Painter Of The Night: The ruined paintings 🖼️

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.

Anyone asked how many paintings were ruined in the manhwa would reply that there exist only two of them. The first was exposed in chapter 2 . Yoon Seungho discovered the ripped picture, while the painter was sleeping. As for the second, which Lee Jihwa had ruined by pouring water on it, the painter had made the discovery just before the host‘s arrival. In both cases, the lord‘s portrait was damaged. His body was either partially destroyed or blurred. (Chapter 11)

1. The symbolism of the ruined pictures

Then it occurred to me that the ruined paintings could have a symbolic meaning. They would reflect the main lead‘s mental health. This was not his true self. In verity, he was a broken man, hence his body had vanished. According to me, in the beginning of the story, he was suffering from erectile dysfunction. (chapter 2) Striking is that in the first painting, the main lead couldn’t see his back or his naked butt. For me, this was announcing that Yoon Seungho would never be an uke again. Furthermore, the lord‘s gaze was covered by a slap of paper, reminding me of Baek Na-Kyum’s white headband. Thus I view the piece of paper on the lord’s head and eye as a sign of his mental servitude. The hidden gaze was showing that his mind was somehow trapped. Because the eyes are the mirror of the soul, Yoon Seungho needed to discover his own gaze in order to recognize not only his own attraction, but also the existence of his own identity. (chapter 3) The painting was showing him that he was not a plaything! That‘s the reason why he felt aroused afterwards. For the first time, he had his own urges and desires. In other words, the ruined painting was part of the lord’s therapy, it was pushing him to look at his actual mental state. The damaged picture was inciting him to change so that his broken body would recover. At the same time, since it was a picture, it helped him to feel safe. Therefore it is no coincidence that the lord had no huge flashback in season 1! In chapter 38, he still could control his panic attack, for he had the painter by his side. It was necessary for him to develop strength and confidence before facing his biggest tormentor: lord Song, the pedophile. And now, you comprehend why Yoon Seungho met father Lee before Yoon Chang-Hyeon. This was part of his exposure therapy. This indicates how the noble views the patriarchs responsible for his own suffering. However, I doubt that the young noble was aware of the true degree of father Lee’s guilt.

And now, you are wondering what could be the meaning of the second ruined picture. (chapter 44) My interpretation is the following. The author was revealing the presence of brainwashing!! This is no coincidence that the picture was ruined by water. (chapter 12) Furthermore, don’t forget that Yoon Seungho had been perceived as a sodomite because of Lee Jihwa in the past. This signifies that the red-haired master was undoing his wrong. It was, as if he was now purifying the main lead. At the same time, the water had another symbolic function: to bring to the surface Yoon Seungho’s traumas. This explicates why he got so mad in the study. For the first time, he was allowed to voice his emotions. On the other hand, not only Yoon Seungho’s portrait got ruined, but also Min and his friend. (chapter 44) They were all acting the same: obsessed with lust. This shows that the protagonist was not the only one who had been badly influenced. Yet there exists a huge difference between our beloved aristocrat and the two other masters. Black Heart and his companion were losing their identity, for the beholder couldn’t see their faces. That way, Baek Na-Kyum could project himself into the uke on the right side. In other words, the picture was predicting the future evolution. Min was not realizing that he was slowly vanishing, he was becoming more and more the male kisaeng for the protagonist. Hence it is not surprising that the young lord organized a huge sex party in his domain. (chapter 33) We could say that his house was slowly transformed into a brothel. Besides, I would like the readers to keep in their mind the Joker’s statement in the inn which seems to confirm this impression: (chapter 92). Yet, like mentioned in one my previous analyses, I discovered that Min was suffering from an erectile dysfunction. This explicates why he couldn’t have sex with the painter. And now, pay attention to the painting once again. The latter was showing that The Joker had actually taken Yoon Seungho’s position in the end. He was now reduced to be a bottom. Thus it occurred to me that Heena tried to run away from the kisaeng house, because she was rejecting sex. According to me, she had planned to stay in Black Heart’s mansion. She definitely hoped that she would escape prostitution thanks to her brother, but the opposite could actually happen, especially the moment Black Heart’s death is revealed. Someone could take over his domain: lord Song for example.😦

But let’s return our attention to the second ruined image. By pouring water on the nobles in the picture, Lee Jihwa never recognized the signification of his gesture. He was showing the powerlessness of the nobles! We could say that they got cursed to become shadows of themselves. One had sexual issues, while the other became a drug addict. Under this new light, the readers can grasp why afterwards Yoon Seungho had no problem to punch The Joker and to evict his guests in season 2 . (chapter 44) I believe that the ruined painting encouraged him to voice his emotions and thoughts, to act like a lord… because so far, he had been trained to live like a slave, a commoner. In that moment, he felt so powerful that he threatened to kill a scholar and the painter. (chapter 11) He was speaking like the king, the pedophile. His words were actually divulging the brainwashing. And that would be the reflection within the same chapter. What caught my attention is that contrary to the first painting, Yoon Seungho’s gaze was not covered. In fact, this was the only part that looked undamaged. Hence the beholder could still identity him. From my point of view, Byeonduck had two reasons for protecting his eyes. First, the vivid gaze was exposing the slowly recovery from the protagonist. He has now an identity which stands in opposition to the paintings in the publication where you could only see his back, butt and his long braided hair. (chapter 1) In the image from chapter 11, the beholder could sense the noble’s true desires despite the “brainwashing”. He was looking at the painter, the invisible hand. The latter was like a ghost. Secondly, the lord’s gaze was spared in order to confront the father! Yoon Chang-Hyeon had to recognize his son in order to be faced with his own sins!

