the same situation than father Lee due to Kim’s actions.

As a final conclusion, Byeonduck’s work exposes the huge importance of a father in a child’s development. Unfortunately many people still think that mothers are much more important than fathers. This explicates why in many countries, mothers receive more often custody of their child than fathers. Yet, the judges seldom question the mother’s abilities. The irony is that mothers are not per se good mothers, exactly like Stromae described it in his song, although he only talked about fathers: “Mister “know-it-all” would’ve inherited it, is that it? Does it come from sucking our thumbs, or what”. This applies to mothers as well. Being a parent means work, dedication and affection. There’s nothing intuitive.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: Pandora’s box – part 2 (second version)

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/

In the first part, I concluded that persons with knowledge would always get punished, the moment they would reveal it. In other words, their action was similar to Pandora who opened the box, releasing secrets in form from diseases and catastrophes. So far, I had portrayed Jung In–Hun, Min, Jihwa and Nameless as such Pandoras.

1. Jihwa and the past

Jihwa might have delivered the box to Min, yet the red-haired noble became himself the woman created by Zeus and other Greek gods, the moment he faked a letter from lord Song. He used his knowledge to hurt Yoon Seungho in the hope that the latter would keep him by his side. This was in fact a reminder that the protagonist shouldn’t change.(chapter 57) The red-haired aristocrat desired to return to the past, when both were close. From my point of view, the childhood friend believes, he knows the truth: lord Song was the person responsible for the main lead’s suffering. However, we don’t know his identity. Either he was a low noble like Jung In-Hun who was invited by his father with the request to employ conversion therapy or to turn the young master into a prostitute. Another possibility is that he was the king or a powerful noble lusting after Yoon Seungho. Finally, he could have been Yoon Seungho’s painting teacher and the latter stole the young master’s creation. Since the father was so jealous of his own son’s good notoriety and as such resented him, father Yoon believed the thief.

Anyway, since in Jihwa’s mind he was exposed to a similar conversion (love between men is a taboo and low-borns are filthy), he believes that his friend must have suffered the same way. What he doesn’t realize is that his friend was treated like a servant and the other causes for the protagonist’s traumas are the prostitution and repeated sexual assaults. Since Jihwa knows his name (chapter 59), he has the impression, he knows Yoon Seungho’s true past. He projected his own past onto his childhood friend’s. Yet, their suffering was different: father Lee neglected his son, while father Yoon was an abusive father. Besides, though he must have heard what father Yoon used his son as prostitute in order to save his own skin, Jihwa came to the conclusion that he knew the past and as such the truth.

But he is unaware of the true events occurring in the mansion and in the capital, for he was separated from his friend. He had to rely on others to know what was happening. Remember that in the first season, Jihwa got manipulated by Min in chapter 36… Since history repeats itself, it signifies that the man with black eyes got deceived by someone who fed him with false info, a repetition of this scene. I suspect that lord Song is the origin of this misinformation and manipulation, because this would explain why Jihwa is so sure about his intelligence. He thought, he got his insight from the original and sure source. But let’s return our attention to the chapters 56 and 57. At the inn, Jihwa got chastised and battered for using his knowledge. (chapter 56) (chapter 57). What caught my attention is that although the noble described the friend’s action as a prank , the main lead was definitely so hurt that he had to hide his gaze from Kim the moment he received the letter. This exposes how vulnerable and wounded Yoon Seungho was, but how misinformed Jihwa was in the end. That’s why the protagonist can only reproach his former friend that he understands nothing, because his “knowledge” has been transmitted by someone else, exactly like in the Greek story: Prometheus gave fire to humans. As a conclusion, each time someone reveals a secret related to the past, this person will get sentenced sooner or later, like the new added illustration proves it.

2. Kim and uproar

In the essay “Painting and desires – part 1”, I had exposed that the tailor was another Pandora who will suffer some consequences. He knew that Baek Na-Kyum was the author of the erotic publications and revealed it in front of Heena noona. But this list of Pandoras doesn’t end here. There’s no doubt that Kim will resent him for the scandal, as his reputation and tranquility were ruined by the shopkeeper’s revelation. It is definitely possible that Kim is the one who retaliates, as he was present at the tailor shop. That way, he could “tarnish” the painter’s innocence in his master’s eyes, as the former represents a real source of uproar and ruckus in his life. Therefore I predict, Kim will change his mind about Baek Na-Kyum and decide to get rid of him: he caused him too much trouble. And my prediction came true: the butler tried to send away the artist through his noona, and he got punished for his action. The lord caught him usurping his position so that the valet ended up losing his master’s trust. Kim used his knowledge from the night of revelations. (chapter 64) He believed to have seen sexual abuse, while in the shed the noble confessed his love and hope one more time.

3. The doctor and his testimony

Thanks to my reader Luzy, I can complete the list: the doctor, whom I had forgotten in the first part. Striking is that we have the apparition of a real Pandora’ box in chapter 57: Yes, the drug the main lead has been fed since his teens. Exactly like in the Greek story, the box is associated to disease, as the medicine is responsible for the protagonist’s illness, his hot temper.

Imagine the irony, when the doctor shows the box, he adds this: As you can imagine, the opposite happened, exactly like I had foreseen. Observe that the moment he revealed his knowledge (chapter 65), the butler punished him by threatening him, making him believe that he would get killed, if the lord were to discover the truth. As you can see, he opened the pandora box in front of the valet and the latter chose to retaliate. That’s why I come to the conclusion that the physician will play a huge role in the future again. I think that contrary to the butler’s behavior, the noble will have a different reaction, when he discovers the truth. Besides, since he knows about his past, the physician will open the pandora box again. That way, the noble could hear about his past and the existence of the drug so that he has a different perception about valet Kim. There’s no doubt that the physician represents a pandora box for the butler. During the second season, he could still control him, yet he is still unaware of the revelations he confided to the painter.

Little by little, the truth will be unveiled, especially if the manhwaphiles recall my interpretation: Yoon Seungho symbolizes Truth. Hence I am expecting that after the next incident in season 3, Yoon Seungho will decide to investigate the whole incident. He will recognize that truth and the discovery of the culprit’s identity are not the same. My theory is that Yoon Seungho will remember the first abduction. Only two persons claimed that they didn’t believe in the painter’s escape. From my point of view, Yoon Seungho will envisage that there was an accomplice. That’s why I sense that Kim and the physician’s testimonies will be examined. Since both were present that night, the aristocrat can only suspect them. And since the physician revealed his secret to Kim, the latter will choose to use this secret in order to save his own skin. Yoon Seungho will be infuriated, because the doctor with his silence and cowardice covered up a crime. From my point of view, it is possible that in that moment Baek Na-Kyum decides to save the physician’s life by mentioning the lord’s illness. He took care of Yoon Seungho for so many years and is responsible for his treatment since his youth and that he has been given him the medicine he needed. Remember that the painter is associated to purity and forgiveness, and since now the main lead considers the painter as his lord, he will listen to his words and show mercy. At the same time, his words will make Yoon Seungho realize that he has been drugged for a long time by Kim.

Imagine the irony is that the moment Kim decides to use the “secret” about the physician’s testimony , it backfires because of the painter. The latter brings up the topic about the lord’s illness in his youth and the medicine he has been receiving all this time. Since the doctor showed a real concern for the main lead’s health and correct diagnosis, Baek Na-Kyum has no idea about the new revelation. Yoon Seungho is well aware that his father betrayed him and is responsible for his suffering, the main lead can only get upset, once he hears that Kim kept feeding him such a medicine. In that moment, Kim could plead his ignorance: He had no idea about the real affect of the drug. At the same time, we shouldn’t forget that in chapter 33, Kim asked for an aphrodisiac without the lord’s authorization, which the physician noticed, because Kim only asked after the noble’s departure. Note that in that chapter, the physician gave the prescription in front of Yoon Seungho, and the latter only left, after he had heard the treatment. From my point of view, the incident in the first season will resurface, as it will be linked to the lord’s own medicine. It is possible that Kim and the physician tries to put the blame on each other. However, I believe that Baek Na-Kyum’s testimony will play a major role. The manhwaphiles should recollect that Baek Na-Kyum voiced his rejection of the infusion in front of the head-maid. He even described the effects of the medicine which also surprised the woman. As a conclusion, I believe, the head-maid will be the reason why Kim loses his master’s trust entirely. The medicine, the advice he gave to the physician and the fact that he kept giving a drug ordered by father Yoon, although he knew how the aristocrat treated him… there’s no doubt that Kim will lose his position as butler.

4. The head-maid and Kim

And if you pay attention the maid’s behavior, you’ll observe the increasing involvement in the lord’s life. In chapter 17, she asked for Kim’s advice. From my perspective, her attitude changed, the moment she got reprimanded in chapter 38. Notice that right after that incident, Jihwa’s servant explained to his master that now the staff from the Yoon’s mansion would no longer leak anything. This is important, as he it shows her influence over the staff. She was also present, when Kim scolded Deok-Jae, but she said nothing. In my opinion, she was still relying on his authority and trusted him. Let’s not forget that Yoon Seungho started relying more on the maid, as the latter was given the order personally to bring the artist’s food to the low-born. The closer the painter gets to Yoon Seungho, the closer the maid got to her master. In fact, she served as a bridge and mediator. First, she confessed to the artist that the lord cared for him, and her words did leave a deep impression on Baek Na-Kyum, because the latter remembered her words after their second love night. Third, when the noble returned to his bad habits, she didn’t scold the artist like Kim, she implied that the commoner had such a good influence on the lord. The readers can sense that the two servants had a different approach. While she was encouraging the painter in a positive way, Kim chose to put the whole blame on the artist. The most surprising that she changed so much, when we all remember her words in chapter 33: Furthermore, after the new episode, it becomes more obvious that the head-maid will play a major role. She caught Kim allowing Heena to enter the mansion and questioned his action, while in chapter 17, she just asked for his advice. For me, there’s no doubt that her testimony will be used against the valet and the main lead will lose his faith in the butler’s loyalty. But if the latter loses his master’s trust, the servant won’t be able to live in peace. He will have now more reason to fear his lord. As you can detect, I am expecting that all the incidents in the past (rape, the aphrodisiac given to Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum) will be revealed.

From my point of view, the head-maid started caring more and more for Baek Na-Kyum and the lord, the moment she saw that the master’s actions towards the commoner were influenced by a genuine affection and were not the result of a whim. He used his position to protect him in front of his staff, then he gave him nice clothes and asked her to treat him like an important guest despite his social status. And if the manhwaphiles pay attention to her action, you’ll notice that her colleague stood at the door of the lord’s bedchamber in chapter 66, hence the latter must have reported to her about the incident. Moreover, she had even planned to visit the artist, when she caught Kim. Note that she has a towel or cover showing that she is concerned for the artist. Although she was upset, because she thought that the artist had lied to her, she changed her mind, when she heard how the lord carried the artist from the bedchamber. Her friend must have told about the artist’s poor condition and his heavy breathing. From my point of view, the head-maid will be get closer to Baek Na-Kyum after this incident. While I imagined, Heena would serve as a bridge between the protagonists, I have come to a different conclusion. She will become their surrogate mother and help them to differentiate true care from fake kindness. The last incident taught her a lesson: never judge too quickly. Slowly, she will replace the valet. She had already started with this function, but I believe that she will become more proactive.

As for Kim, his true personality is getting more palpable. There’s an ambiguity that this scene in chapter 67 exposes the butler as a liar, because he said to Heena noona that he was acting behind his lord’s back, while he said the exact opposite to the head-maid. What is the truth here? From my point of view, Kim never asked his master, but acted on his own, because he saw in Heena noona as a source of trouble. She had put him in a terrible situation before: the master had noticed that the butler had done his job very badly. . Hence Kim thought that if he let her see the artist, she would stop causing a ruckus. At the same time, note that in that scene, Kim is portraying his lord in a negative way, while he appears as a kind man. There’s a reason for that, he is seeking for her cooperation so that she doesn’t keep yelling at the front of the mansion and gather more attention from spectators. For the butler, she represents a new burden. But since Kim never witnessed the conversation between the maid and the painter (chapter 36 and 46), he has no idea that something happened behind his back, since peace only matters for him. As a conclusion, I am expecting that all the lies and tricks Kim used in the first and second season will be revealed the moment he opens Pandora’s box, when he confesses that the physician was a witness and didn’t help the artist. For me, one thing is certain now: Yoon Seungho’s rebirth is related to the valet.

The moment he distances himself from him, he will be able to shine. While the chapter 67 confirmed my negative perception about Kim, my interpretation about Yoon Seungho was reinforced with the final episode from the second season. The protagonist could shine like phoenix. He was a gentle but strong hero, willing to protect and console his lover, when the latter feared for his life. At no moment, the main lead cared for his reputation and people’s gaze. Baek Na-Kyum’s well-being was what mattered the most to him. the irony is that his actions never caused an uproar. As you can see, Kim is in truth Yoon Seungho’s closest enemy, and it is only a question of time, until the protagonist realizes his butler’s first real betrayal, like Baek Na-Kyum experienced it in chapter 29: He has already discovered his disobedience, yet he will get shocked when he discovers all the lies Kim told him. At some point, he will recognize that Kim has always been a traitor. The pandora box will be used against the valet, the same tool he used to fool people.

6. Conclusions

Before ending this essay, I would like to deliver my last thoughts about the different Pandoras. First, it looks like the roles are switched. While in the bible and in the story about Pandora, women were blamed for Fall of Man or the opening of the box, we have the exact opposite in Painter Of The Painter. Yet, this is only partially correct, because the head-maid also opened Pandora’s box in chapter 38, as she revealed the artist’s true situation at the mansion: he looked like a servant. In truth, Byeonduck made sure that all the characters have flaws and made mistakes, nevertheless the women (the head-maid, Heena) and the ukes are able to learn from their mistakes and change their behavior, while it looks like the others show no improvement. For me, there’s no ambiguity that Jihwa will change his behavior, yet he will need for that to reach the bottom. This means, the moment he gets punished and loses everything, he will realize the true nature of evil.

The lessons from this manhwa are: NEVER judge people too quickly. Secondly, NEVER judge people on first impressions. Finally, a judgement about a person should NEVER be definitive. It needs to be constantly reviewed, as people change.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My reddit- Instagram-tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: Painting and desires – part 1

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.

Just like with the first special episode, the new chapter from Alternative Universe helps us to get new insight about the original story. Not only we discover the character’s true thoughts and emotions, but also Byeonduck gives us tips so that the readers can reconstruct the protagonists’ past in the original story. Nevertheless, it is only possible, if one pays attention to details. Hence I came to the following theory: Byeonduck will never reveal the whole past as a narration, but will unveil it as a puzzle and the manhwalovers need to put the pieces together. Exactly like in real life… we can never get the truth, because people involved in the past don’t possess all the information. Finally the witnesses’ memories are also influenced by their own thoughts, experiences and emotions so that the former don’t reflect reality. And now it is time to reveal the pieces I observed in the special episode.

