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.
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 /
- Failure to consider the negative consequences of behavior or learn from them
- Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead
- quoted from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/antisocial-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20353928
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.
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