2. Yoon Chang-Hyeon’s rage

Like I had pointed out in my first essay about the father, the latter was upset, for he was forced to see the consequences of his decisions. The picture was showing his hypocrisy. He was responsible that Yoon Seungho was living in debauchery. Hence it is no coincidence that in this scene, Byeonduck showed us the patriarch’s hand. (chapter 44) Yet the man would never admit that he had been the helping hand of „lord Song“, which stands in opposition to Baek Na-Kyum who was acting as Yoon Seungho’s therapist. Besides, like mentioned above, the artist was the invisible hand, the ghost whom the main lead felt attracted to.

Yoon Chang-Hyeon’s shaking hand exposes his emotions and thoughts concerning the protagonist. He is furious! He is trembling out of anger. However, he had another cause for his trembling!! For the first time, the elder saw his son with a topknot. 😢 Despite everything, his son had been able to become a noble, even a man!! He was no longer living like an animal. His status had improved, while the father had lost his support. This picture showed the reality of the purge. Now, only Yoon Seungho was benefitting from the „exchange of favors“. Moreover, Yoon Seungho could put his prick into a hole!! To sum up, the ruined painting was proving as well that the father had been wrong. That’s the reason why during their last meeting, the father’s reproach had changed. (chapter 87) But let’s not forget that the young noble was turned into a bottom so that the father’s words become like a huge farce. He had been trained not to use his prick and to look like a woman. Hence he was rather slender and had a braid. Yoon Chang-Hyeon had actually contributed to turn his son into a sodomite and the publications from chapter 1 are the evidence of the elders’ crime! (chapter 1) The moment the identity of the braided man is revealed, the beholder can detect their crimes and their hypocrisy. Both patriarchs pushed a minor to have sex with an old bearded man. And don’t forget that there was no marriage, hence the town folks are curious about the main lead’s future bride. This signifies that the sex in the picture can only judged as illegal, as a rape. That’s the reason why I believe that the ruined painting from season 1 served to prepare the father to face cruel reality. It was the first step. What caught my attention is that the patriarch left the room just before the sexual session in the past (chapter 86) and in the present (chapter 87), though in the second case, he approached the throne first. He never remained there, till the session was over. This is important, because it exposes that the father was just assuming that the sex sessions would take place. Yet, in the bedchamber, it didn’t happen, while in the gibang it did take place. However, something could have happened after the sexual lesson. As you can see, the elder made the huge mistake to trust people, to rely too much on impressions. Furthermore, the fact that he leaves the place shows that he has the same habit than Heena. Is it because he fears sex too? And now, you comprehend why the father’s hand was shaking! (chapter 44) He was scared too! He was forced to see sex with his own eyes. For him, sex was just a necessity to get a heir. (chapter 86) Consequently, I deduce that the father will be forced to assist to a sex session full of violence and torture himself, similar to the head-kisaeng’s (chapter 96), yet there won’t be love there. Moreover, he won’t be able to leave the room like before. From my point of view, this confrontation is to corner the elder master Yoon, to pressure him to admit his guilt. In my eyes, he will experience what his son went through: Hell, a nightmare. (chapter 86)

To conclude, the ruined paintings played a huge role in the lord’s suffering. They represented the first step of exposure therapy, and it was the same for the persons responsible for his martyrdom. For the first time, Lee Jihwa had to see a sex orgy with his own eyes. Thus he covered his gaze with the veiled hat. (chapter 12) He was still avoiding reality, until he was cornered to participate in a sex orgy for real, a new version of the past: (chapter 100) The only difference to the past is that this time, the villain and the antagonist couldn’t rape the main character. Hence imagine how Yoon Seungho must have felt, when it happened to him. The painter is going through a milder form of sexual assault. Nevertheless, it was still very violent and bloody. Consequently, it is not surprising that he was brought back to the past, when he saw his lover unconscious and his face was covered in blood: (chapter 102) This represented the high peak of his treatment. After this night, he became stronger than before, thereby he will be able to meet the pedophile. The painter is his source of strength, his pillar. His desire to keep the painter by his side, to protect him is the reason why he is able to overcome his PTSD. He has a reason to encounter the old bearded men and accuse them for their sins.

3. A new ruined painting?

Many manhwaphiles believe that there exist only two damaged paintings, nonetheless this is not correct. It is just they are not obvious, for they didn’t play a huge role in the story so far. So now you are wondering where they are. (chapter 41) The painter’s tears fell on the picture representing his rape. It was, as if they were washing the lord for this sin. But the water didn’t destroy the image totally, because the characters were not turning into ghosts. In reality, the two characters were slowly escaping from their mental prison, recovering slowly from their traumas and issues despite the heartbreaks. But why did it happen then? It is related to Jung In-Hun’s words. The scholar had reproached the painter to enjoy sodomy. (chapter 40) However, the night before, the artist had not truly accepted the lord’s advances. They had not had even sex. He had more kept company to the tormented Yoon Seungho. So the teacher couldn’t refer to this sex session. Secondly the learned sir was not supposed to know about the sex marathon, for the painter had just been allowed to paint erotic pictures. Hence he could only refer to one scene, the one in chapter 25. My avid readers will certainly recall my following interpretation: Jung In-Hun had witnessed the rape, but he had not intervened. This means that he knew that Baek Na-Kyum had rejected the host’s advances. He had not allowed him to touch him. This means that he was lying in the library. Furthermore, the rape had taken place because neither Kim nor Jung In-Hun had not stopped the owner of the mansion. Both had remained in the shadow!! That’s the reason why the protagonist was washed off his sin. The learned sir’s jealousy led him to wound the painter, and the latter suffered so much from this blow that the lord’s violence in the pavilion appeared as nothing compared to the learned sir’s betrayal and abandonment. The learned sir’s words were far more cruel and painful than the coerced sex in the pavilion. And now, we have to question ourselves this. Where did all these pictures go? (chapter 41) Did the butler keep them? Or did he give them to lord Song? Striking is that in these pictures, neither Yoon Seungho nor Baek Na-Kyum have eyes. In fact, they have no visage! This means that the homosexuals can not be identified, unless the tailor is present. He can recognize the persons based on their clothes. Keep in mind that the pictures will serve as an evidence for crimes or reproaches. So a person could use these pictures to push the painter to recall the lord’s actions from season 1. He had raped him, he had forced him to have a sex marathon in the bedchamber which could have killed him etc… (chapter 81) In other words, this can only backfire… in fact, this could push Yoon Seungho to look at the publication from chapter 1 more closely and remember his own past: the face of his tormentor.