In the Alternative Universe, Baek Na-Kyum belongs to the influential aristocracy and is the only son in his family, which means that his father must have high expectations for him. His duty is supposed to continue the family’s legacy, as he is the only heir. Moreover, he paints erotic pictures of sodomy in order to buy glasses for his surrogate father, the servant Jung In-Hun. And here, the readers should wonder why he feels the need to earn the money for the glasses. Technically, he could just go to the merchant and buy these with his family’s money. My answer is that it is related to social norms and the huge social gap between the domestic and the young master. I believe, Baek Na-Kyum’s family is rather traditional and as such makes a huge distinction between nobles and low-borns. This traditional mind-set is perceptible, when the shopkeeper threatens the artist. From my point of view, his father will never allow a noble to offer such an expensive present to a servant. That’s why the innocent man started painting. But does the personal domestic know about his master’s secret activities and true goal? Yes, he is aware of Baek Na-Kyum’s actions and intention, which is detectable in the following picture: Note that the noble gave him the order to wait at the door of the merchant’s shop, but the servant preferred disobeying him. This picture is relevant for two reasons. First, it outlines the true nature of the relationship between the lord and his servant. Jung In-hun can afford to disregard Baek Na-Kyum, as the latter doesn’t punish him at all. On the one hand, the young master underlines that his order was not respected, on the other hand nothing happens afterwards. This truly indicates that the domestic has the upper hand here. Secondly, he didn’t obey Baek Na-Kyum’s request, as he didn’t want to hear or to be seen with his master selling his last work. Note that, when the master leaves the shop, the trader speaks so loudly that the master can hear his explanations: And now imagine Jung In-Hun waiting at the door for the return of his master. If he had stood there as requested, he would have heard the merchant’s comment and would have become an accomplice. As a conclusion, we can definitely say that the domestic acts, as if he didn’t know about Baek Na-Kyum’s activities. He is applying Kim’s philosophy from the original story: However, let’s not forget that the servant has a real reason for his silence and his faked ignorance. He will get glasses, which he truly desires, therefore he can’t tattle this to lord Baek. On the surface, Jung In-Hun hates sodomy, nonetheless he benefits from it through the master’s paintings, exactly like in the original story. As you can imagine, I saw a new evidence for my theory that Kim is actually Yoon Seungho’s enemy, the surrogate father who betrayed and abandoned the aristocrat due to his selfishness. First, the servant has a similar mentality: silence and ignorance. Besides, observe that in the second special chapter, the domestic plays the role of the “adoptive” father, the one who is caring and giving some comfort. This clearly indicates that the scholar was never the painter’s true love, but the latter was more suffering from an oedipal complex:

“The Oedipal complex, also known as the Oedipus complex, is a term used by Sigmund Freud in his theory of psychosexual stages of development to describe a child’s feelings of desire for his or her opposite-sex parent and jealousy and anger toward his or her same-sex parent.” quoted from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-an-oedipal-complex-2795403#:~:text=The%20Oedipal%20complex%2C%20also%20known,or%20her%20same%2Dsex%20parent.

Since the artist is a homosexual, then he won’t be attracted to his mother, rather to the “father”. Striking is that in the last image, the domestic gives his master an advice, although Baek Na-Kyum never asked for this. This displays that Jung In-Hun is well aware of the young man’s affection and employs it to his advantage. For me, these two episodes not only explain how the relationship between the low-born and the teacher worked in the original story and as such in the past, but also seems to unveil Yoon Seungho’s bond to his butler Kim. And there’s another reason why I suspect the valet in the original story has a similar function than the scholar. Only recently, I realized that Kim’s first appearance coincides with Jung In-Hun’s arrival at the mansion. (chapter 7) Besides, it is Kim who takes care of the former teacher too, by bringing him to his room. As you can detect, the servant Jung In-Hun reinforced my negative perception about the “loyal and caring” butler.

But let’s return our attention to the circumstances of the selling of paintings in the special episodes. Baek Na-Kyum is not doing it in order to survive, but to make his domestic happy. But the problem is that he is not earning a lot of money. The reasons are quite simple: the lord can only sell it in secret and the merchant uses the master’s precarious situation (his high social status) in order to buy the creations for a cheap price. He gives false excuses , while in reality his works are so appreciated that he has already made a name himself. Striking is that the merchant contradicts himself exposing his greed and hypocrisy, because first he compliments the artist: before criticizing his last work so that the main lead ends up with just 3 coins! And the trader reminds the painter that he can’t complain, as he can’t reveal this to his father. So we have a greedy merchant, who takes advantage of the artist due to his social status. On the other hand, Baek Na-Kyum has no other solution to accept his fate. In the second episode, Yoon Seungho reveals once again the artist’s popularity. And this situation with the painting made me think about the original story. How did the selling occur? Since the Alternative Universe is similar to the original, although the social status of the characters have been switched, we have to imagine that Baek Na-Kyum must have made a similar experience. As a low-born, the shopkeeper could use the lower social status to buy his paintings for a cheap price. I have to admit that when the first special episode appeared, I wondered if the glasses were not financed by the artist too. However, I rejected the idea, because when he left the brothel, the low noble already possessed glasses. (chapter 46) But the chapter 64 finally gave me the answer: the snake in the original story who took advantage of Baek Na-Kyum’s low social status is the tailor. This picture is relevant because it shows that the tailor knew the painter’s identity right from the start. Let’s not forget that Yoon Seungho never showed any picture to outsiders. The merchant sold the publications behind the curtains and gave the info to Yoon Seungho’s servant, when the latter questioned the identity of the real painter. And now, you understand why Min knew about the incident at the tailor’s shop. Min is also a client who bought Baek Na-Kyum’s publications. (chapter 8). And now, it is important to revisit the chapter 39 and the romantic date: What caught my attention are the drops of sweat on both characters. Back then, I thought, like many readers, that the origin of the discomfort was related to the unusual order: the tailor was supposed to make expensive clothes for a low-born. However, since we know that the tailor recognized Baek Na-Kyum as the painter working under a pseudonym, I believe that they were awkward for a different reason. They had to act, as if they didn’t know each other. This explains why the drop of sweat appears on both faces, when they are facing each other while looking at Kim. That’s why the merchant had to call the commoner a servant, he couldn’t call him a painter. Notice that in that scene, the painter never says, he is a painter, although he could have mentioned it. No one is supposed to know the nature of his paintings, so Baek Na-Kyum had no reason to feel embarrassed, unless the merchant knew the content of his pictures and Baek Na-Kyum was well aware of that. And if you pay attention to the exchange between Kim and the merchant, you’ll notice how he tries to catch some info by questioning the true nature of the relationship between Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum. In my opinion, there’s more than curiosity. He needs to know his relationship with the lord Yoon Seungho, in case the artist decides to sell again his paintings. He could no longer act like before, buy paintings for a cheap price. That’s why he needed to get more insight. And now, with the artist’s disappearance creating chaos among the town folks, the tailor revealed his knowledge and in reality his secret. He saw no reason to hide it any longer. First, he was mad, because people would mock him. Secondly, since the painter hadn’t created any new publication, as he was taken care by the master, he could mention the low-born’s real job: a buggering painter! He had the impression that he had nothing to worry. Striking is that he mentions it in front of the sister And I am quite sure that you remember what I wrote: people with knowledge and secrets will get punished. In my opinion, Heena and Yoon Seungho will expose the merchant’s hypocrisy and greed, who benefited from Baek Na-Kyum’s talent.

And now, you are wondering about the scholar? How does he fit in this story? Due to the special episodes, I deduced that the painter used to sell his paintings to the merchant, because he wanted to buy glasses for his teacher Jung In-Hun. First, in the following picture, the manhwalovers can observe the absence of the gaze and eyes, indicating that his eyes and glasses played a huge role in the past. And now, if the readers look again at Yoon Seungho’s face during the Wedding night, they will notice the barely visible presence of glasses, the symbol for the teacher. And if Baek Na-Kyum did pay for the low noble’s glasses, then it is comprehensible why they mean so much to the low-born. The teacher could have voiced, he needed glasses. I can even imagine that he justified his actual situation, he is just a simple teacher due to the absence of glasses. In other words, he couldn’t do well at the exam, because he couldn’t afford the glasses. His true desire was to use the painter’s innocence and gentleness to obtain a favor without doing anything: just smile and compliment. And Baek Na-Kyum had to wait for a long time before being able to buy the present. The scholar was well aware how Baek Na-Kyum achieved his goal by selling erotic pictures, but the teacher feigned ignorance. However, the sister realized that the shopkeeper and publisher had abused the painter due to his humble origins, therefore Heena imagined that if the teacher was to take care of Baek Na-Kyum, the former would help him to get better paid. However, what happened was that the scholar realized that despite his popularity, Baek Na-Kyum wouldn’t earn that much, unless the former had to intervene. For him, it was unbearable to be linked to homosexuality. Therefore he could only see the artist as a burden. That’s why he decided to cut ties with the artist by no longer feigning ignorance. On the surface, he discovered the erotic painting and coerced the artist, until the latter vowed to never paint anything. It is also possible that Jung In-Hun tried to use the artist’s popularity in order to sell his own book, but was rejected. Anyway, there’s no doubt that the scholar in the past took advantage of Baek Na-Kyum, until he had the impression that the painter had become a burden and he refused to be responsible for him. Let’s not forget that history is repeating itself in Painter Of The Night. And now, you can understand that I am expecting another scandal: the tailor’s enrichment through the publications . There’s no doubt that we will hear this sentence in the original story. However, I have the feeling that Heena will play a major role in this, as the shopkeeper revealed it in front of her. At the same time, this incident will lead to the scholar’s involvement as well. Why did the artist stop painting for a while? Why did Baek Na-Kyum become drunk? Why did he abandon the painter twice after receiving the glasses?

As you can see, I perceive the merchant as a hypocrite, who took advantage of the painter’s innocence and social status. This became truly visible thanks to the new episode. And it becomes understandable why he resents Kim in the end. He remained quiet, but he didn’t get any benefit. That’s why he revealed his knowledge. He imagined that with the new revelation, he would no longer be looked down. He didn’t realize that he just opened Pandora’s box.

[In the second part, I will focus more on the two protagonists.]

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The night: Pandora’s box – part 1

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.

Now, you are wondering how this story from Greek mythology is connected to the manhwa. [I am posting links for people who are not familiar with this story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNk-zV2T7bI https://www.thoughtco.com/what-was-pandoras-box-118577] While examining Min, I recognized his ultimate weapons, knowledge and as such secrets, and these elements play a huge part in Pandora’s box.

Prometheus brought humans fire, a sign for knowledge, and Zeus decided to punish Prometheus and humankind, by creating Pandora, the first woman. The latter had flaws hidden behind her beautiful face and gentle manners, curiosity was one of them. In other words, she was a poisonous gift, but Epimetheus, Prometheus’ brother, didn’t realize it. When Pandora was entrusted with the box, her curiosity couldn’t help her from opening the lid of the box, that’s how diseases and catastrophes appeared on Earth bringing misery to humankind. Pandora desired to know the content of the box, it means, she wished to discover the secrets of that box. As you can observe, in this story knowledge is associated to punishment. Humankind should be punished, because they had fire brought by Prometheus. At the same time, when the box was opened, the secrets in form of diseases and other misfortunes were revealed, bringing misery to people. And strangely, Epimetheus discovered in the box the last secret: a butterfly embodying hope. With hope, life on Earth was still bearable. Hope was the solution to the released secrets. And in Painter of The Night, the painter is represented by the butterfly (special episode 1), like I had pointed out in a former essay. Since I have determined that Baek Na-Kyum is the butterfly in that story, symbolizing truth and hope, the question is now: what is the box in Painter Of The Night? For me, the box represents the past with all his secrets linked to pain and traumas. And the opening of the lid leads to suffering and tragedy, yet despite the agony, the figures will be able to move on and have hope. The painter will serve as a tool to unveil the truth signifying that all the secrets and as such the past will be revealed. And now there’s only one question left. Who is Pandora in this story? Which person opens the box full of secrets bringing misery but hope to the characters in this story?

I am quite sure that the manhwalovers have already found an answer: Min, since the latter uses knowledge and secrets as his tool in order to achieve his goals. Let me you give an illustration. In chapter 36, Black Heart actually lies to the second character by giving a false information, yet he gives the impression that his intelligence is real and concrete. If you pay attention to his expressions (“I hear”, “He doesn’t seem”), you’ll notice that his tip is uncertain and unreliable. In fact, he reveals that he is utilizing rumors. Why doesn’t the red-haired aristocrat recognize the manipulation? It’s because Min is well aware of the character’s personality. Min knew that Jihwa would always believe the gossips. The manhwaphiles should remember how Jihwa often mentions hearsays: chapter 13 and chapter 18 . Jihwa is always listening to the hearsay. In the last case, he tried to influence Yoon Seungho with such gossips. That’s why the red-haired aristocrat could only fall into Black Heart’s trap. The latter knew not only Jihwa’s love for his childhood friend, but also the influence of rumors on him. Min knew that Jihwa would always get his intel through others, because he would avoid to be confronted with reality and as such facts. Besides, Min perceived that the noble was very sensitive to Yoon Seungho’s sex life, hence he used the idiom “hopping from bedchamber to chamber”. It is important to remind the readers of Jihwa’s confession Min was definitely aware of Jihwa’s weaknesses: his love for his childhood friend, the importance of hearsay on him and the resent for this image “Yoon Seungho is fooling around with men”. Note that his friend with the mole caught the lie. Observe that the latter is sweating and looking at Min with such a serious face. Nevertheless, he doesn’t try to contradict Min. He remains silent here and looks at Jihwa’s reaction. Since the latter claims that he will never visit Yoon Seungho, the noble with the mole believes that the lie will have no consequence. This scene is important for two reasons. First, although the noble with the mole is a confident of Jihwa, the former doesn’t have a good understanding of his friend. In reality, he doesn’t truly know Jihwa’s weaknesses. This was visible in chapter 9, when he visited him and told him about the humiliation. The noble with the mole was not aware that Jihwa would be irritated and wounded, when the latter would hear that the former had planned to participate in a sex session with Yoon Seungho. That’s how perceptive Min is. He detected all the red-haired noble’s secrets. Striking is that in that particular scene, while Min employed his knowledge to trick the drunk noble, he discovered the existence of a secret, which was triggered by the noble with the purple robe. Why? It’s because “You know” is standing in opposition to “dream”. Knowledge is a synonym for facts and reality. Therefore, Jihwa finally confesses that he knows a secret about the main lead.In that moment, Min is able to catch the existence of the main lead’s weakness. The latter must have been deeply wounded in the past. It doesn’t matter how… the fact that Yoon Seungho has a wound is enough for Min. Through the red-haired noble’s revelation, Min realizes that Yoon Seungho is acting like a cold-headed person, while in reality he is hot-tempered due to his wounds. Min could make the connection to the incident with the top-knot. That’s how he recognized that Jihwa would use his knowledge of the past and would hurt his childhood friend due to his love for him. As you can sense, Jihwa left clues here and there to Min so that the latter could gather all the information about his rival and use his knowledge to defeat his rival. That’s how innocent and naive Jihwa was. While he thought, he was keeping everything a secret, since he was always allusive, he never recognized that he was doing the opposite. As you can see, Jihwa was the one who delivered the box to Min, and Min opened it therefore he brought pain to the protagonists, yet at the same time, he created an opportunity for them as well. The main leads were forced to face reality and reveal their true thoughts and emotions.

And now, you understand why Min used the same method to wound Yoon Seungho in chapter 52/53/54. He ridiculed the protagonist because the latter was treating the low-born like a precious treasure. The snake had detected that the lord was protecting his pride in reality despite the bad reputation: “common brute” (chapter 59) or in Min’s case: He humiliated him for the second time by revealing that he was in love with a commoner. As you can see, Min could perceive Yoon Seungho’s vulnerabilities and used the secrets in order to wound his rival and the object of his obsession. By opening the box, he made the protagonists suffer. However, the manhwalovers shouldn’t forget that Pandora in the story gets hurt as well, signifying that Min will get hurt by these secrets too.

What caught my attention is that in chapter 43, Black Heart used his knowledge about Jihwa’s love for Yoon Seungho in order to manipulate the childhood friend. He described the painter, Jihwa’s rival, as a manipulative witch and charlatan who was putting the main lead in danger, creating the illusion, if Jihwa intervened, he would do something honorable. He reversed the situation by describing Baek Na-Kyum as bad as possible. He knew exactly how to trigger the red-haired noble’s jealousy, simultaneously making him believe that he was representing righteousness. Yet, like I mentioned it in the essay “The Joker – part 3”, in this scene, Min was actually revealing his own thoughts and emotions. He was envious of Yoon Seungho and couldn’t bear the thought that the painter would become the protagonist’s mistress, because this signified that he could never taste the commoner. Yet during that night, no one recognized this.