As for the fourth damaged image, it was used as an illustration for the first season. Here, it is ripped like in chapter 2. From my point of view, this image is linked to the future. Someone will torn the picture out of rage and jealousy. Since the father didn’t burn or rip it, I have the impression that “lord Song” should be the one who will act like the painter. Why? It is because it looks very similar to this image in the sand: (chapter 1) Two noblemen making love to each other! This represented the artist’s wish and vision. At the same time, the future ruined painting could expose the perpetrator’s mental state: he is either living himself in darkness and broken. And if he pours water on it, this signifies that the couple could “vanish” and turn into a different couple: a real husband and wife, an official marriage, where the painter becomes Yoon Seungho’s official bride. And the painter has the face and the legs of a woman, only the presence of his short hair is revealing his true gender. (chapter 94) Yet, the moment he wears long hair, especially a braid, it will be no longer visible to detect his sex. But no one would remove the clothes of a noblewoman to see her sex, for this would represent a huge crime. As you can envision it, I am expecting a huge prank from our beloved couple to turn the pedophile into ridicule.

But since the story is in going in circle, this signifies that this ruined painting is also linked to the past. From my point of view, two paintings should have been ruined too. And we have an evidence for this: (chapter 16) So far, none of the pictures was splattered with ink. And who had done it in the past? Yoon Seung-Won, Kim or Lee Jihwa? There is no doubt that Yoon Seungho got blamed for it. Besides, which painting was it too? Since all the ruined paintings from season 1 were connected to the protagonist, and each of them were announcing the evolution of the characters, I assume that splattering it with ink represented the downfall of the main lead. He would fall into the pit and end up living in darkness. On the other hand, since we have two damaged pictures, I deduce that in the past, one picture was damaged with ink, and the other was torn. Hence you comprehend why I am expecting the return of ruined paintings, for they play a huge role in the story. They played a role in the lord‘s disgrace and isolation, thus they serve to confront the perpetrators and accomplices with verity. Moreover they help Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum to get justice for their suffering. They have to recall the past, for the painter was the innocent witness of Yoon Seungho’s suffering. (chapter 1) (chapter 68) They are the proofs of crimes exposing the pedophile’s debauchery. (chapter 1) But the paintings were not the only things destroyed: we have the music box, the letters, the books, but more importantly the talismans: (chapter 99) This was the new version of the ripped paper from chapter 2! This indicates that the talismans couldn’t be effective, they couldn’t protect Min and his friends from resentful spirits.

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 for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

Painter Of The Night: Hunted or wanted? 🏹🩸

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.

My avid readers are actually aware that Painter Of The Night is constructed like a kaleidoscope. Thus certain incidents keep occurring twice in each season. However, one might argue that this theory is not true, for the author used two hunts in season 1, yet we had no hunt at all in season 2, and only one in season 3.

  • Chapter 22:
  • Chapter 41:
  • Chapter 83:

1. The hidden chases

As you can imagine, I can refute this point very easily. First of all, in the essay „Words“, I had pointed out that in the bedchamber, the lord was acting like a hunter chasing after his prey. I had made this connection, for the main lead would utilize idioms from the lexical field of the hunt. (Chapter 73) (chapter 73) This is important, because the manhwalovers can sense a connection between sex and hunt. This means that the love session in the bedchamber from season 2 should be perceived as a new version of a hunt. And this link between sex and hunting was also present, when Yoon Seungho and Min were in the woods in chapter 41: (chapter 41) In this scene, it looked like Black Heart was trying to make a move on Yoon Seungho, while in truth Min was more obsessed with the painter. (Chapter 41) The expression „spot“ belongs also to the semantic field of chase.

Secondly, the premeditated murder could be viewed as a new version of the hunt. Yoon Seungho was the first one to bring up these two notions together: (Chapter 11) A murder disguised as an accident, the scholar would have been eaten by a tiger. What caught my attention is that No-Name requested from Deok-Jae that he should make the painter leave the mansion. o (chapter 51) It was, as if the rabbit had been chased away from its burrow or the deer had been forced to leave the woods. That way, he would become an easy target for the hunter and butcher Mumyeong. To conclude, we had two hunts in season 2 as well.

As for season 3, the second chase took place, when the painter vanished. Yoon Seungho had to track down himself Baek Na-Kyum. He was like a hunter searching for his prey, following the clues left by the “witnesses”. (Chapter 99) First, he was rushing, but the moment he received the crucial tip from his childhood friend, he approached the den silently, just like a tiger. That‘s the reason why neither Black Heart nor lord Jang nor lord Park detected his presence. (Chapter 101)

2. Yoon Seungho the hunter

Thus I couldn‘t help myself associating Yoon Seungho to a tiger. In one of my first analyses, I had compared him to an eagle and a phoenix, hence this new association seems to contradict my previous interpretation. However, the readers should keep in their mind that each character has been associated to different animals: Min was either a snake or a crow or a magpie, while Jung In-Hun could be perceived as a snake, a peacock or a chameleon. I have already compared the painter to a deer and a butterfly, so Yoon Seungho should be linked to different animals either: the phoenix and the tiger.

This predator is known to be a solitary night hunter, mainly relying on his sense of sight and hearing rather than on smell when hunting prey. This method is also employed by the main character which was particularly perceptible during the last incident. On the one hand, he listened to the words from his staff, the noonas, Seokdae (chapter 99) and Lee Jihwa (chapter 100), hence he had not the time to question the veracity of their claims or sense their manipulations. On the other hand, he could detect the difference between the blood in front of the scholar’s house and inside the building. (Chapter 100). He was following his instincts. Tigers cautiously stalk their target from the rear in attempt to get as close as possible to their unsuspecting prey. (Chapter 101) And the moment I perceived Yoon Seungho as a tiger, I couldn‘t help myself thinking that the main lead was acting like a mother looking for her lost cub!! 🐯 This would explain why the protagonist showed no mercy at all to the nobles. However, the painter is definitely no tiger. In our story, he was symbolized by the deer, which the lord had stabbed with his sword. (Chapter 22) This was an allusion to the rape. Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why Baek Na-Kyum feared the lord so much, because he had to face his strength and fury right away. From the beginning, the painter saw his dangerous side. A deer can only perceive the tiger as a natural enemy. We could say that Painter Of The Night is a love story between a tiger and a deer!😉 This means that the lord finally showed his real fangs, when he felt that his curb or treasured deer had been wounded. (chapter 102)

And this thought leads me to the following observation, the way Yoon Seungho hurts its targets. The tiger will attempt to take down its prey with a powerful bite to the neck and/ or throat. Now, look at this: (chapter 41) The pheasant was strangled, just like Yoon Seungho used to grab the painter by the throat (chapter 48) or the chin (chapter 11). The main lead‘s hand has the same form than the bite, though it can not cut the flesh… which the sword can. Thus we saw the lord using the sword: (chapter 22) (chapter 83) (chapter 102) Even in this panel, the sword resembles a lot to the tiger‘s fang: (chapter 102) Another important element is that this predator usually targets large-bodied preys like boar, deer, humans and not rabbit or pheasant. Under this new light, it becomes comprehensible why the main lead went after a boar or the aristocrats in season 3.

“Less than a century ago, tigers and leopards prowled the Korean peninsula and ruled the hours of darkness. Their depredations in the desolate regions were so severe that porters and horse-handlers refused to travel at night ― even in fairly large groups. If they were compelled to travel at night (through the promises of more money or threats of violence), they did so with great caution, brandishing torches, striking gongs, and relying on superstitious beliefs.

According to an old Chinese saying, “The Korean hunts the tiger six months in the year and the tiger hunts the Korean the other six months.” Robert Neff Collection

Quoted from http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/opinon/2019/10/197_276925.html

By comparing all these hunting scenes, I detected the following parallels. The main lead would always do the mercy killing, which stands in opposition to Min or Jung In-Hun. Both disliked dirtying their own hands, it was beneath them to kill the animal themselves. (chapter 22) (chapter 41) We could say that Yoon Seungho was behaving like the tiger, who would always kill his prey in one go. Simultaneously, this reminded me of the status of No-Name, who is according to me a butcher. (chapter 60) The latter belonged to the lowest ranks of Joseon’s society, because killing an animal was a disgraceful job. On the other hand, the butcher No-Name and the tiger Yoon Seungho have something in common: killing is viewed as a necessity. It is either to survive or to end the animal’s suffering or to punish the criminals.

3. Hunting: hobby or work?

That’s how I realized that hunt and murder are similar in this story, for both are mostly presented as an entertainment. Yoon Seungho invited the scholar for a hunt, as it would give the occasion to go to the woods. (Chapter 22). And when Black Heart suggested the artist’s assassination, he always kept laughing, making it sound like a game without any terrible consequence. (Chapter 43) Lee Jihwa would remove a witch, and not a human. (chapter 43) Only Nameless painted it in all its cruelty and brutality. Not only the person would lose his life, but he would lose his identity. (Chapter 60) By removing his eyes and tongue, the victim’s face would change making him impossible to be recognized. And note that his scarf and headgear had been removed as well. It was not a game, but a deadly matter. Why would he do such a thing? The reason is simple. If no one could identify the victim, there would be no investigation. Astonishing is that hunt is a synonym for investigation and prosecution. Hence I am deducing that in season 4, the investigation should be perceived a new version of the hunt. Because of Jung In-Hun and Min, someone will be put on the wanted list. On the other side, Mumyeong’s other job is to entertain people. To conclude, there is a strong connection between killing and entertaining which the main lead destroyed during that night. He reminded the nobles that hunting means taking away a life.

On the other hand, the hunting in chapter 83 looked the exact opposite: (chapter 83) It was far more serious and deadly. The noble was acting like an obsessed and crazy man. There was no trace of fun on his face, only stress and fear. (chapter 83) Thus I am deducing that this chase had been suggested to the main lead in order to release his tension and as such in order to divert his attention from the painter. Naturally, Kim was behind this idea faking his concern for his master. The hunt was supposed to procure pleasure to Yoon Seungho, but it couldn’t, because he was afraid of losing the painter. This explains why he selected the boar as his prey. He was fearless in front of that dangerous animal, for it meant nothing to him. He didn’t mind losing his life… revealing his suicidal disposition which resurfaced later, when the father mentioned the authorities. (chapter 86) (chapter 86) But the moment the servant reminded him to pay more attention to himself (chapter 83), he abandoned the boar immediately. This shows that all this time, Baek Na-Kyum had been on his mind. Therefore it is no coincidence that he rushed home on his horse and looked for Baek Na-Kyum. (Chapter 83) He couldn’t forget that he had scared and wounded the painter in his dissociative state. This shows that the chase had not served its true purpose: entertainment. In reality, the domestics had been the ones suffering the most, for them it was definitely more work (Chapter 84) compared to the past. (chapter 23)

Another important detail caught my attention in this panel: (chapter 83) the hunter had the impression to become a target himself, thus he turned around. His situation coincides with the tigers in Joseon. The latter were hunted down by professional tiger hunters, for they represented a huge source of danger for the local population.