Then in chapter 56, in front of Jihwa, Black Heart voiced his wish to taste the painter, exposing his interest for the low-born. And since Min only talked to the red-haired noble, this means that this information became a secret. In this panel, Jihwa questions Min’s reliability which indicates that he is now questioning the character’s personality, a first sign of critical thinking. In my opinion, soon the position will be switched. Jihwa will be in possession of a secret, Black Heart’s real motivation for targeting Yoon Seungho. From my point of view, Min’s weapons (knowledge and secrets) will be employed against him.

I consider the chapter 66 as the turning point for Min. The latter is not aware that he is jeopardizing his position, too sure about his superiority and his knowledge. Let’s not forget that Min made a terrible mistake in chapter 66. He revealed the childhood friend’s involvement in the painter’s disappearance thinking that Yoon Seungho would act like in the past: become a monster and vent his anger against Jihwa. But what he didn’t know and anticipate is that Yoon Seungho would hurt the painter first. With this new revelation, Yoon Seungho realized his true sins. He had misjudged the painter, had allowed his rage to blind him to the point that he had hurt an innocent. He was responsible for the commoner’s trauma. Therefore he couldn’t blame Jihwa for the disappearance right away, the main lead had to face his own culpability. When Black Heart mentions Jihwa’s participation, he is expecting an immediate reaction from his counterpart: Jihwa will become the target of Yoon seungho’s anger and fury. Yet, what Min fails to realize is that by revealing Jihwa’s involvement, he exposes his complicity. He knew that the childhood friend had planned something and remained silent. And since I pointed out that Yoon Seungho suffered in the past because of the silence of a witness, I believe, the lord will remember this and decide to retaliate against all the people who knew about the incident and stayed quiet. Furthermore, I think, the main lead must have learned his lesson with the last incident: never judge someone based on impressions and beliefs. From my point of view, Yoon Seungho will investigate the matter, just like he did an investigation on the painter and Jung In-Hun during the first season. Besides, I would like to remind that when the murder was suggested, it took place at Min’s friend, so the circumstances make it look like there was a plot.

As a conclusion, chapter 66 displays Min’s miscalculations. He thought, he knew Yoon Seungho well, while he didn’t. Why? It is related to Jihwa’s knowledge. The latter keeps saying that he knows the protagonist, whereas it is not correct, as he doesn’t understand what the main lead went through. Secondly, Black Heart made the mistake to believe that he could understand the main lead’s personality by just observations. And what did he see?

Black Heart saw Yoon Seungho’s protective attitude towards the commoner. First, he would refuse to share him (chapter 33), then the protagonist would humiliate him in order to protect the painter’s identity (chapter 41). Min imagined that Baek Na-Kyum was treated like a treasure, especially due to the incident at the tailor’s shop. In the second season, the main lead had even kissed him in order to protect the low-born , then he had defended him against a vicious servant. One might argue that the noble had brought him to the sex session, yet since the host stopped the rape before and even evicted his guests in a rough manner, for Min, it was a real sign that Yoon Seungho was very caring. However, this is not reality, as Yoon Seungho mistreated the painter. Strangely, the painter never saw his true caring side, because he was always asleep (chapter 33, 34, 45, 50) or he was blind and deaf due to his own agony. Their relationship was far more complex. Finally, since Min’s knowledge was based on his observations, he could only view what Yoon Seungho allowed him to see: Black Heart is not aware of the main lead’s insecurities and self-hatred or his illness. Not even Jihwa knows about the existence of his illness which was supposed to have appeared in his teens. This explicates that Min’s information was not correct and he was fated to make mistakes. Besides, he doesn’t care for commoners and servants so Min is not paying attention to changes among Yoon Seungho’s staff. His understanding is quite superficial. The other mistake is that he is not aware of the last events at the mansion: Deok-Jae’s disappearance and his involvement in a poisoning incident. Furthermore, he has no idea about Yoon Seungho’s true power and connections, although his friend warned him . There’s no doubt that Min’s judgement about Yoon Seungho is also influenced by his reputation as a hell-raiser. That’s the reason why Min came to the conclusion that the protagonist was exactly like him. For Black Heart, the main character was seeking pleasure and fun by causing commotions and violating social norms, whereas the cause for main lead’s behavior is different: he has been brainwashed and traumatized. more complex. And you comprehend why I believe, Min will get hurt in the end. “His knowledge” will be the source for his misery and his punishment. And it will backfire on him. Besides, I suspect that Min won’t learn from his mistake and will make another mistake … he will still believe that he just needs to find a secret in order to have the upper hand. I have the feeling that Min will investigate why Yoon Seungho decided to sponsor the scholar Jung In-Hun, since the latter was mentioned in connection with the envious man. (chapter 52). Consequently he will discover the true reason behind the sponsor: Baek Na-Kyum has always admired the teacher. There’s another reason why the scholar’s path will cross Black Heart’s: their preference for investigation and secrecy. Don’t forget that the teacher tried to find some secrets in order to find a weakness in his sponsor and blackmail him (chapter 29). That’s why I envision that with the scholar’s return, we will witness how the teacher tries to use his knowledge in order to gain something, especially if the wealthy aristocrat abandons him, the moment Baek Na-Kyum refuses to help his former teacher. There’s no doubt that Jung In-Hun will use secrets in order to manipulate Min, when the latter approaches him. In my opinion, the scholar could use the incident at the pavilion (the rape) , when he notices that Min has the same “obsession” than Yoon Seungho. For me, there was never an ambiguity that the teacher witnessed the rape but chose not to intervene. He used his “knowledge” by acting ignorant, applying the butler’s philosophy: That way, he didn’t need to take the responsibility for the wrongdoing. Since history repeats itself in Painter Of The Night and the past is slowly revealed, we have anticipate that the incidents from the first season will resurface: the rape, the reproach and Baek Na-Kyum’s discovery of the teacher’s true face and hypocrisy. And imagine Black Heart’s reaction, when he hears about the rape, in that moment, he will interpret all the incidents in a different light. He never brought the painter to the sex sessions, because the artist got raped and in reality he was secluded. Then he will remember that the lord distanced himself from Baek Na-Kyum and returned to debauchery, the painter denied the lord’s feelings for him and as such rejected the master’s advances. Then he will remember that the commoner was brought to the sex party, before the noble changed his mind. Envision that if Jung In-Hun decides to expose how the lord treated the artist during the first season (the straw mat beating, the rape, the escape… ) which Min never heard of, the latter could imagine that the artist is kept captive and decide to “abduct” him in order to liberate him. That way, he could turn himself into a hero… I know, here I am no longer studying the story, but just making assumptions. Yet, what I want to demonstrate is that knowledge and secrets represent the key to Pandora’s box. My point is that all the secrets from season 1 will become fatal to Min and Jung In-Hun, as they will be used to manipulate. There is no coincidence that both use the same methods (manipulation, lies and knowledge to deceive others), since the two figures have a similar disposition (jealousy, greed and ambition). Yet their insight is superficial in the end. So far, they both lived in their own world, quite protected and have never experienced the harshness of reality. That’s why I am convinced that the scholar and Min will find each other and their encounter will cause them to suffer in the end. That’s why I have the impression that Jung In-Hun could be judged as another Pandora. In my opinion, his investigation about the past will bring him suffering, while he is anticipating that the discovery of secrets will help him to achieve his goal.

But there’s another Pandora in this story, someone who uses knowledge and secrets as weapons. Yes, that’s Nameless. There’s no ambiguity that he is using commoners in order to obtain his intel. Note that he mentions here “channels” indicating that he has different sources. First, we can assume that Nameless gets some info from the gisaeng. We know for sure that he hired Deok-Jae. Finally, we are suspecting that he placed a spy among the nobles’ house (Jihwa and now Yoon Seungho ). He knew the servant’s true motivation behind the betrayal, like he explained it to Jihwa in chapter 51. However, I believed that exactly like Min, he made a terrible mistake. He thought that this was related to the harsh beating caused by the painter’s first disappearance. In Nameless’ mind, Deok-Jae hated his lord for his “unfair punishment”, while in reality, Deok-Jae put the whole blame on the painter. In the servant’s eyes, the artist should have been the one receiving the harsh beating. This shows that he never questioned the punishment as such. Why did the criminal misunderstand the domestic? Let’s not forget that Nameless suffered injustice in the past, perceptible by the numbers of his tattoos, hence he projected his own thoughts onto Deok-Jae. What he failed to recognize was the vicious servant’s true motivation: he was jealous of the painter and wished, he had been the one receiving the lord’s favors, willing to become a homosexual, if it meant to improve his living conditions. This panel can be considered as a proof that Nameless misjudged Deok-Jae’s true personality: The latter was in reality greedy! (chapter 46) This explains why the blackmail happened in the end. Since Nameless envisaged that Deok-Jae was resenting his master due to the harsh thrashing, he didn’t expect that Deok-Jae would decide to side with Yoon Seungho in the end, if it meant to get some benefit. (chapter 54) In my opinion, Nameless must have always thought that only aristocrats were greedy, unjust, ruthless and vicious, and would blame the commoners for their crimes. However, reality is much more complex, like I explained in a different essay: silence and passivity can cause damages. Besides, commoners are also humans, therefore they can be vicious, greedy and ruthless. To sum up, the criminal has a biased perception of the world. The other mistake the criminal made is related to his perception about Jihwa. He noticed the red-haired noble’s innocence due his bad habit (biting nails) and showed signs of bad conscience. Therefore he had the impression that Jihwa was not responsible for this situation, rather the childhood friend who chose to reject him and drop him for a low-born acting on a whim. Yet, what Nameless doesn’t know is what the red-haired noble did before: the constant bullying on the painter (chapter 5, 10, 17). For me, Nameless is already biased and has a better impression of his client than Yoon Seungho who hurt his staff so unfairly (chapter 29/30) and humiliated Jihwa twice (chapter 18, 57). That’s why he is pitying his client. In his eyes the master did nothing wrong, he only loved his friend. Consequently he imagined that the aristocrat was acting on impulse and anticipated that he would give up, yet the latter never did. Since no one visited Jihwa during that time, Nameless thought that the second lead was acting on his own. The noble never mentioned how the idea of the murder was brought up… and he never said anything about Min’s visit in chapter 56. And now imagine his surprise…if my theory is correct, the new guardian is his spy. Jihwa kept a secret from him… but it is the same for Nameless, who killed the domestic. Nameless will realize that other people knew about Jihwa’s intentions, hence he will question the noble’s actions. Nameless will realize quickly that this was more than just a love quarrel. In my opinion, he will investigate the matter. There’s no doubt that we will witness a scene where the criminal and Jihwa will blame each other: one will reproach him for involving the servant Deok-Jae, while the other will tell him how stupid and naive he was. He got betrayed by Min.

From my point of view, Nameless will realize that his knowledge was really superficial and led him to make huge mistakes. Besides, he needs to question his role. He might have pitied the painter during that night, yet the criminal acted as their hands. He is an accomplice and is responsible for the nobles’ misdeeds. His actions are the reason why the nobles can be ruthless and violent and still call themselves honorable and pure.

At the same time, I believe, the appearance of the gisaeng will play a huge role as well. I have to admit that since Nameless was seen with the gisaeng (chapter 51), I have been thinking about this: what if the criminal was searching for Baek Na-Kyum? Envisage, with Heena’s intervention, he discovers the painter’s true identity and realizes that he hurt the person he was looking for and was even supposed to protect. For me, there’s no doubt that Min, Jung In-Hun, Jihwa and Nameless will pay for their “knowledge”, because they were actually biased by their own belief and arrogance.

And remember that Pandora’s box was a punishment because humans had received “knowledge” in the form of “fire”. This story is important because it shows that no one can have the whole knowledge and as such possesses truth. And now, you comprehend why Jihwa, the teacher, Nameless and Min made mistakes. It’s because Yoon Seungho never revealed his true thoughts and emotions in front of Jihwa and he never showed his true self in front of Min. Jung In-Hun never got to experience the true power from the main lead. The latter never showed him his real capacities. Finally, the main lead also used rumors in order to deceive people. No one met the real Yoon Seungho, except the painter who got to hear and see everything: his true power (chapter 11), his insecurities (chapter 58) (chapter 63) and his hopes. One might argue that Yoon Seungho was not entirely himself in these chapters, as he couldn’t control his feelings. Yet I believe that because of that, the lord was the most honest. He could never fake his true thoughts and emotions in front of the painter. I am quite certain that the lord learned due to his traumatic past that he needed to be strong in order to protect himself from others… remember that he had no one by his side, therefore I think that despite his debauchery, Yoon Seungho made sure that he had enough power to never become a victim again. However, Baek Na-Kyum is on his way to discern the master’s real personality, not only by discovering his past, but also because from now on, the lord will never approach Baek Na-Kyum for sex and they will have to interact differently: he will show him his true competences.

As a final word, all those who imagined that they knew the past, the lord’s true personality and skills, the reality (aristocracy is corrupt, while the commoners are just victims), they will recognize that they were all wrong, the moment the secrets are leaving Pandora’s box. They will be punished for their “knowledge”.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night / The Beast Must Die: The Joker – part 3 (second version)

This is where you can read the manhwas. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter   The Beast Must Die: https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/beast_en  But be aware that these manhwas are mature Yaois, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.

So far, I had compared Min to a snake, a wolf, a crow and a magpie, however my analysis of this character didn’t do him any justice. The moment I recognized the affinities between Min and The Joker, I came to realize the lord’s true personality. He doesn’t just want to replace the main lead as the new alpha among the nobles, more importantly he takes pleasure in ruining friendships and as such causing pain to others. As a conclusion, I noticed that he enjoys destruction. Therefore I stated in the first part that Min had a nihilistic mindset:

“In philosophy, nihilism is the complete rejection of moral values and religious beliefs. It is such a negative outlook that it denies any meaning or purpose in life.” https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/nihilism#:~:text=In%20philosophy%2C%20nihilism%20is%20the,existing%20political%20and%20social%20institutions.

Due to this association with The Joker, I had the following realization: lord Min seems to suffer from a mental disorder, and to be more accurate, from an Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). The distinction between “sociopath” or “psychopath” is here more or less irrelevant because in the end, the specialists always diagnose such patients as a person suffering from ASPD. Then if you make some research about The Joker’s personality, you will discover that even psychologists and psychiatrists tried to determine his mental issues, that’s how fascinating this supervillain is.