Some of Korea’s most dangerous and ferocious tigers were those that dwelt on the slopes of Inwangsan, just outside the Seoul city walls. These tigers often preyed on woodcutters and firewood merchants traveling to and from Goyang city ― especially at Muakjae Pass. In 1893, at least one tiger was reported to be prowling about Gyeongbok Palace ― probably hunting the tame little deer kept there. There are even claims (probably exaggerated) of tigers stalking Seoul’s gloomy, unlit streets ― the silence shattered by the screams of their unwary victims fighting a losing battle for their lives. When the tigers became too much of a nuisance, professional hunters were summoned. These men were highly respected by Koreans and foreigners for their bravery.  ” Quoted from http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/opinon/2019/10/197_276925.html

To conclude, the hunter can become hunted too.

4. Chased

This is interesting, because the hunter Min became himself a prey to the tiger Seungho. When I started examining this manhwa, I had interpreted this scene as a metaphor for Lee Jihwa’s destiny. (chapter 41) First, I had feared that he might lose his life, then later I had realized that this death was purely symbolic. He would lose his title and family, therefore he would become a commoner. But I had also expressed my doubts that this scene could be a reference to Black Heart, as from chapter 52 on, I had sensed that he would die. But if the pheasant is representing two characters, The Joker and Lee Jihwa, then this means that the deer in chapter 22 (chapter 22) embodies not only the painter, but also someone else. While in the past, I used to believe that it was Kim, now I come to the deduction that it was Jung In-Hun. Note that in this scene, the main lead left the prey and the scholar behind. Both got defeated. By hunting the deer, the learned sir offered this prey to the tiger Yoon Seungho, and this was the painter’s case. Furthermore, the deer was carried back home on a horse (chapter 24) reflecting the painter’s fate. (chapter 25) Who brought the horse to the pavilion? Kim and Deok-Jae! And when the learned sir departed from the mansion, he was followed by the vicious servant and the horse. (chapter 44) Everything is pointing out that the learned sir was like a deer to the hidden hunter. And by losing the painter, the scholar would lose his power over Yoon Seungho, and this is what truly happened. By leaving the main lead’s side, Jung In-Hun died.

(chapter 83) The boar symbolizes not only the nobles like Jihwa, Min, Jang or Park, but also the elders Kim, Lee, Yoon Chang-Hyeon, and as such the king. And if you consider the boar as the personification of the pedophile, the ruler, this means that the moment Yoon Seungho hunted down the nobles, he defeated the ruler in a figurative way. Thus I was wondering if in the end, the main lead would hunt down a human in season 4, Kim or the king. Don’t forget the main lead’s words to the painter: (chapter 11) It could be staged as a hunting accident. In other words, I am expecting a new form of hunt in season 4, a human will be chased, either through an interrogation or through a staged hunt. Since I believe that Kim has been working for the pedophile, we have to envision that both puppet masters will meet their doom in the next season. While the one is prosecuted for murder, the other could be killed during a hunt. Moreover, the manhwaphiles shouldn’t overlook that the king used clothes and impersonation to his advantages in the past, and according to me even in the present. (chapter 37)

Like mentioned in the previous part, Nameless explained to Lee Jihwa that he had to butcher the victim in order to hide the murder. Thus this staged crime scene looked like the scholar had been attacked by a tiger. (Chapter 88) On the other hand, the foot print and the glasses could give the impression that the learned sir had been murdered. However, after adding blood in the fake crime scene and removing the learned sir’s possessions, (chapter 100), the place could be interpreted differently. The inhabitant had been attacked by a tiger during the night. Though the painter had been the prey of these vicious nobles, the real target had been Yoon Seungho. That’s the reason why I had developed the theory that the pedophile had been not only lusting after the young master, but also targeting the Yoons.

Then I noticed an element in this image: (chapter 45) the cobweb behind Deok-Jae. Imagine that this scene took place in the middle of winter, thus the spider’s web got covered by frost. However, this indicates that this room had been abandoned for quite some time. But it is close to the gate. So it should have been the place where the doorkeeper is living. Secondly, I had demonstrated that the shrine had been neglected, for the altar had been removed. (chapter 18) Because of the presence of the cobweb, I started wondering why the author drew it behind Deok-Jae. In my eyes, it is because he was part of the spider’s web. According to me, the learned sir was killed shortly after his departure, and Deok-Jae was a witness of this assassination. That’s why I came to the conclusion that in the past, Yoon Seungho, had caught the attention of the monarch represented by the spider. Since the lord’s fate resembles the painter’s, I am assuming that we should perceive him as a butterfly too. And in order to catch its prey, the spider prepared a web, a web made of lies. Even before the start of season 3, I had declared that right from the start, the young master had been targeted. Thanks to this new parallel, I had another revelation. Remember how I had described the schemers as puppet masters, and they would view people as pawns. As the spider has 8 legs, I am thinking that the pedophile has always been using 8 persons to achieve its goal. Some were aware of the scheme, others were just manipulated. In the past, there were Father Lee, Lee Jihwa, Kim, Jung In-Hun, Heena, Yoon Chang-Hyeon, Yoon Seung-Won and No-Name. So when the story started, I believe that there was a new generation of pawns: Kim, Deok-Jae, Lee Jihwa, No-Name, the noble with the mole, Heena, Yoon Seung-Won and Black Heart. I am excluding father Lee for the simple reason that due to the topknot incident, the scholar was well aware that “lord Song” was no longer judging his family in a good light. He definitely lied low for a while. Naturally, the huge change from the past is that this time Kim had become proactive. But let’s examine Yoon Seungho’s downfall.

Since the main lead was protected by his good reputation, the first goal was to taint his reputation to the point that no one would ever remember him. He was idle, disobedient, but more importantly he was a sodomite. He had to make sure that Yoon Chang-Hyeon would abandon him. The main lead needed to become a “commoner” or “low-born” so that the pedophile could claim him. Yes, the exact opposite of this situation: (chapter 18) That’s the reason why Yoon Seungho was not dressed properly. (chapter 83) If he lived in a shed and had such a simple attire, no one would ever think that he was a noble in the first place. I believe that neither the patriarch nor the ruler had an interest to reveal his true identity. However, the protagonist had to be monitored, for he could try to escape at any moment. That’s the reason why the butler was still tasked to “take care of him”. But by becoming a male night servant for the king, this meant that the other nobles could claim him as well. He had no right. However, since the main lead was a butterfly, he couldn’t get tamed. Hence violence, manipulations and drugs were used to tame the young master. And remember how the spider kills its target: he empties it of its blood. In other word, he sucks all his energy. Therefore it is not surprising that at the end the main lead had become a wreck, and had no light in his eyes. (chapter 57) Naturally, the purge played a huge role in the lord’s suffering reinforcing the huge rift between the pedophile and Yoon Seungho.

In addition, the suicide from the main lead’s mother brought an end to this masquerade. The king could no longer feign ignorance about the main lead’s true identity, and naturally he needed to punish Yoon Chang-Hyeon for his “trick”. He had deceived him, whereas in reality he was well aware of the situation. He had to blame someone else, for he didn’t desire to become responsible for this. Besides, by fueling Yoon Seungho’s hatred for the father, “lord Song” definitely hoped to be judged in a different light. Nonetheless, because the protagonist was abused sexually, physically and emotionally, he could only fear and resent the pedophile, but he could never express it. This was a vicious circle, which ended when the main lead tried to commit suicide himself. (chapter 57)

That’s the reason why I believe that little by little, the pedophile is losing his pawns and as such his legs. The scholar had been abandoned, then later he got killed. Lee Jihwa was punished with the loss of his topknot, then he left town with No-Name. Since the main lead deserted the mansion, the ruler lost control over the protagonist. So he will blame the Lees for that. Heena ran away from the gibang. Then Yoon Chang-Hyeon has no longer any power and connection, he has to rely on his son Yoon Seung-Won or on Kim. But the elder master Yoon played a trick at the end of season 3. As you can see, the pedophile almost lost all his pawns from the past. Finally, Black Heart and his friends got killed. What started like an entertaining hunt became war in the end, for many people died. And this brings me back to Black Heart and lord Jang again.

The nobles are in truth animals. They are dogs, like Byeonduck indicated it. Therefore it is no coincidence that they don’t make a difference between hunting an animal or a human. This explains why lord Shin was abandoned behind in the cold and why Lee Jihwa was compared to a dog (chapter 101). It was not Min’s task to carry a friend… he was just a fellow puppet brought to the shaman’s house in order to entertain Black Heart. This truly exposes that Black Heart never saw in the aristocrats humans. As the red-haired master, he had been considered as the hunting dog, he had fulfilled his function. That’s why he was abandoned. He had helped Min to corner the painter and brought the kisaeng to the scholar’s home. Hence it is not surprising that the wild dogs ended up all dead. They were totally defenseless in front of a huge tiger. This feline is difficult to tame.

As for the painter, Min considered him as an animal that should entertain them. Striking is that the aristocrats’ vocabulary is revolving around violence (“break”, “bloodied”) reflecting their cruel and ruthless nature. (chapter 101) They saw in the sexual violence a new form of hunting. I would even go so far to say that they desired to turn the artist into their pet fulfilling all their desires: (chapter 101) Thus it is not surprising that Yoon Seungho was compared to an animal by his own father in the past. (chapter 83) The pedophile also desired to tame the young master, the beautiful and gentle butterfly. Thus he got brainwashed. He could never refuse anyone, he had to entertain the guests. And now you comprehend why Min said this to the painter. (chapter 101) As a punishment, he was given to lord Jang and his friend. Since Min had captured the artist, he viewed himself as his owner who would give order to his pet. Yet, a deer is a shy, but wild animal, difficult to control making it difficult to be tamed.

Min had turned into a dog, because he had been misguided. He never realized that his biggest wish was to be noticed as a human by the painter. (chapter 99) But this was impossible, for Black Heart never treated Baek Na-Kyum as a man. Hence I come to the conclusion that by meeting the painter, Yoon Seungho rediscovered his true nature: he was a free spirit, a tiger! And guess what… In Joseon, the tiger was perceived as a good talisman to chase away the evil spirit!! (chapter 102) Hence the dogs became the preys of the huge tiger. On the other hand, I am wondering if in the next season, the painter will paint a tiger and show it to his lover. So far, we couldn’t see the pictures from his childhood.

But how could the tiger earn the deer’s trust? It is because he treated Baek Na-Kyum as a human. By falling in love, Yoon Seungho rediscovered his humanity. His beating heart was the reason why he didn’t end up completely as a beast. His art moved his heart and healed his eyes. He could forget the violence and blood from his youth. Yet, at the end of season 3, Yoon Seungho has the impression that he could get hunted down, for he killed the nobles. However, since he spared the kisaengs, Seokdae and even his own staff, people will have the impression that he is not capable to commit such a crime. Why? It is because he has been portrayed as weak-hearted by the butler. He often had a change of heart.