Here, the author Arash Javanbakht M. D. is referring to the character from the movie Joker (2019)

But what caught my attention is that The Joker’s mental disorder changes according to the stories, like the author Scott A. Bonn Ph. D. pointed out. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/wicked-deeds/201911/is-the-joker-psychopath Therefore, it is important to determine the identity of The Joker I am referring to. I have to admit that since Min’s behavior reminds me more of The Joker from The Dark Knight, that’s how I came to the diagnosis of an Antisocial Personality Disorder. If you read the article mentioned above, the author confirms that The Joker’s profile (The Dark Knight, 2008) does fit the characteristics of a psychopath. But since our topic is Min’s personality, it is relevant to describe the symptoms of such a mental disorder. I am just quoting the following symptoms from two websites, other sites showed similar info:

  • socially irresponsible behavior
  • disregarding or violating the rights of others
  • inability to distinguish between right and wrong
  • difficulty with showing remorse or empathy
  • tendency to lie often
  • manipulating and hurting others
  • recurring problems with the law
  • Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, aggression or violence
  • general disregard towards safety and responsibility (quoted from) https://www.healthline.com/health/psychopath#signs /

And when you compare this to Min’s behavior, you’ll notice the similarities which I will outline now. First, he breaks laws and social norms without feeling remorse (chapter 52). Then he violates the rights of his host in chapter 43, when he proposes the assassination. Since this is not Min’s pavilion, this means that his friend’s house is transformed into a conspiracy place. This will play a huge part in the future, as I am anticipating a purge. At another party, he violates again the rights of his host by mocking and insulting him: chapter 52, 53 54 . I could also add that he disregards the painter by suggesting his murder (43, 56) or by treating him like a sex object (chapter 33/52). Moreover, he often lies (chapter 36 , chapter 43 . All these examples expose that he manipulates his surroundings constantly. He influences Jihwa by giving him the idea of the murder (chapter 43, chapter 56 ). He pressures Yoon Seungho to bring the artist to their party so that he can taste him (chapter 33, chapter 52). Observe that although Black Heart is often seen with other aristocrats (chapter 8, chapter 33 chapter 43, chapter 52), he doesn’t care about them. In fact, he uses them for his own benefit. Remember that he took the opium from his acquaintance (chapter 52). Then he ruined his “friend”‘s party by causing a ruckus, while the other wanted to have some discreet fun. I would even say, he manipulates the masses by making requests, which the other nobles can’t truly reject. Note that neither in chapter 33 nor in 52, the aristocrats stopped Black Heart from talking and even supported his request: the main lead should bring the commoner to their sex party. As a conclusion, he uses his influence over the other aristocrats to get what he desires: have sex with the painter. This displays his true power as manipulator. No one is capable to stop him, not even Yoon Seungho, the alpha king among the local aristocracy. (chapter 52). This is understandable, as during that night, Yoon Seungho was totally vulnerable and tried to hide his weak disposition with his clothes.

And now you understand why Min enjoys being in Yoon Seungho’s company. If he is capable to manipulate the main lead, then Black Heart will consider it as a proof that he is far superior to the main lead, whom he considers similar to him. That’s the reason why he told his acquaintances that Yoon Seungho was so easy to understand. (chapter 52) This explains why Black Heart continues targeting the main lead with his tricks (chapter 52/53/54). Not only he simply can’t get enough, but also he is determined to prove his supremacy. The manhwaphiles comprehend now why in chapter 66, Min even visits directly the protagonist’s mansion on his own indicating that he has been keeping an eye on Yoon Seungho. Observe that for the first time, he comes alone, unlike in chapter 8 and 52. He must have heard about the painter’s disappearance and desires to witness Yoon Seungho’s pain. For him, this would represent the best proof of his skill as manipulator. But to his disappointment, Baek Na-Kyum is not dead. This mask exposes his lack of empathy and his joy for imagining that the main lead is suffering (“difficulty with showing remorse or empathy“). Since his plan failed, he is disappointed. Therefore he enters Yoon Seungho’s mansion. However, pay attention to the last picture which indicates that Min is thinking about Jihwa and his disobedience. The red-haired noble didn’t act like planned. In my perspective, his thoughts indicate that Min will make Jihwa pay for his “disobedience”. At the same time, I believe that Min is already thinking about his next move, this is the other reason why he enters the main lead’s house without a proper invitation (a new version of chapter 12). This image serves as another evidence for his continuous disregard for social norms. And this chapter 66 represents a turning point in my opinion, as it exposes Min’s impulsiveness to the best. Since he didn’t get Yoon Seungho’s defeat by afflicting pain on him, he needs to cause another uproar and inflict pain on Jihwa, who didn’t follow his “order”. Note that Black Heart just reversed the roles, showing that he doesn’t care who wounds whom. His main focus is pain. By revealing the secret, Black Heart is hoping that Yoon Seungho will retaliate against his childhood friend because of the kidnapping.

Striking is that the author zooms on the character’s mouth and chin, revealing that Min has the intention to hurt Jihwa through the main lead. I noticed a certain pattern: Byeonduck always focused on Min’s mouth each time Min envisioned to hurt someone. Remember this panel from the episode 53:

This was just before the character kissed Baek Na-Kyum. The zoom on his mouth was announcing Min’s mischief. He had planned to irritate the host and desired to annul the painter’s action. The artist’s embrace had stopped the “vengeful ghost, the beast”. But Black Heart wanted the main lead to continue with his violent and irrational behavior in order to be entertained. Note the contradiction between his words (“not the sort to stop simply because someone asks you to”) and his action: he doesn’t ask anyone but steals a kiss from Baek Na-Kyum while separating both protagonists. Hence I come to the conclusion that for Black Heart, the commoner had been a killjoy in that scene. And now, it makes perfect sense why Min chose Jihwa as his pawn in the end. He had witnessed how the latter could turn Yoon Seungho into a “monster” and found it so entertaining and funny that he decided to recreate the same situation. This observation explicates why Yoon Seungho put Jihwa and Min in the same bag in chapter 57. Min knew how to provoke the main lead thanks to Jihwa.

But let’s return our attention to Min’s mischievous plan. Observe that in chapter 66, he is doing the same thing again: He says the exact opposite of his true thoughts. While begging for the protagonist’s mercy, he is hoping for the opposite reaction. However, his plan can’t work like in chapter 53 because of the painter’s presence. The reason for this is simple. The lord is embracing the unconscious commoner underlining the importance of the hug. Although Baek Na-Kyum is unconcious here, just his presence is now strong enough to stop Yoon Seungho from getting violent and enraged. Baek Na-Kyum is so vulnerable that the lord can only focus on him, whereas it was the opposite in chapter 53. In other words, this episode marks Min’s defeat. He is not able to manipulate Yoon Seungho like in the past and the painter represents his antidote.

And now, you are wondering why I consider this episode as an evidence for Min’s impulsiveness. It is related to the guardian and Deok-Jae’s death. Min is not aware that a servant among the main lead’s staff has already been killed, therefore he doesn’t realize the consequence of his revelation. Min’s thoughts are always revolving around entertainment and ruckus, hence he doesn’t pay attention to details. He has no idea of the consequences of his intervention. We could already perceive his impulsiveness in chapter 52 , when he revealed himself the planned assassination in front of Baek Na-Kyum. However, back then he wasn’t caught, as neither the painter nor the powerful protagonist paid attention to his words. And instead of learning from his mistakes (f. ex. the murder didn’t occur like planned or the punches he received from the main lead for his provocations), he continues irritating Yoon Seungho. He notices that the latter is no longer denying his feelings in front of him, hence he can’t humiliate him like in chapter 54. Consequently he has to search for another trigger in order to provoke the owner of the mansion. But here, he fails again, as the artist is more important than Jihwa’s wrongdoing. Yoon Seungho is already more focused on his own misdeeds, the afflicted abuse on the painter: the violent sex marathon, the insults and the sequestration. Consequently he has no time for his uninvited guest. He ignores him and leaves him behind, but this won’t do for Min, hence he unveils a secret: Jihwa’s participation. But he fails again, as Yoon Seungho is only seen with the following reaction: Since the chapter 66 stands in opposition to the episodes 53/54, it becomes obvious that the main lead will react differently. He won’t act on his emotions, he learned his lesson due to the painter. He punished the commoner, although the latter was innocent, too blinded by his rage and pain. That’s why I think, we should consider the chapter 66 as Min’s ultimate defeat.

Another affinity to the symptoms for psychopathie is that Min shows a disregard for safety and responsibility. First, he was willing to provoke the protagonist, although he saw that the noble had almost killed a servant with his beating. He chose to irritate him again, risking his own life. That’s why he got slapped so violently that the door was destroyed. But note that Black Heart didn’t feel any pain and showed no tears, instead he started laughing and showed pleasure. But even after receiving the slap, he continued provoking the host thereby the main lead started punching him so many times. Yet at no moment, he asked the lord to stop from hurting him, he kept laughing. However, there exists another explanation why Min kept provoking Yoon Seungho. But this aspect will be elaborated later.

And now there’s only one symptom left from the list: “Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, aggression or violence“. So far, we never saw Min becoming irritable or violent, which explains why I didn’t even realize myself his true personality: he is a psychopath. But if you pay attention to my previous observations, you’ll notice a certain MO. He just uses his pawns to hurt others and enjoys seeing people aggressive and in pain. From my perspective, Min will never employ force directly, but prefers using people in order to voice his hostility and aggression. He will never dirty his hands, which stands in opposition to the Korean Batman, Nameless. Yet this doesn’t mean, Black Heart isn’t aggressive at all, quite the opposite. I will name two examples in order to prove my interpretation. Note that Min manipulates Jihwa to have the painter killed soon after Yoon Seungho humiliated Black Heart in the woods. (chapter 41) Don’t forget that he calls the vicious man “a mouse”, a real insult to someone who sees himself as superior and talented. Then the night after the beating, Min waits for Jihwa in front of his house and urges Jihwa to murder the painter. However, this time he adds that he wants to taste the painter before and note that here, he is mentioning the punches he received from Yoon Seungho. As the manhwaphiles can detect, Min is here retaliating against the main lead for hurting him. He will make him suffer much more: not only he will lose the commoner, but also the latter will get raped: a double affront. However, just like before, he prefers using the childhood friend so that he can avoid to take any responsibility. If something happens, then only Jihwa will pay for this. We should remember that Min never wrote anything concerning a crime. The idea he proposed was at his friend’s place, and the idea of the rape was also mentioned on the street with no witness.

In the last panel, his smile made me think even more of The Joker than before. He takes pleasure in inciting crimes and imagining people in pain. And now, if you recall The Joker’s behavior in The Dark Knight, you’ll note some similarities. He wants to prove to Batman that even good men can turn into criminals. The Joker is the reason why the famous prosecutor Harvey Dent turns into Two-Face, because he wants to denounce the hypocrisy of Gotham society and its rules. That’s why The Joker keeps breaking laws and committing crimes. He abhors society and its norms, hence he is determined to destroy it. And now, you understand why Min chose Jihwa as his pawn and target in the end. He knew that Jihwa could trigger Yoon Seungho’s violence, he was determined to prove that he could turn a rather innocent man into a criminal.

Furthermore, after reading the following quote,

“When psychopaths view others as prey, their lack of feeling and bonding to others allows them to have unusual clarity in observing the behavior of their intended victims. As demonstrated by the Joker in The Dark Knight, psychopaths are unencumbered by the anxieties and emotions that normal people experience in interpersonal encounters. This is because psychopaths are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others, although they often have disarming or even charming personalities.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/wicked-deeds/201911/is-the-joker-psychopath

the manhwalovers will notice that Min considered Yoon Seungho as his prey very early on. In my opinion, this conversation played a huge part in his decision: Min realized the importance of knowledge. Jihwa knew his friend well, hence he was able to awake the “beast” in the main lead. Besides, he could notice that Jihwa had an immense influence on the main character. He could wound him, yet the latter wouldn’t cut ties with him. Note that in that scene, Min never said a word, yet he was observant and realized that Yoon Seungho had a weakness: “in the most wretched of states”. That’s why he chose to get closer to the protagonist, willing to become an uke, if it was necessary for his plan. He needed to discover more about his prey and the best place was to get closer to Jihwa and Yoon Seungho, slowly and silently exactly like a snake. However, I believe, the real war between the two semes started in chapter 41, which caught my attention during the first season. The hand on the main character’s waist was a sign that the psychopath planned to “screw” the main character. (chapter 41) Not only he showed his desire to submit Yoon Seungho, but also he acted, as if he was superior to him. He asked questions and even criticized the main character for his behavior: he was creating a ruckus, exposing his hypocrisy, as Black Heart loves uproar.

After showing point after point that Min’s personality shows many signs of ASPD, it is important to understand the real nature of this mental disorder. After comparing him to The Joker and reading the first part of this essay, you have the impression that people suffering from ASPD are all criminals and they are potential serial killers. However, it is not true, because this mental disorder doesn’t necessarily mean that the affected person is a killer. If you pay attention to Min’s words, he keeps talking about fun and scandal. This observation leads me to the following explanation: The Arousal Theory of Motivation. This psychological conception tries to elaborate what stimulates people.

“Each person has a unique arousal level that is right for them. When our arousal levels drop below these personalized optimal levels, we seek some sort of stimulation to elevate them.” https://www.verywellmind.com/the-arousal-theory-of-motivation-2795380

Since Min keeps seeking entertainment, it shows that he is a person with an abnormally low arousal. Therefore he needs strong stimuli, like violence and attention. And now, you understand first why Min is often seen in company with other nobles. He needs to attract their attention, hence he challenges Yoon Seungho in chapter 33 or in 52. It is the same on the street, when he smokes the opium so openly. It occurs at his friend’s place as well (chapter 43). Notice that he is the one who talks the most and proposes the murder. What caught my attention is that despite the objections from one noble and Min’s friend, the vicious man is able to give a whole speech why Jihwa should have the artist eliminated. No one stops him talking, indicating his skills as orator but more importantly this displays that he likes being in the center of the attention. However, as you can imagine, attention is not enough for him. He needs stronger stimuli than just admiration. He feels the urge to see pain and blood. And this made me think of the other manhwa entitled “The Beast Must Die” written by Lee Hyeon-Sook.

Striking is that we have in the image the same topics: Joker/card, mask and blood. And this is naturally no coincidence, as the protagonist is a psychopath too, in other words, another Joker.

In this manhwa, the main character Lee Ki-Rin approaches the rich but mysterious student Kang Moo. His reason is his thirst for revenge. His sister Lee Seorin was a victim of a gang rape, but since the perpetrators were never prosecuted, the sister killed herself out of despair. The culprits were students coming from wealthy and influential families and members of an organization called “secret fraternity”. Because Lee Kirin had no idea about the identities of the culprits and only knew that they belonged to that “secret fraternity”, he decided to get close to Kang Moo in order to investigate and get revenge for his sister’s death. While Lee Ki-Rin believes, he is manipulating Kang Moo, the readers can quickly realize that the opposite is happening. Kang Moo is the one who let Lee Kirin approach him in the end. What Lee Kirin doesn’t know is that Kang Moo is a psychopath. The latter has always hidden his mental illness in front of people. Even the members from that “club” had no idea except Lim Joohyuk. There’s a reason for that. When he killed a dog for the first time as a child, he saw his mother’s rejection and disgust. Striking is the importance of the gaze again. As a child, the boy sensed his mother’s negative judgement and rejection. However, this incident didn’t stop him to lose his “urge” for blood. Therefore he started to have hobbies like collecting dead bodies, taking pictures of dead creatures and even hunt. As you can detect, in that story Kang Moo has an abnormal low arousal and needed stronger stimuli, as time passed on. This reminds us of Min who keeps looking for entertainment and commotion. Note that Min’s violence has gradually increased: from sex as a symbol for fight, he went to a verbal challenge (chapter 33/41), then it escalated to a murder (43), then to a beating and gangrape (52/53) and finally to a combination of murder and rape (56). And in The Beast Must Die, the protagonist is well aware of the consequences of his behavior. If he killed someone, he would ruin his life. (chapter 32) The manhwaphiles can sense the similarity in the vocabulary: for Min, it is fun/entertainment, while Kang Moor keeps talking about “pleasure”. Since Kang Moo recognized the repercussions of a murder, he chose to fight against it contrasting to Min’s attitude. And there’s reason for that: Min’s social status and historical period. The latter is a noble and can use his superiority to hurt commoners and even break laws, because aristocrats are not prosecuted like low-borns. Secondly, I believe that his family and his surroundings played a huge role. Observe that the nobility is portrayed as corrupt and decadent. Besides, the manhwalovers should remember that Min’s MO is to manipulate others, therefore it reveals that the character had found a way out how to outlive his “urge and need”. He could commit small wrongdoings, as he knew that he wouldn’t get punished for this. But if he had to hurt another noble, he had to use someone else. And this exposes the similarities between Kang Moo and Min. Both are well aware that certain things are not allowed, yet they try to find a different way to move around the rules and laws.