Before closing this essay, I would like to point out that the pedophile is not just a spider, but also a dragon, for he is the king of Joseon. Hence expect in the next season a battle between a tiger and a dragon…

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 for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

Painter Of The Night: Fortune-telling 🔮 (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/

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.

After reading such a title, my avid readers are now imagining that the topic of this essay is a prediction concerning season 4. But no… far from it. In this text, I will explain the importance of fortune-telling in Painter Of The Night. But before going into details, it is important to define fortune-telling.

fortune-telling, the forecasting of future events or the delineation of character by methods not ordinarily considered to have a rational basis. Evidence indicates that forms of fortune-telling were practiced in ancient China, Egypt, Chaldea, and Babylonia as long ago as 4000 BCE. Prophetic dreams and oracular utterances played an important part in ancient religion and medicine. Predictive methods of fortune-telling include astrology (interpretation of the movements of heavenly bodies as influences on earthly events), numerology, and the utilization of objects such as playing cards, tea leaves, crystal balls, dice, fire, water, and scattered salt. Fortune-telling as a process of character analysis can take such forms as graphology (study of handwriting), physiognomy (study of facial characteristics), phrenology (study of contours on the skull), and palmistry (study of lines on the palm of the hand). Quoted from https://www.britannica.com/topic/fortune-telling

As you can see, there exist different methods to make predictions, but anyone will say that so far in the manhwa, we only had dreams or nightmares revealing the future.

1. The utilization of objects

However, this is not correct, for the lord had a vision, when he killed the boar. (Chapter 83) But what was the vision telling to the main character? The problem with visions is that their message is never clear. It is up to the fortune-teller. The beholder can interpret the hallucination differently. Here, one might say that the blood let Yoon Seungho see that one servant, in our case Kim, was working against him with 2 nobles: Min and Jihwa. It was already predicting Min’s death, for the blood pond was touching the noble on the right, while the other nobleman with the hat is not connected to the blood. The red-haired master only lost his topknot a second time. This is no coincidence. The vision showed that Black Heart would die by the hand of 2 people, Yoon Seungho the child and Yoon Seungho the adult. Thus Byeonduck created such a panel: (Chapter 102) The lord was in a dissociative state. In his rage, the main lead was brought back to his own past, when he was a victim of gangrape. (Chapter 102) He was acting like in trance, the painter’s bloody face had opened the Pandora’s box. (Chapter 101) Remember his confession in the bedchamber: (chapter 55) Simultaneously, this vision (chapter 83) could display the argument between Yoon Seungho and his childhood friend in front of the scholar’s house. The servant was the witness, and he got spared thanks to the red-haired master’s appearance. (Chapter 100) But if so, this means that the domestic will die, after his master abandoned him and ran away. Remember that the blood spurt is linked to the person without a hat. (chapter 83) Another possibility is that Min was shown in the middle, and he was the puppet of the two elders, father Lee and Yoon Chang-Hyeon. Note that when we saw them in season 3, both were wearing their hat. (chapter 82) (chapter 86) And if I consider that this vision is referring to Kim, then it already announces his doom. Another possibility of interpretation is to say that the boar embodies the king, which Yoon Seungho defeats by removing from his side Lee Jihwa and Min, both were used as tools to control and tame the main lead so that he would remain by the pedophile’s side. This means that the moment he executed Black Heart and cut off the friend’s topknot, he was finally able to escape from the ruler’s claws. And if the noblemen are referring to the elders, the message doesn’t change. The moment the main lead killed Min, he wounded the king so that the elders are affected, one more than the other. And Kim didn’t stop his young master, for the butler thought that with his suicide, he could finally free himself from his task of taking care of Yoon Seungho. With his suicide, Kim would be able to live in peace. He would no longer be tormented by the main lead’s suffering. In his mind, his suicide was the natural outcome of such a long suffering. As you can see, this hallucination can be interpreted so differently. And the more information we will get in season 4, the more precise the interpretation of this vision can become.

Then we have the painter’s vision in the mirror which worked like a crystal ball. Here, the artist saw himself embracing Yoon Seungho which he rejected. (Chapter 28) As you can see, blood and a mirror were used as objects for “fortune-telling“, though the main characters had no idea about their signification. While the painter rejected this “hallucination“, Yoon Seungho had the impression that it was real. Thus he turned around. He imagined that the two nobles were approaching him. (Chapter 83) I have always said that Yoon Seungho and Baek Na-Kyum are shamans, but they have no idea about their true identity. This means, none of them considers himself as a fortune-teller, though both have this gift. They have no one telling them about their skills, they can predict the future and even repel evil spirits.

Yet, the nightmares and dreams represent the biggest part of fortune-telling in Painter Of The Night. On the other hand, it is also possible that Byeonduck reveals later that other skills were used in the past (like handwriting or physiognomy), for face-reading was popular in Joseon (see for example the Korean movie The Face reader), and we have the lord’s beautiful handwriting. (Chapter 92). Keep in mind that since the lord wrote a poem in season 3, this means that he must have done it in the past too, but this twice. In season 1, he wrote one, when he switched the paper, yet it must have occurred before, for we had two circles, which corresponds to two full moons. My friend Luzyla brought my attention that in the whole story, Byeonduck only drew one full moon, and this in chapter 1. This announced the beginning of a new circle!! The third one and observe that the moon was far away, very high up in the sky, while the night sky was very dark. (Chapter 1) There was no moon light which I consider as a reference to the painter‘s absence in Yoon Seungho‘s life. Under this perspective, the manhwaphiles understand why in episode 102, Byeonduck drew such a moon. (chapter 102). Their trust and love had been tested, thus I am assuming that season 4 will be the beginning of the 4th circle, where the protagonist will face the main culprit for his suffering: the mysterious lord Song, the king.