Striking is that Kang Moo never committed a crime, until Lee Seorin committed suicide. She was the trigger for him to change his behavior. While he claims in front of his future victim that she was just an excuse, (chapter 32) the readers shouldn’t take his words as face-value. In my opinion, he felt a similar emotion than Lee Kirin (revenge), because Lee Seorin was the first person who showed understanding and no rejection, when he removed his mask and revealed his true personality. (chapter 33) . What caught my attention is that Kang Moo is voicing his fear indicating that he was well aware of his own mental issues. Moreover, it also outlines his despair… he desired to escape from this, but didn’t know how to. Lee Seorin comprehended Kang Moo’s anxiety, therefore she tried to encourage him not to give up, by supporting him that he could continue maintaining a normal life, if he truly wanted it. And now, you grasp why Kang Moo snapped, when he heard about the circumstances of her death. It was his club that was responsible for her suicide. Naturally, when Lee Kirin asks him if he loved his sister, the psychopath can’t answer that question, since he is unable to grasp his emotions. (chapter 34). However, there’s no doubt that the protagonist had an affection for Lee Kirin’s sister. I believe to perceive an evidence of his attachment to her, when he mentions the suffering of a victim of gang rape. (chapter 56) Sure, in this scene he is threatening Mr. Jang to organize a gang rape on Mrs. Hong’s daughter, because the man with the glass was also menacing his lover Lee Kirin. Yet, the fact that he mentioned such a crime indicates that he didn’t forget the crime Lee Seorin suffered from and he could understand her pain. And there’s another proof that Kang Moo is not truly emotionless. It becomes even more obvious that he loves the main lead too. It is shown in two different occasions. First, he states that he will never let Lee Kirin go. (chapter 34) And latter, he requests from his lover to help him to “stop the beast inside him”. That’s his love confession, although Kang Moo doesn’t truly comprehend the true signification of his words. At some point, he begins to grasp that he has changed and is relying more on Lee Kirin which makes him nervous. This shows that Kang Moo has some problems to accept his love for Lee Kirin. However, this manhwa truly indicates that a person suffering from ASPD is capable to live a normal life and to feel love, even if this patient is not expressing it in the normal way. Furthermore, in this story, Kang Moo tries to use others in order to dirty less his own hands so that the members from “secret fraternity” kill each other indicating that this is not just to enjoy pleasure. Let’s not forget that at the same time, he helps a friend who is getting abused by her fiancé. So he is not a serial killer per se. He is determined to punish “scums” while committing crimes. Yet he believes that he uses revenge as an excuse. To sum up, the story is not just about a psychopath following his urges to kill, but rather the battle of a psychopath who struggled to lead a normal life, but gave in the moment he lost the person who supported him.

As you can sense, I like this story, because the real villain of this story is not the abnormal one, but the ones who are supposed to be mentally sane and normal. The secret fraternity was perverted by one member so that the 5 members started committing crimes and never got punished. (chapter 1). Here, they hunt someone for fun. Besides, I would like to mention here the k-drama “It’s Okay not to be okay” with Kim Soo-Yun and Seo Yea-Ji. In this terrific drama, the main lead is a famous writer suffering from ASPD and the so-called normal people are actually portrayed in a rather negative way as well: they insult, exclude and hurt the persons suffering from a disorder or disability. This shows that authors in South Korea are trying to change the image about mental disorders and plead for more understanding and open-mindedness. In “The Beast Must Die” and “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay”, the characters help people to comprehend that the boundary between normality and abnormality is thin and I would even say, illusory. Lee Kirin desired to get revenge, yet he doesn’t feel sorry for the death of the culprits, but no one is questioning him. It becomes a different story, when a psychopath is involved. The detective will do anything to catch Kang Moo, but finds excuses for Lee Kirin. But observe that he is not diagnosed as a psychopath. As you can sense, there’s here a double standard. Normal people even call for violence and revenge due to their anger and pain, that’s why there’s still death penalty in so many countries. As a conclusion, being diagnosed as a psychopath doesn’t mean that they are no human and people should treat the patient like a monster. Being excluded from society is not the correct answer, like Kang Moo sensed it. He felt the condemnation in his parents’ gaze hence he felt abandoned and lonely.

And now, you understand why Black Heart is often surrounded by people and is even close to the noble with the mole. I believe, he sensed that he was different, but he could never reveal his true self. This explains why his friendship with the noble with the mole was so calm and so harmonious. Hence Jihwa expressed his admiration for their relationship. But their relationship was in reality fake, because Min could never remove his mask. His friend might have sensed his lies and his “Black Heart”, nonetheless I doubt that Min truly confessed his true thoughts in front of the aristocrat with the mole. Moreover, their bond changed the moment Min met the painter. For the first time, Black Heart was attracted, hence he looked at Baek Na-Kyum, while having sex with Yoon Seungho. Furthermore, he saw genuine attraction in the painter’s gaze because of Yoon Seungho. Let’s not forget that Min considered the protagonist as a person similar to him. The commoner was not attracted due to his power or wealth but by the person himself… meaning that he didn’t care about his bad reputation and bad habits. That’s how Min got fascinated by the artist. Since he saw the pure desire in Baek Na-Kyum’s eyes during the intercourse (chapter 8), the aristocrat imagined that he could get the same gaze, if he had sex with the painter. And that’s how the love triangle started. He wished to be gazed like Yoon Seungho was. since he viewed such a pure gaze, while the protagonist was having sex, Min associated the painter’s stare to sex. This explicates why the former is so obsessed with sex and keeps desiring to taste the artist (chapter 33, 52, 56). He couldn’t forget that gaze. I can imagine that he must have called it an obsession, which is an idiom Kang Moo utilized to describe Lee Seorin’s affection for her brother. With this approach, it becomes comprehensible why Min tells Jihwa that Yoon Seungho has been bewitched by Baek Na-Kyum. In reality, he is describing his own thoughts. In other words, he is projecting his own thoughts into the protagonist. He explains his desire and obsession with witchcraft, because he feels vulnerable. That’s his way to confess his love in my opinion. Just like Kang Moo, he can’t say these words (“I love you”), as he has no idea what he feels and what love is. With this interpretation, it becomes comprehensible why Min suggested the painter’s murder in the end. If he can’t satisfy his urges (taste the painter) and he is still thinking about it, then he needs to get rid of the source of his obsession. Because the moment the painter disappears, Min will be able to move on. Witnessing Yoon Seungho’s pain will compensate him for the loss. Therefore, the manhwaphiles can comprehend, why Min still associates Baek Na-Kyum to death. Deep down, he fears the painter, as he senses that the former represents a source of danger for him. He can become his weakness. And the best way to remove this is to manipulate Jihwa to commit the crime. I also think, Min had already detected that he couldn’t do it himself. For me, the character’s thoughts are actually mirroring Min’s true state of mind. Once again, he is projecting his own emotions “fiery in his jealousy”, “too weak at heart” into Jihwa. In fact, we could say the opposite. Jihwa’s heart was strong enough to resist negative emotions. That’s why Byeonduck chose to reveal Min’s thoughts in this chapter. Black Heart is someone who is always projecting his feelings and emotions into others, because he can’t deal with them himself. We had a similar phenomenon, in chapter 43. What Jihwa envisioned in chapter 43 represented Min’s thoughts in reality as well. Min was witnessing how Baek Na-Kyum was escaping from him: first a paramour, now a mistress. There’s another evidence for Min’s attachment to the painter. Like my reader @Lahuno66666 pointed it out correctly, Min is always talking about Baek Na-Kyum, exactly like the main lead. Note that in each chapter Min appears, he always mentions the artist: (chapter 8), chapter 33 , chapter 36 , chapter 41 chapter 43 , chapter 52 , chapter 53 , chapter 54 , chapter 56 , chapter 66 This outlines the importance of the painter in Black Heart’s thoughts. Thanks to her observation, I realized that Min has a similar mentality than Yoon Seungho. Both were confusing the mind with the heart. While Yoon Seungho was in denial of his feeling as he had the impression, he had no heart, the vicious noble is unable to distinguish his heart from his mind due to his ASPD. Furthermore, his so-called “obsession” (love) has never been noticed by the nobles, because when he talked about Baek Na-Kyum, he always talked about Yoon Seungho as well. The latter misunderstood Min’s actions and words. He just thought that Min was just jealous of him, while in reality the source of his envy was the artist. We shouldn’t forget that in chapter 8, Min chose to remain by Baek Na-Kyum’s side , while the main lead was having sex. This truly indicates that the commoner was much more intriguing and alluring than sex. The manhwaphiles should remember my remark about The Arousal Theory of Motivation. Min decided to remain inactive and observe the painter, exposing how much entertained and attracted he was towards Baek Na-Kyum. IT stands in opposition to the sex Yoon Seungho was having: Min was so fascinated by the sexual arousal in the painter’s gaze that he let the nobles alone! Note that he wasn’t even talking in that scene!! It contradicts so much to Min’s usual behavior (talkative, laughing, committing wrongdoings). This displays the artist’s real power. No wonder that Min tried to catch his attention in chapter 52, while the painter was standing at the door. When he saw the new painting, he must have felt so bothered that he felt the need to mock his host and the artist. And now, it becomes comprehensible why Min chose to walk on the picture, when he was in the artist’s study. He felt the urge to destroy the image, as he desires to be the one portrayed in that painting. This explains why the next morning when he talks about the Baek Na-Kyum’s assassination and rape, he remembers the drawing. He would like to be the one in that painting. As you can observe, Min was behaving like the main lead, all his thoughts and emotions were revolving around the painter, that’s why he felt bewitched. However, since he always mentioned Yoon Seungho with the painter, no one noticed his obsession. Jihwa couldn’t, because Black Heart was always talking about the commoner in such a negative way and had even suggested a murder and a rape. How could he notice that Min was in love with Baek Na-Kyum, when he was trying to hurt him? The red-haired noble’s blindness is understandable, because he was doing the same thing to his childhood friend. He would hurt him in the name of love.

Since Min is suffering from ASPD, it explains why Min is causing pain to others. For he is devoid of any feeling, he can only sense them, when he sees them in others. And now, you can understand why he is seeking pleasure and fun all the time. He needs pain and fun in order to feel something, in order to feel alive. But exactly like Kang Moo, the more time passes on, the more he feels this emptiness and his urges keep growing. And the painter became the trigger for Min to become more aggressive and reveal his true face. His jealousy and envy could only worsen. First, he tried to use the support from the other nobles to satisfy his immediate urges in chapter 33, but the main lead refused to share the commoner with him. That’s the moment he decided to remove Yoon Seungho from his throne. He saw how daring Yoon Seungho became, he would even fondle the artist at the tailor shop. I can only envisage that this event must have caused some jealousy and envy… That’s why he challenged Yoon Seungho properly this time and touched his waist. However, he was defeated with an insult: “a mouse”. And remember that at the end of the scene in chapter 41, Min wondered how good the artist would taste. For me, it is clear that Min was so annoyed by this defeat that he wanted to retaliate, like “if I can’t have Baek Na-Kyum, then no one should have him”. As a conclusion, Min is already in love with the painter, but his “love” is associated to so many negative emotions that Black Heart can’t deal with them. Due to his love which he explains with witchcraft, he feels weak, powerless, jealous, greedy, ruthless… and now, you understand why when I compared him to Nameless, I came to the following observations: Min is selfish, jealous, manipulative, poisonous, ruthless, greedy, dishonest and even disloyal. All these feelings are in truth related to Baek Na-Kyum. That’s why Min is able to insult Baek Na-Kyum (“witch”, “charlatan”) and order the murder on the person he is obsessed with. Min can’t accept that he is captivated by a low-born. He needs some abstruse explanations for the emotions he is feeling. In other words, he is in denial!

Because of this new revelation, it becomes necessary to examine once again the chapter 53/54. He kissed the painter, because he couldn’t resist the temptation. He got so jealous that the painter would embrace a vengeful ghost and even accept a slap without getting upset. Imagine, he saw how Baek Na-Kyum was willing to embrace the main lead with all his flaws: rage, brutality and his terrible reputation. Another reason for getting jealous!! At the same time, he felt the need to mock Yoon Seungho due to his jealousy and envy. He had to make him suffer, because he was “suffering” himself. And now, the readers can grasp why Min was even willing to risk his face. He couldn’t contain his negative emotions, he felt the need to provoke the “monster”… In reality, he was mocking himself. How could he feel captivated to the painter? I can even imagine that he accepted the punches, because these could serve as a wake up call. And now, you understand why Min felt the need to retaliate against Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho the next morning. He sensed that he needed more than before to remove the artist, as his desires for Baek Na-Kyum kept increasing, and as such his envy and jealousy had become insufferable. As you can observe, Min is a really complex character. To reduce him to a psychopath is not correct. Sure, it helps the readers to comprehend his personality better, however by analyzing another psychopath, we could definitely perceive his true thoughts and emotions.

My final word is the following: Psychopath or not, such people shouldn’t be judged like beast or monstrosity, because in reality, normal people can become murderers or criminals. Don’t forget that Holocaust was only possible due to the participation of “willing helpers” who were actually normal and sane. However, we can criticize and condemn people and characters for their wrongdoings. Ordering a murder or a rape is a crime, therefore Min is indeed a criminal psychopath.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: The Joker – Part 2 (second version)

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.

In the first part, I had associated lord Min to The Joker and elaborated why both characters were similar. And for that, I had used the definition of the joker, which I am quoting again:

  1. a special playing card that can be given any value and is used in some card games instead of any other card
  2. someone who likes telling funny stories or doing stupid things in order to make people laugh
  3. a person who has done something that annoys you  https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/joker

While comparing Min’s words and behavior to the definition, I came to realize that the manhwa Painter Of The Night had another Joker. And now, the manhwaphiles have already guessed the identity of the second Joker: Nameless.

If you look carefully at his role, you’ll notice that he is indeed an entertainer. (chapter 43) So his job corresponds to the second definition. That’s why he is wearing a mask. Striking is that his mask is very similar to The American Joker:

  1. The thick eyebrows
  2. The open mouth
  3. Both give the impression that the face is frozen (mask versus make-up)

Furthermore, Nameless is indeed someone who annoys others, as he is a criminal. (definition 3) He commits wrongdoings for his clients who are all nobles. He is even quite famous among the aristocracy, as Min even described the commoner as ruthless, greedy and unscrupulous. But most importantly, Nameless acts exactly like a special playing card (definition 1), since his function is very similar to Black Heart’s. First, he breaks laws (trespassing, abduction, murder, hiring spies), because the joker is not supposed to follow the game rules. Secondly, the Korean jester is an extremely beneficial and harmful card to the figures in Painter Of The night. Observe, that Nameless’ interventions have a devastating and beneficial impact on Jihwa and the main couple. While the characters had to suffer due his actions, the latter helped the protagonists to realize their true feelings and face reality. Nameless noticed right away that Jihwa was not the type to order the murder of a person. He noticed the noble’s nervousness with his bad habit: biting his fingernails. (chapter 50) Therefore he chose to mislead the red-haired client, because he hoped that with time, the aristocrat would change his mind. However, in order to give Jihwa the impression that he was taken seriously, he gave a false excuse and explained that he needed some time. As you can see, exactly like Min, the commoner manipulated the instigator. Later, when the latter criticized the criminal for his inaction, the latter was the one who reminded the red-haired lord of the gravity of the crime: he intended to kill a person. The irony is that the assassin, a symbol for immorality, was actually playing the role of consciousness: (chapter 51) In my point of view, it is very important, because it shows that Nameless has a huge sense of justice and morality. He can distinguish from right and wrong, and is well aware that killing someone is in truth a terrible crime. And thanks to his intervention, he stopped Jihwa from committing a grave sin. He forced the lord to face reality, by describing in the most horrible but real way possible the things he would do to the painter, so that Jihwa would truly see the consequences of his choice. Nameless brought pain to the red-haired master, but at the end, Jihwa could finally admit his mistake and regret his actions. He was responsible for ruining his relationship with his childhood friend. What caught my attention is that Nameless’ words had such an effect on the lord that the latter even vomited. It was, as though Nameless’ words had such power that they could remove the poison from Jihwa’s heart. His words and actions worked like an antidote, which reminds us of the words used by the noble with the mole: As you can observe, Nameless embodies truth and Min lies, and Black Heart’s lies were the reason why Jihwa had been “poisoned” and deceived. Only reality could make him perceive the truth. Striking is that Nameless had already planned that Jihwa would never give the final hit order, therefore he had already envisioned to return the painter to Yoon Seungho. Min might have suggested the plan, but since Nameless executed it, he is also responsible for their misery and liberation. Consequently, the abduction made the painter realize his feelings for the main lead. The latter would have never recognized it, if he hadn’t been facing death. In front of death, social gap and social status didn’t matter any longer. What is truly important were the persons’ actions that moved the person facing his imminent end. The manhwaphiles should remember that Yoon Seungho’s smile was the last thought Baek Na-Kyum had, revealing that the lord’s smile must have touched his heart back then, giving him some hope. That’s why at the end, he screamed for Yoon Seungho’s help and the way he called the main lead showed a certain intimacy: lord Seungho. The result of the abduction on the main lead is clear. He recognized his powerlessness and recognized that he couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from Baek Na-Kyum. Furthermore, the chapter 66 displays how the main lead is no longer denying his affection for the painter in front of witnesses. Don’t forget that Yoon Seungho is carrying the artist in front of Min and his staff during the day, which contrasts so much to the incident of the broken door with Min. Back then, only Min saw it and the protagonists denied both the main lead’s love for the commoner. Simultaneously, this panel stands in opposition to the incident in chapter 45, because the lord is not naked, a sign for his obsession with sex, but he is not even hiding the identity of his lover. The abduction destroyed the relationship between the two protagonists which was only based on sex, yet simultaneously the kidnapping helped them to change the nature of their relationship, to come to a spiritual love, something the noble had been longing all this time. And this explains why there won’t be any dichotomy later: sex or love. In the future, sex will become one of their ways to express their love for each other. Yet, I am quite sure, both will reveal their affection through other actions: painting, poetry and teaching. As you can conclude, Nameless has a similar effect than Min in the end. Both bring misery and pain, yet they help the characters to perceive truth and accept reality. And now you understand why I had this revelation: Nameless is also a Joker.

But let’s return our attention to our initial observation: Nameless’ role as dancer and clown. What caught my attention is that although Min and Nameless act like entertainers, Nameless distinguishes himself from Black Heart, because he is not doing it to distract himself (chapter 66), but to make people happy. In other words, that’s his job. Therefore, we can say that he is doing it in order to survive, contrasting so much to Min who considers fun as hobby. This is understandable, as the noble is not forced to work, he lives on his wealth and status. Whereas the noble is doing everything for fun, the other is actually living from fun. At the same time, I can’t help myself sensing that Nameless’ work as clown and dancer exudes a certain selflessness, as entertaining the public means making people happy, even if the performers are earning some money through their show. Their performance is rewarded by donations. As a first conclusion, while Black Heart stands for leisure, lightness and selfishness, the other embodies survival/work, seriousness and a certain selflessness. Another divergence is that while Black Heart is using other nobles to pressure Yoon Seungho (chapter 33) and hide his true wish (taste the painter), the clown is working with musicians and another dancer. This exposes that Nameless is actually team-oriented. Moreover, we know for sure that Nameless has a good relationship with his workers, since they gave info to Jihwa. And now, you can understand while examining Black Heart, I had the following revelation: Nameless stands in opposition to Black Heart.

NamelessMin
selflessnessselfishness
Work/survivalhobby
truthlie
team-orientedloner
generositygreed
understandingjealousy
compassionateruthless
honesthypocrite
loyalDisloyal – traitor
Antidote„poisonous words“

The criminal is not greedy, as he doesn’t even accept the money offered by Jihwa at the end. He is compassionate, as he feels pity for Jihwa’s situation. Moreover, he decides not to mutilate the artist, although it signifies that he is taking some risk. Sure, he is here not soft-hearted, quite ruthless. Yet, let’s not forget that he is here wearing his mask. In that scene, the criminal scares the victim so much for a reason: he is trying to ensure that this incident remains a secret and that no one gets hurt in the end. He is loyal towards his client, since he is acting for Jihwa’s best interest (not dirty his hands by murdering a person), willing to get rid of a possible thread.

Thanks to the observation of one of my readers, I came to the realization that Black Heart lives through the anger and pain from others, because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t feel alive, whereas the other is just living through the pain of others in order to survive. Yet, he has a heart despite his crimes. He is in fact an disillusioned man due to his past and bad experiences, and this can be sensed in the following panel: He knows the brutality and hypocrisy of aristocracy. And this leads me to the next deduction: when Min described Nameless in chapter 43 , he was in truth portraying the nobles. The butcher’s actions were reflecting their own attitude: immoral, manipulative, greedy and ruthless. And now, the manhwaphiles can grasp why Nameless behaved differently in front of Jihwa. Since the latter was different, he had to act differently. In other words, he has a similar function than the painter: the mirror. He gives a true reflection of the red-haired noble’s personality. Hence the pain Nameless afflicted on others had a different cause. He was just doing it in order to protect himself. Yet, unlike the noble, the criminal has never given up on his consciousness and righteousness. He might be brutal and frightening, yet in his mind he does it for a good reason: protect himself or in the last case protect an innocent noble. Since the latter is not a coldblooded person, Nameless feels the need to stop that person from dirtying his hands, as he is well aware that he will be plagued with huge pangs of conscience.

And now, if the manhwalovers observe the way Nameless uses his mask, they will note that he only wears it, when he is acting as a criminal. Naturally, I am excluding the scene, where he acts as a real entertainer. Let me give you examples:

  1. On the roof top, he is actually trespassing the property and taking a look at the mansion.
  2. When he abducts the painter (a memory from the painter, chapter 61), he is wearing the mask.
  3. When he threatens the artist before releasing him (chapter 65):
  4. But the most decisive clue occurs in chapter 54: When he realizes that Deok-Jae will use his knowledge in order to blackmail Jihwa, the “butcher” puts on his mask, when he decides to get rid of the vicious servant. Slowly, his face disappears behind the mask. Hence I come to the deduction that the mask symbolizes his role as criminal, yet at the same time, it exposes that this doesn’t represent Nameless’ true identity and personality. There’s a different person behind the mask, whereas it is different for Black Heart. Min’s face is the mask itself, the symbol for his hypocrisy.

As you can detect, the more I analyze Nameless, the more it reveals how different he is from the noble. That’s why I had the following revelation: Nameless is Min’s real nemesis. Because of this deduction, I came to the conclusion: Nameless is Batman in the manhwa. Why? First, just like Batman, Nameless has two identities: the entertainer and the “ruthless butcher”. And note that the commoner often acts like Batman during the night: (chapter 50) (chapter 66) Secondly, he is wearing a mask, when he acts like a criminal, hiding his identity. At the same time, he is hiding his true personality (thoughts and emotions) behind the mask as a way to protect himself, very similar to the American Hero, who is full of doubts. One might argue that this association is incorrect. Batman can’t be considered as a criminal, since he fights villains. However, if you pay attention to Batman’s actions, you’ll notice that he breaks laws and rules, he is not working with police, he acts on his own. And if you include the movies from Christopher Nolan, Batman refuses to work with his friend Rachel Dawes, since he doesn’t trust prosecution office and Gotham justice. Finally, let’s not forget that at some point, Batman is even considered as a criminal by authorities, as he is blamed for the death of many people. And both have indeed a tragic past, suffering from a trauma, which is perceptible through the tattoos. Furthermore, Nameless does have a sense of justice…. like I pointed out earlier: he is well aware of the painter’s innocence. Yet, there’s no doubt that there are divergences between Nameless and Batman, as the former belongs to the commoners, whereas Bruce Wayne is really rich. The criminal is not powerful, unlike the American hero who can use his wealth and connection to fight against villains. But since the low-born stands in opposition to Min and I considered the latter as a new version of The Joker due to the similarity of their mentality, I can only perceive Nameless as Batman, the one who will be able to defeat Min. And in chapter 66, their antagonism is already palpable.

What caught my attention is the following panel: Why did Byeonduck decide to show us the roof, when the guardian gave us an explanation about the commotion? It is important, as it represents Nameless’ deception. When I saw this panel, I was immediately reminded of this image: . The roof top is associated to Nameless, which is also a place linked to Batman. Then my follower @BlackPearl1301 noticed that the new guardian looked a lot like the servant serving Jihwa before: (chapter 50). The color of the clothes are the same. Thanks to her, I could finally put the puzzle together. It looks like Nameless planted a spy in Jihwa’s mansion in order to know how the lord would behave after giving the hit order. And this is not surprising why Nameless would know that Jihwa had been drinking all this time, even before removing the veil from the hat. Sure, he noticed the trembling hand, but this could be caused by nervousness and anxiety.

But let’s return our attention to the new guardian. How could they hire someone so quickly? The manhwalovers should remember that only Nameless knows about Deok-Jae’s disappearance and death, therefore he was well aware that Yoon Seungho’s staff might look for a replacement. Since the criminal no longer needs a spy to observe the red-haired master’s move, he needs to plant a spy in order to know if Baek Na-Kyum will remain silent or not. Since Nameless is well aware of the nobility’ mentality, he can use it to his advantage. The aristocrats never pay attention to servants and as such commoners. The criminal is right in the end: Min doesn’t even recognize that there’s a new guardian, although he has been at the mansion before twice (8, 52) and he even saw Deok-Jae getting beaten. Besides, I would like to remind my readers that there’s no coincidence in Byeonduck’s work. She focused a great deal on the guardian and his explanations. Since he was delivering a similar explanation than Nameless had made up, I truly suspect that the domestic is informing Nameless in the end. And note that in chapter 66, Min reveals in front of Yoon Seungho Jihwa’s involvement. Kim and other servants must have heard the aristocrat’s words. And with this new revelation, Nameless’ strategy becomes obsolete. The criminal will realize that Jihwa is in danger, because he knows about Deok-Jae’s death and he is also responsible for this situation. He hired the servant on the red-haired client’s behalf. Therefore Jihwa could take the fall for this. With Min’s revelation, Yoon Seungho could decide to retaliate. Yet, in this moment, I detect Min’s arrogance and stupidity. He has the impression that since the painter was not hurt, there’s nothing to fear. However, Min didn’t notice the change of the guardian and once Deok-Jae’s death is revealed, Yoon Seungho could use it to go after the nobles. Who knew about the kidnapping? The manhwaphiles should remember the words from the noble with the mole: As you can observe, Nameless’ plan was ruined by Min’s action, who believes that he is protected. However, he doesn’t realize that his favorite weapon, a secret, could be turned against him, as he is not aware of the existence of another secret. Since Min is responsible for Jihwa’s fate and the latter will blame Nameless for the servant’s death, the criminal will feel responsible for the red-haired noble. At the same time, Min made himself a new enemy who is definitely ruthless and smart. Since Min was responsible for Jihwa’s corruption, I believe that Nameless will be the one who will fight against Min and will defeat him in the end. That’s why he reminds me of Batman. The reason why I can’t truly associate Yoon Seungho to Batman is that I have the impression, the main lead will use the legal system to go after the people involved in that conspiracy. I have the feeling that he will be responsible for a purge and no one will ever imagine that it was triggered by the painter’s kidnapping. Nevertheless, I anticipate that in the future, Nameless will come to work with Yoon Seungho. There’s a reason for that. While Nameless represents truth and secrets, Yoon Seungho stands for justice and power, like I demonstrated it before. That’s why I believe that Nameless knows a lot more about the painter and his past, though he is not aware that Baek Na-Kyum is that person. The fact that the Joseon Batman was seen with a gisaeng, makes me think that he was looking for info. Then I couldn’t help myself thinking that Nameless must have witnessed something similar in the past, when he made a very realistic description how to get rid of the painter. Let’s not forget that this story is constructed according to the principle: history repeats itself. So there must have been a painter in the past as well. Finally, Jihwa is linked to secrets either, as his favourite sentence is: I know Besides, I had explained that Jihwa seems to be involved in the past and felt guilty. Therefore I sense that both characters will discover that they have much more in common: the past and their involvement with the two main leads’ past.

And now, the manhwaworms can grasp, why I came to the idea that Nameless and Yoon Seungho will work together. The moment they are collaborating, they will definitely uncover what truly happened in the past and brought justice to the responsible ones. At the same time, we could say that Nameless is already working like the hand of justice, though he is not truly aware of it. He killed Deok-Jae who was a criminal in reality. The man never got punished for his misdeeds: the theft, the treason, the bullying, the poisoning and the trashing of Baek Na-Kyum’s place. The vicious domestic met his karma. Sure, nowadays no one would receive a death sentence for such crimes, yet in that period it is a different story.

As a conclusion, Nameless has a similar function than Min, yet unlike the noble he has kept his heart pure. The darkness of his mind has a different origins than Baek Na-Kyum’s: he must have experienced injustice and even witnessed crimes committed by nobles, but they put the blame on commoners. Back then, he must have felt powerless, exactly like the main character. That’s why he chose to become a criminal in the end. If he became the nobles’ dirty hands, then he would get protected. As for Heena, I perceive her as Rachel Dawes, the one who fights for justice, even if there’s corruption.

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: The Joker (part 1)

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.

After reading the title, I am quite certain that the manhwaphiles have already guessed the identity of The Joker in Painter Of The Night: Lord Min. I have to admit that I connected Min to The Joker the moment I saw this panel: In this picture, the character’s facial expression stands in opposition to his words. First, he expresses his surprise and shock with his face, while in reality he is just asking for a confirmation. Therefore the contradiction indicates that he knows something and he is expecting a certain outcome. Secondly, his open mouth and big eyes oozes a certain lightness and ease, whereas he is talking about a serious topic: the death of the painter. Because of the discrepancy, the manhwalovers can detect Min’s fakeness and as such hypocrisy. He is neither shocked nor moved by the low-born’s death. And this important panel made me think of The Joker, the villain from Batman. [https://shiftermagazine.com/film/evolution-of-the-joker-1966-2019] Why? It is related to the contrast between seriousness and comedy, intelligence and stupidity, genuineness and fakeness represented by the character’s face and behavior. The famous antagonist is often portrayed with a huge smile and a hysterical laugh, very similar to Min. (chapter 54) Furthermore, The Joker’s eyebrows are quite distinguished due to the make up and Min is recognizable with the special form of his eyebrows too. Besides, the Joker’s make up outlines the importance of his eyes too. Observe that Min opens his eyes so much, reminding us of The Joker’s from 1966. (the actor on the left). Although The Joker is dressed like a clown due to his make-up, his actions have nothing to do with comedy at all. He actually embodies destruction, chaos and death, therefore his disguise contradicts his behavior, explicating why I came to associate Min to The Joker. Due to this connection, I came to realize the character’s true role and personality. This explicates why I will divide “The Joker” in two parts. In this essay, I will only focus on Min’s function in the story as a joker, while in the second part, I’ll study his personality.

First, it is necessary to take a look at the definition of a joker, because it explains why the authors Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson came to give the name to their supervillain:

  1. a special playing card that can be given any value and is used in some card games instead of any other card
  2. someone who likes telling funny stories or doing stupid things in order to make people laugh
  3. a person who has done something that annoys you https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/joker

These different significations explain why joker has a lot of diverse synonyms: card, actor, clown, buffon, jester, trickster, prankster etc. That’s why I would like to study Min’s behavior under the aspect of a joker first. What kind of joker is he?

First, Min could be considered as a special playing card. The joker doesn’t abide to the card rules. This signifies, the joker represents an exception to norms and conventions corresponding to Black Heart’s behavior. First, Min shows no respect social norms and traditions. That’s why he doesn’t feel bothered smoking opium so openly on the street. He has no problem to have sex with a low-born, hence he asks his host to bring the painter to him twice (chapter 33, 52) (chapter 52) And notice that his desire to taste the painter contrasts so much to Jihwa’s words in chapter 18. The joker in chapter 52 even insulted Jihwa as sodomite, showing that he doesn’t consider himself as a homosexual per se. His sex with other men has nothing to do with love. Unlike the main lead, Min associates sex with fun. Since sleeping with a commoner is considered as a taboo, Min can only get curious and feels the desire to experience sex with Baek Na-Kyum. And now, you understand why I associated Min to The Joker from Batman. Both show no respect laws and social norms, they are breaking them, bringing uproar, chaos and destruction in the end. (chapter 53) Here, the readers can observe that Min is criticized for creating a ruckus contrasting to “discreet fun”. Hence we can describe Min as an extremist. He loves scandal so much that he takes pleasure in ruining friendship and relationships. And since for Min and The Joker, laws, social norms and true values (love, friendship, family) should be eliminated, then we can describe them as nihilists.

“In philosophy, nihilism is the complete rejection of moral values and religious beliefs. It is such a negative outlook that it denies any meaning or purpose in life.” https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/nihilism#:~:text=In%20philosophy%2C%20nihilism%20is%20the,existing%20political%20and%20social%20institutions.

However, both characters are not advocating destruction of the social system for its own sake. They commit crimes and violate social norms due to their selfishness and their own pleasure. There exists no real plan behind their actions. Since Min is associates to extremism and annihilation, you can comprehend why Min’s actions lead to the destruction of the door in chapter 53 and to his bloody face . He literally ignores manners, even risking his own safety. He knew Yoon Seungho’s anger and rage, as he was a witness of the topknot incident concerning Jihwa. (chapter 59) Even if it is Jihwa’s friend who is speaking here, we have to imagine that Min was also there due to his words in chapter 53: He must have seen how Jihwa was powerless and couldn’t stop his childhood friend to humiliate him. Besides, Min had even seen what the host had done to Deok-Jae, therefore he was well aware of the repercussions, if he kept provoking the protagonist with his mockery. And now, the readers can understand why the joker is a synonym for trickster or prankster in the end. Because the joker is not attached to rules and laws, he can play tricks and fool people around him.

And now, if the manhwaphiles behold the Joker as card, they all will notice that the joker is dressed like a jester or buffon. https://depositphotos.com/vector-images/joker-card.html

During the Middle-Age and Renaissance, the jester or also called fool, was a member of a household of a nobleman or a king hired to entertain his guests. And the manhwaphiles can understand why a joker is “someone likes telling funny stories or doing stupid things in order to make people laugh” (definition 2). However, The jester’s role shouldn’t just be reduced to an entertainer, as he could also use insolence to make critical comments. That’s why in the Korean movie “The king and the clown”, the clowns put on a performance ridiculing the council members by implying that they receive expensive gifts for favors. In this movie, it becomes visible that a clown is walking on a thin line between success and failure. His closeness to the king can lead to fame, but also to loss of freedom and tragedy. And now, if you remember the role played by Min, you’ll observe that in chapter 52, he was indeed acting like a jester, mocking the host dressed like a king. He kept asking rhetorical questions, making comments without waiting for Yoon Seungho’s answer. It was, as if Min was acting like an entertainer. However, we should remember that despite his role as jester, his true goal is not to entertain his host or his friends. He is behaving like that out of selfishness. He is the one who desires to have fun. (chapter 66) With his mockeries, he expressed his wish to taste the painter and Yoon Seungho understood his insinuations, therefore the main lead voiced Black Heart’s wish and even accepted his request, because he was terribly annoyed by Min’s interrogation. That’s why we can say, Min was in that scene not only a jester, but also a trickster (referring to the third definition). He manipulated the main character to achieve his goal.

At the same time, the joker can be in different card games an extremely beneficial or an extremely harmful card because of his special function. And this fits Min’s role concerning our main couple. While bringing misery to Baek Na-Kyum (the idea of the murder and a gangrape), he actually forced Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho to realize their true feelings for each other. When Yoon Seungho imagined that the artist would never love him, because he considered himself as a prostitute, the lord never questioned his own emotions. This illustrates that Yoon Seungho had deeply internalized social values and father Yoon’s doctrines in the end: a noble is superior to a low-born, and no aristocrat would lower himself to admit his affection to a commoner. An abnormity in this historical period and since Min shows no respect to social values, he could only question the lord’s behavior and actions. And now, you understand his role as jester in chapter 52. First, he cornered the protagonist and forced him to be in denial. This reminds us of a fool who makes critical comments leading the monarch to question himself and his politics. In Yoon Seungho’s eyes, since he was the noble, only the commoner should confess his affection. However, when the mischievous aristocrat kissed the low-born, the main lead could only react instinctively. He had to push away Black Heart. For Yoon Seungho, Baek Na-Kyum was his lover, even if he was in denial. But observe that the main lead wasn’t the only one who had internalized certain values. The artist had a similar mind-set. For him, it was impossible that such a powerful and rich aristocrat could love him, who comes from the brothel and has unknown origins. That’s why he denied the aristocrat’s feelings. And due to Min’s trick, Yoon Seungho was hurt, as he considered it as a rejection. Note that in that scene, social norms played a huge part in the denial of both protagonists, although they were never directly mentioned. Min as the joker was a reminder of scandal and as such of standard norms.

But let’s go back to our initial observation. Min as the joker can be an extremely beneficial or an extremely harmful card to our main couple. We have another incident, when this is palpable: The abduction and the murder. When the painter was fearing for his life, he recalled the noble’s gentle smile and screamed for his help. Yoon Seungho was the last person he was thinking of, when he imagined that he could die. And let’s not forget that the artist was still in denial after the second confession and their second love session. He kept denying the obvious and recognize the noble’s feelings. For him, it was also too beautiful and incredible to be true. At the same time, his denial stopped him from realizing his true feelings. Yet in front of death, Baek Na-Kyum couldn’t control his emotions and thoughts pressuring him to voice his deepest desires. And the artist’s disappearance had a similar effect on the main lead in the end. First, in the storage room, he confided his real wish before “destroying” the painter with sex. That’s why I view this panel as a parallel to the one where the painter was screaming Yoon Seungho’s name. Remember how I described this night (chapter 62-63-64): it symbolized the death of the phoenix. In chapter 66, the noble is finally admitting his complete defeat, he lost the war against Baek Na-Kyum. First, he admits that he can’t resist against the painter’s protest. Then he is not even trying to hide the painter in front of Min. He is indeed carrying him like a treasure, while feeling no embarrassment. And this explains why Min has to provoke Yoon Seungho again, by revealing Jihwa’s involvement. Since Min has realized that the main lead is no longer in denial and doesn’t consider it as a scandal and secret, then Min has to use another secret in order to annoy the main character. Since he couldn’t ruin the relationship between the painter and the noble, he needs to destroy the friendship between the red-haired aristocrat and the main lead. Note that in that scene, Min even recommends the main lead to be lenient and not become angry at Jihwa. Here, Black Heart is actually using an antiphrasis. He is actually hoping that with his words, the main lead will become angry at his former friend and retaliate against him. This scene is important as it exposes Min’s nihilistic mentality. He feels the need to annihilate something, if it is not the painter, then it must be Jihwa.

And the joker doesn’t realize that his actions have the opposite effect. This new revelation is the reason why Yoon Seungho surrenders during the next night. Like my follower @seunghosimp observed it correctly, this gesture symbolizes his capitulation and submission. Due to Min’s intervention, all the secrets were removed so that the relationship between the two protagonists can be rebuilt on a new and real foundation. The noble has no longer the upper hand in their relationship and will always listen Baek Na-Kyum’s words. Now, Yoon Seungho can trust the painter and will never question his behavior and words. What the main lead fails to recognize is the painter will never see himself as superior and as the lord. For him, love is not a synonym for war or defeat. Baek Na-Kyum will teach him the true nature of love.

But the irony is that Min is not realizing that he is helping the main couple.

For him, commotion and annihilation are a synonym for fun. That’s why he is a joker and as such The Joker. He is trying to tell funny stories or make stupid things in order to make himself laugh. He is the actor and the spectator at the same time, which is quite similar to The Joker from Batman. From my perspective, they both are trapped in their own world, therefore they can ruin relationships and kill people. This explicates why Min could even laugh, though he was getting punched. It was, as if he couldn’t feel any pain, as his “joke” had provoked such a reaction. And now, you understand why The Joker is wearing a make-up as a clown in the end. He isn’t only the joker from the cards, but also the jester from the Middle-Age. At the same time, he embodies selfishness and destruction contrasting to the real function of a clown. But his role is not just to bring chaos and ruin Gotham, but also to question the society and its values.

Let’s return our attention to Black Heart. Since he failed to hurt Yoon Seungho and even separate the main couple, we have to envisage that the more the scandalous relationship will get support, the more this vicious man will get bothered. The reason is simple: normality stands in opposition to uproar and ruckus. At some point, their relationship will be accepted signifying that he won’t be able to taste Baek Na-Kyum. Note that each time, the noble asked the main lead to bring the painter to their sex session, he used the other nobles as an excuse. That way, he could hide his own desire and weakness. This shows his own hypocrisy. He will never reveal his attraction to the painter. He will use “fun” or “the other nobles” to hide his own secret. The irony is that the more he meddled, the further he got from the painter. Consequently, his urge to taste the painter will increase more and more, while he has to witness how the main lead gets closer to Baek Na-Kyum. This can only annoy the jester. His interest for the artist can be explained by the following:

  • his jealousy towards the main lead
  • his attraction towards the painter
  • Baek Na-Kyum represents the opposite of Min: sincerity, genuineness and selflessness. Don’t forget that Min witnessed how the artist reacted to Yoon Seungho’s charisma and deep down, Min wished to provoke such reactions as well.

After describing Min’s role, the manhwaphiles can grasp why this character is liked by many readers. He reminds us of the supervillain from Batman. Min’s weapons are secrets, that’s why he could manipulate Jihwa and the main lead in the end. And now, it is important to ask ourselves: who will stop Min and destroy him? Where is the Batman in Painter Of The Night? With this, I would like to incite my readers to find an answer to this question, but I have to admit that I have already found the answer (or better said, a possible answer).

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

Painter Of The Night: “HAA…” Flashbacks

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.

If I asked the manhwalovers about the number of flashbacks used in chapter 66, they would certainly reply that there were 2 flashbacks. The first one is, when Baek Na-Kyum remembers that night where he had a near-death experience and the second one would be, when he is lying in his study with Yoon Seungho next to his bed. They would give such an answer, because they would use the black frame as reference. The latter represents a memory or a dream in Painter Of The Night. In other words, the manhwaphiles would invoke a literary phenomenon:

“Flashback is a device that moves an audience from the present moment in a chronological narrative to a scene in the past. Often, flashbacks are abrupt interjections that further explain a story or character with background information and memories. […] Flashback can occur as a sudden thought sequence, a hazy dream, or a vivid memory. It can be announced or unannounced in the line of narrative.” https://literaryterms.net/flashback/

However, we have more than 2 in reality, as Byeonduck used a different type of flashback too: the psychological flashback linked to PTSD.

“Flashbacks are psychological phenomena during which a person relives a past event or fragments of a past experience. […] Conversely, some flashbacks may be devoid of visual and auditory memory and may lead a person to experience feelings of panichelplessness, numbness, or entrapment. Many individuals report the onset of flashbacks after surviving a near-death experience or another traumatic situation.” https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/flashbacks#:~:text=Flashbacks%20are%20psychological%20phenomena%20during,fragments%20of%20a%20past%20experience.

Striking is that the author linked both phenomena together in order to explain the reason for Baek Na-Kyum’s behavior. He was having a panic attack in form of a flashback, which terrified him so much that he left the bed in his distress and walked randomly in the room. His survival instinct had kicked in. Because of the flashback, the protagonist had lost his sense of orientation and couldn’t see where he was going, as all his thoughts and emotions were revolving around the trauma. He had the feeling that he was reliving his past experience. This explains why the chapter 65 ended with the following panels:

The readers had here to fill the blank and explain, why the painter was first lying under the cover to finally end up in the room next to the cupboard on the floor. Yet, Byeonduck never showed us this. She just offered us the result requesting from the readers to imagine the whole scene. By doing so, she forced the manhwaphiles to put themselves into the artist’s shoes. That way, she let them feel what Baek Na-Kyum was experiencing.

But let’s return our attention to the flashbacks. When the episode 66 starts, the time of the narration has actually changed. We are already reading a flashback, although this time Byeonduck didn’t use the black frame. There’s a reason for that. She employed a time jump, but not in the future, like k-dramas often utilize it, but a time jump in the past. The first scene of chapter 66 happens right after Yoon Seungho says those words in chapter 65. And if you read the chapter again, you’ll notice a huge white space between the next following panel. Yoon Seungho is opening the door leaving the painter in his bedchamber (chapter 65). As a conclusion, the beginning of the episode 66 has to placed between the last words and the opening door. Hence we have a fourth flashback in episode 66.

First, she showed us the protagonist tying the painter on the bed, then covering his mouth and finally putting him under the cover so that he could get rid of noona Heena easily. He recreated the situation Baek Na-Kyum was exposed to, when he had been abducted. And if the beholder pays attention to the way the painter is lying in the bed, they will realize another important aspect: the cover that the painter used as protection and comfort has become a prison or a trap now. The cause for this heartbeat is not excitement or surprise but fear. And this panel is very important for two reasons. First, it is a new version of chapter 34, where the painter was crying that the scholar hadn’t asked for him and used the cover as solace. Besides, in this chapter, his heart started racing with the main lead’s appearance. In both chapters, the main lead was the cause for the heartbeat, yet the reasons for the racing heart are totally different. It is important, because it shows us that the kidnapping left a deep wound on the artist’s psyche. When the main character recreated the condition of the abduction, he triggered a flashback. Because Baek Na-Kyum couldn’t scream for help and his head was held under a bag , he had difficulties to breathe, therefore in Seungho’s room, he starts suffocating too: “HAA, HAA”. Furthermore, during the kidnapping, the threads and the knife in his mouth showed that Nameless knew how to scare the low-born. He triggered all the painter’s senses and aroused them to the maximum so that the artist wouldn’t be able to speak so easily. This explicates why the artist felt the abduction as a near-death experience. This is not surprising that when he woke up the next morning, he was trembling and felt scared. But if the manhwaworms looks at the criminal’s actions, they will conclude that Nameless was indeed ruthless. He knew how to terrify the painter. He tormented the painter psychologically. Nonetheless, since Nameless neither murdered nor atrophied the painter, in his eyes he was actually very kind and even merciful. He even felt pity for him, as he was well aware of the artist’s innocence. The latter was just a plaything caught in the middle of the fight between two nobles. Because of his words, I believe that Nameless stands in opposite to Kim’s philosophy. While the latter chose cowardice and indifference for his self-preservation, the “butcher” made the opposite choice. By becoming the dirty hands of the nobles, he was sure that the nobles would protect him, because if they didn’t, their crimes could threaten their position. He would always stand on the winning side. However, by acting like that, Nameless contributes to perpetuate injustice and reinforce the harsh treatment on commoners. As you can see, the flashbacks (memories of the painter) were used to explain why the low-born had a flashback (panik attack) at the end. By reproducing the condition of the entrapment, Yoon Seungho helped to unveil the truth unconsciously. The painter’s body revealed the terrible secret and the readers got a glimpse of Nameless’ true mindset too.

So when the lord opens the door and sees the artist on the ground, he looks angry, because his lover caused him some trouble. This impression seems to be confirmed, as the moment he removes the cloth from the painter’s mouth, the lord criticizes him. However, from my point of view, we need to differentiate between the actions made by Yoon Seungho’s mouth and hands again. While the latter are under the influence of his unconscious, the mouth represents the mind and as such conscious. Note that he removes the cloth, although he could have ignored it. By liberating Baek Na-Kyum’s mouth, he is actually endangering his situation. Let’s not forget that since that terrible night, the lord has returned to his older self, therefore he has the impression that he is no longer using his heart. But he noticed that the painter was in a terrible condition, therefore he couldn’t ignore his lover. From my point of view, the two panels reveal that Yoon Seungho’s affection for the painter hasn’t changed one bit in the end. He continues saying that he is restraining himself, since he is not even able to refuse Baek Na-Kyum’s resistance: “But you have your ways”. From my point of view, we have here a new version of the lord’s confession: (chapter 58). The irony is that in chapter 66, the painter is a wreck, yet the lord is admitting his defeat displaying Baek Na-Kyum’s real power. The other divergence is that this time, it is a conscious choice. This is not a dream or an illusion. Yoon Seungho states that he can’t win against the low-born’s will. In other words, their relationship is progressing again. Due to the resemblance of the chapter 58, the readers have the feeling to witness another flashback. Nonetheless here, the noble hears a reply to his confession, unlike in the past: The nature of the confession has changed: this is an admission for his silence. He lied and apologized in order to survive. These panels expose how deeply traumatized the painter is. He is still trapped in his flashback, reliving his near-death experience and doesn’t realize his lover’s presence. Therefore his gaze is directed elsewhere. I would even say, his gaze is lost in the flashback. What caught my attention is the protagonist’s reaction, when he hears the painter’s words and heavy breathing. He is not only surprised and shocked, he is also paralyzed. For me, the last panel shows the main lead’s realization. He must have recognized the painter’s real condition: he is traumatized. And in my opinion, the painter’s confession and behavior triggered a flashback in Yoon Seungho too, which we don’t really see, but can sense more or less. Observe his discomfort and his fixe stare. He seems lost as well, very similar to the commoner’s gaze. Besides, the aristocrat doesn’t move one moment, although some time has already passed. The sister has already left the house and Min is now standing at the door. The last picture even shows us Min’s perspective. He senses the lord’s worry and pangs of conscience too. From my point of view, the lord is reminded of his own bad past experience due to the artist’s behavior and words. The other clue for this interpretation is the lord’s phobia of the cover. (chapter 35) Therefore I come to the conclusion that we have another flashback here, but Yoon Seungho’s is not revealed, only through his gaze and the observations I made: the fear of the cover and the commoner’s past as a repetition of the main lead’s tragic past. Let’s not forget that this scene is also a new version of chapter 53: , back then, the main lead was the one who was in a dissociative state and the painter embraced him, when he sensed his fury and pain. However, this time the roles are switched. And this explains why the noble hugs the painter, attempting to give him some comfort. Yet, in my opinion, he has no idea about the real cause of the artist’s trauma in that moment, therefore he feels responsible and terrible. That’s the reason why he remains so passive and silent. He feels the need to console Baek Na-Kyum, but note that he doesn’t even attempt to dress the painter or to put him in a better position. He stays kneeling in an uncomfortable position, using his body and hands to protect Baek Na-Kyum from others. And now, the manhwaphiles can comprehend why I chose such a title. The flashbacks are not just memories, but also psychological phenomena due to PTSD.

And now it is time to focus on the last flashback. I have to admit, it took me some time to fully grasp what it really represents. The first confusion is the chronology of the episode. Before the appearance of the flashback, we have a zoom on Yoon Seungho’s face indicating that he heard Min’s confession: Lee Jihwa is behind the painter’s disappearance. And right after, the flashback starts so that it feels like a caesura. Therefore many readers felt confused. In order to comprehend its true nature, the manhwaphiles should remember the definition of the flashback in fiction. It is either a memory or a hazy dream. That’s why we need to question ourselves about the nature of this scene. Is it a dream or a memory? And who is the person having a flashback?

For me, there’s no doubt that this can’t represent the lord’s memory. First, the chronology shows that the flashback happens during the next night due to the way the lord and Baek Na-Kyum are dressed. The lord is still wearing the hanbok from the morning and this time, the painter has his own expensive clothes on. From my point of view, the lord took care of the artist personally. Unlike in chapter 33, Yoon Seungho took his responsibilities for his wrongdoings and didn’t delegate it to the doctor or his assistant. It was his way to show repentance. Secondly, I believe that the owner of this flashback is Baek Na-Kyum due to the ending and the two following drawings: The images are almost identical, yet in the second picture, there’s no black frame, therefore this means that it represents reality. And now, you can better grasp the nature of Baek Na-Kyum’s flashback. It is a mixture of dream and memory. The lord stayed by his side the whole night (a new version of chapter 55) and at some point, the artist opened his eyes briefly, just like the lord nodded to Baek Na-Kyum’s question unconsciously , as he felt his presence, but never realized it in the end. In other words, the painter also detected the lord’s presence by his side, even opened his eyes for a second, heard him even calling his name . The tragedy is that exactly like during their Wedding Night, the painter won’t be sure, if what he sensed and saw was reality or a dream. Therefore I come to the conclusion that this is a new version of chapter 58, where the roles are reversed. Back then, the lord thought that this night with Baek Na-Kyum was too beautiful to be true and it is the artist’s turn to feel the same way. This flashback shows his wish mixed with a memory. And now, during this night, the lord expressed his regrets and showed his tenderness, just like in chapter 58. He took the hand with delicacy and touched the wrist and the wound with his finger carefully, ,as though he wanted to heal himself the bruise. For me, this scene was so beautiful and moving, as it reflects the noble’s growth. He doesn’t just feel huge pangs of conscience, but he is determined to redeem himself in the end. When he touches the scar, he feel sorry for Baek Na-Kyum’s wounds which he hadn’t seen due to his self-hatred. At the end, he treats Baek Na-Kyum’s hand like a treasure. Yet, note that he is not kissing it. First, I interpret his gesture as a sign of regret. Secondly, a kiss is linked to sensuality and the noble is no longer for such a love, especially after that terrible sex marathon. Moreover, I believe that lord Seungho has the impression that he is not worthy of the painter, hence he puts a finger between his eyes and the low-born’s hand. The absence of his eyes is not necessarily referring to his blindness. For me, it points out that the lord has finally recognized the true value of his hands: the painter’s beautiful spirit and soul. Besides, they helped him to see the truth. Why? I have to confess that this scene made me remember their first meeting in chapter 1. Although the lord called them “talented hands”, he grabbed them in a rather rough way and put them on his loins. He only valued them, as they helped him to have a better libido. And now, his gesture has a different meaning. The hand made him recognize that the drawings had an effect on his heart and soul. At the same time, the artist made him realize his hypersexuality. As you can observe, by contrasting these two scenes, you can detect the noble’s development. But since the painter only opened eyes shortly, the noble decided not to remain by his side, because he had the impression that the artist didn’t wish to see him after what he had put him through. That’s why he sent for noona Heena. He knew the importance of his sister, since the commoner had tried to protect her before. That’s why we see the sister by the painter’s side the next morning. She symbolizes reality. Consequently, I believe that the following picture from the flashback illustrates the artist’s true wish. He desired the lord by his side, but the reality was different. His noona was by his side. This didn’t upset the painter, because he received a warm embrace full of love and compassion, something really important in order to heal his wounds, contrasting to the hug in the barn symbolizing fakeness and coldness.

As you know, Baek Na-Kyum’s dreams were always connected to reality, as they often announced the future events. However, here I feel that the dream is connected to reality differently: it is connected to the past. The lord was indeed present in his study. The flashback is influenced by a memory mixed with a wish. Consequently this flashback stands in opposition to the first one, where the painter relived his trauma due to the memories linked to his terrible near-death experience. Both flashbacks were influenced by memories, yet in the last one, the painter will have the impression that it was too good to be true. There’s no ambiguity that Yoon Seungho will keep his distance from the artist. Just like during the first season after the chapter 35, he won’t ask for sex. The gesture with the hand was pretty clear for me. The aristocrat will be content, if he sees the artist by his side from afar. However, this doesn’t signify that Yoon Seungho will leave his mansion for sex orgies. No, it is impossible. Since he knows that Jihwa hurt his lover, he has to be by his side to ensure Baek Na-Kyum’s safety. Therefore I come to the conclusion that Yoon Seungho will start paying attention to his mansion and staff. He will ask for answers, like for example: How could the guardian let Min walk in the mansion so freely? He will give strict orders. From my point of view, the main lead will start acting like a real lord and pay attention to the behavior of his staff. At the same time, Yoon Seungho will also have a flashback of that night, where he beat Deok-Jae, who had hurt his lover. He will interrogate Kim about his whereabouts and investigate the circumstances of his disappearance.

Although the painter is now unsure, if the lord was by his side or not, it’s only a matter of time, until the painter approaches the noble again. I am expecting a new version of chapter 52. Why? Due to the analysis of the flashback, I think that despite the new sex marathon, the artist is not resenting Yoon Seungho. I explain his reaction the following: In the barn, the aristocrat’s words left a deeper impact than anything else. For the first time, someone was refusing to abandon him (even if it sounded so possessive and obsessive). Furthermore the same person even expressed that his smile and presence could be the source of his happiness , something he had never heard before. Finally, we shouldn’t forget that Baek Na-Kyum’s ears have always been very sensitive to words, explaining why the commoner was so devastated by Jung In-Hun’s last sentence. Finally, the lord’s confession revealed that he never considered him as a whore in the end, as his request was just a smile and not his body. Finally, I believe, noona Heena’s presence will also have an influence in the painter’s thoughts and emotions. Baek Na-Kyum will be able to appreciate that Yoon Seungho allowed her companionship, willing to accept a gisaeng in his house, although the low-born heard him calling her a wench or harlot before. Unlike the past, the artist is no longer blind or deaf to the noble’s gestures. There’s no doubt that they will rekindle, but their relationship will mature. The lord will try to find a different connection and I am already imagining him asking again: Another flashback from the past…

Feel free to comment. If you have any suggestion for topics or manhwas, feel free to ask. If you enjoyed reading it, retweet it or push the button like. My tumblr-twitter account is: @bebebisous33. Thanks for reading and the support.

A Painter Behind The Curtain: Revolution and Art

This is where you can read the manhwa.  https://www.tappytoon.com/comics/painter-behind-curtainmBut be aware that this manhwa is mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes, although there is a softer version: https://www.tappytoon.com/en/comics/painter-behind-curtain

The reason why I am writing another essay about A Painter Behind The Curtain is quite simple. The first composition about this wonderful manhwa has become the most read essay among all the other manhwas I examined. This signifies that people are interested to learn more about the manhwa and its historical context. In the first essay, I described the strong connection between art and monarchs. The latter would use painting in order to legitimate their power and authority. However, art and as such painting also played a huge role in revolutions.

Let me give you an example. When French revolution started in 1789, the deputies from Third Estate (mostly represented by bourgeoisie) accompanied by a few from Nobility and Clergy gathered in the Jeu de Paume court (Jeu de paume = similar to tennis) in order to take an oath that they will never separate, until a constitution is composed. This event is very important, as it represents the deputies’ second revolutionary act against Louis XVI’s authority. And in 1791, the famous painter Jacques-Louis David created a painting representing this oath. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques-Louis_David#/media/Fichier:Le_Serment_du_Jeu_de_paume.jpg

And this shows that artists can also support revolutionary ideas and movement, they can either help to reinforce the ruler’s authority or even do the opposite. In other words, arts are never obsolete or just for entertainment. They can have a strong influence of public opinion. This is also not surprising that dictators in the 20th Century used arts as a tool for propaganda. However, if you pay attention to the drawing from Jacques-Louis David, you’ll notice that his way of painting is still influenced by classical rules. And this leads me to the next observation, a painter can also become a revolutionary himself, when he starts defying academic rules in arts and as such to authorities. The best example for this statement is the Russian painter Kazimir Malevitch, who created in 1915 the work called The Black Square or Malevitch’s Black Square. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Square_(painting)#/media/File:Kazimir_Malevich,_1915,_Black_Suprematic_Square,_oil_on_linen_canvas,_79.5_x_79.5_cm,_Tretyakov_Gallery,_Moscow.jpg

The first reaction young people have, when they see this painting, is to laugh and say that they could do such a painting themselves, as it doesn’t seem to show any profound skill or talent. What they fail to see is how revolutionary his creation is, because they don’t put the work into his historical context. In 1915, Russia was still an autocracy, the Russian version of an absolute monarchy, where the Czar was still considered as the supreme ruler of the country. In this historical period, Russia was very conservative and refused any modernization, which signifies that academic rules in arts were very strict too. Thereby the idea itself was totally new. When Malevitch created his Black Square, he was defying not only the Russian arts academy, but also authorities. He was asking for a profound change in his country, he literally eliminated every rule and decided to create a new art, the suprematist movement. And this is no coincidence that 2 years later, Russian revolution occurred and in October 1917, Bolshevik faction organized an armed uprising against the Provisional Government leading to the establishment of the Bolshevik regime. From that moment, the new government tried to erase all the symbols from the past and the autocracy, just like Malevitch had done it with his paintings. It was, as though the author had announced a new huge change for Russia. As a first conclusion, the manhwalovers can sense that painters can play a huge role during a Revolution, they can advocate revolutionary ideas and movement, but they can also be used to reinforce the current government and as such become an instrument for propaganda.

After this introduction, it is time to focus on the manhwa and to examine the role played by Ian Scornel. It becomes clear that Ian belongs to the first part. Because he portrays the people involved in their revolution, he is advocating their ideas: liberty and equity. (chapter 44) He isn’t only a witness of the preparations for the revolution, he is also a participant, therefore he desires to assist to the revolution. This explains why he doesn’t intent to paint the event itself afterwards based on different sources and testimonies, like Jacques-Louis David. His paintings are the results of his observations. By portraying the revolutionaries, he support their protest and the change.

Nevertheless the revolution planed by Henry fails, since Raymond betrays the movement in order to obtain power and revenge. Due to his love for Raymond, the painter Ian accepts his decision and remains by his lover’s side, (chapter 46) although he feels terribly guilty. However, the consequences of his choice are far worse than the artist and even Raymond could ever imagine. Due to the immense burden, Ian Sconel’s creativity gets affected. He is no longer able to paint like before. It was, as though the loss of his innocence had tainted his creativity. Furthermore, since he is now connected to the king and nobility, his topics get limited. He becomes a painter portraying nobles, this explains why the paintings above are lacking energy and creativity. In other words, the closer Raymond got to power, the more Ian gets pressured to paint for the higher-ups. And this reminds me of the painter Jacques-Louis David, who first supported the revolutionaries and even Robespierre, the representative for Reign of Terror (La Terreur). When the latter got executed, the painter left France and came back, when Napoleon became the ruler, first as consul first and as emperor. As a conclusion, the artist supported an authoritarian monarchy contrasting to his first convictions. Jacques-Louis David became famous with the following paintings:

  1. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonaparte_franchissant_le_Grand-Saint-Bernard#/media/Fichier:David_-Napoleon_crossing_the_Alps-_Malmaison2.jpg
  2. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:David_-The_Coronation_of_Napoleon_and_Josephine-_detail.jpg

In my opinion, his conservatism is palpable in the way he created these paintings. That’s why he is labeled as a classic painter. And now, we have to wonder if Ian will become a second Jacques-Louis David. As you can anticipate, this won’t be the case. Ian might feel guilty, but he never gave up on the ideas of liberty and equity. And this is not the case of the French painter, although Napoleon presented himself as the heir of French revolution. Nevertheless, the readers have to grasp that this was just a justification for his expansionist politics. But there’s another reason for my statement. Right from the start, Ian was a revolutionary artist because of his style. Mr. François noticed it right away. This explicates why the latter is asking Ian to follow him, when he is about to move away. He is well aware that if he remains by Raymond’s side, his creativity and talent won’t be nurtured. And now, you understand that I consider the protagonist as revolutionary in both senses: he advocates liberty and equity, but he also represents a new style breaking a