2. Dreams and visions

But let‘s return our attention to the dreams and nightmares of the characters, which were reflecting the future. First, the readers can recall all the painter’s wet dreams. They all became true, like I had written in previous analyses. Baek Na-Kyum dreamed of receiving a love confession from Yoon Seungho and being called tenderly (chapter 56), and it became a reality. (Chapter 91) But the artist never accepted these visions, for he was rejecting sodomy and later he was in denial about his affection for the main lead. Yet this is no longer possible. The artist has already confessed and is determined to remain by the noble’s side, no matter what.

Concerning the nightmares, I am quite certain that you remember the lord‘s which is the longest in the whole story. (chapter 74) Here again, we have an allusion to the bloodbath in the shaman‘s house, for the position of the hands reminds us of Black Heart’s reaction before the main lead stabbed him. (Chapter 102) Nevertheless, I believe that this nightmare was already announcing to the protagonist that he would dirty his own hands, and kill people. On the other hand, the readers should keep in their mind that since the story is going in circle, the nightmare was also a reference to the past and Yoon Seungho’s suffering. But the aristocrat was not the only one having nightmares, the manhwaworms will certainly recall Jihwa‘s torment (chapter 50) and Baek Na-Kyum‘s nightmares in the bedchamber. (Chapter 34) and (Chapter 98) In the last one, he believed to see the scholar’s corpse. The artist had even an auditive hallucination. (Chapter 98) This means that a similar situation will occur. Someone will repeat Jung In-Hun’s words. (chapter 98) How could he be with the man who killed his family (for example Heena)?

3. Dream or nightmare?

However, there exists another person who had a premonitory dream, but I just realized it recently! In addition, you are wondering where this dream was. (chapter 45) Yes, in chapter 45!! How did I come to this conclusion? The first clue is the black frame. (chapter 45) Byeonduck always uses it in order to indicate that we are dealing with a memory or a dream. Secondly, in this scene we are supposed to see Baek Na-Kyum with his lover, both kissing tenderly, yet in the same chapter, the author let us see the reality of their interaction. (chapter 45) The painter was more acting like a robot, he was not able to procure pleasure to Yoon Seungho. He was not talented. As you can see, the introduction allowed us to see the dream of a fortune-teller concerning Yoon Seungho and the painter. But wait… (chapter 45) Who is who here? In this image, the artist is lying on the bed, he is recognizable by his slender and smooth leg and his thin foot. The lord is on the top, the beholder can identify him with his bigger and rounder butt. However, in the second picture, their position is switched. (chapter 45) The painter is on the top, he can be identified by his flat chest, while the lord is lying on the bed. Here, we see the artist showering Yoon Seungho with love, giving everything so that Yoon Seungho feels so good. One might argue that this can not be possible because of the lock of hair on the temple. Baek Na-Kyum doesn’t have one. (chapter 45) But don’t forget that we are here dealing with a premonitory dream. In my opinion, the lock of hair is implying that Baek Na-Kyum will be wearing a topknot in the future, similar to this situation: (chapter 87) This means that the person saw in this dream that Baek Na-Kyum would become the lord’s partner, and he would even be dressed like a noble (a topknot and white pants). Don’t forget that in season 2, he was still wearing grey pants and not white. (chapter 46) And this vision came true in season 3: (chapter 79) This is the same position, but from a different perspective. (chapter 45) But who has been foreseeing this scene or better said, who was recalling this dream, as it was a memory triggered by words? KIM! Don’t forget that he was present, when he heard this grapevine about the fiancée. However, I have more evidences for this interpretation. First, I have already pointed out that the butler was the one spreading rumors. (chapter 45) Moreover, it is related to the vocabulary employed by the commoners: black sheep. It is very similar to a bird of misfortune. Besides, who can call Yoon Seungho the black sheep of the Yoon family? The person behind this insult reveals that he knows the family very well. But why would he do such a thing? The reason is simple. This vision for the butler was not a dream, but a nightmare!! 😮 Why? It’s because it was announcing that Yoon Seungho would cut ties with the pedophile, his unofficial “husband”. Kim had made sure that no information about Yoon Seungho would leak to the outside for almost 10 years, the town folks didn’t know lord Yoon at all. But due to Bongyong and his loose lips (chapter 45), a rumor started that Yoon Seungho had a fiancée. Thus Kim chose to spread rumors in the village to kill the grapevines about the existence of Yoon Seungho‘s fiancée with another gossip. He used Jihwa and the incidents in the past… One might argue that it is not possible, because it looks like the rumor about the existence of Yoon Seungho’s sodomy existed before than the presence of a fiancée.

But please now read carefully chapter 45 again. After hearing this rumor, there was a caesura (the title), which we could judge as an indication for a time jump. Besides, this is what we see right after. (chapter 45) The owner of the stand is sitting and he has a white scarf, but in the next panel, the person is standing, and has a red scarf. (chapter 45) Moreover, the headcover on one player is much slightly darker. This is another indication that there could be a time jump between these two panels. But one might argue that the rumors about Yoon Seungho’s homosexuality were existing before the grapevines about the fiancée. (chapter 45) But not necessarily. Imagine, the butler had such a dream, and his memory got triggered, when he heard the commoner talking about the incident with Bongyong for the first time. But don’t forget that the man is a traveling merchant, so in the butler’s mind, the trader would leave the town and as such he wouldn’t be able to mention this to others. But he never imagined that the man would meet his friend. (chapter 45) In order to ensure that no one would take this rumor seriously, Kim made sure to spread the rumors about Lee Jihwa and Yoon Seungho’s sexuality.

First, we could see in chapter 40 that no one knew the lord in town. (chapter 40) His joke with the red dot was not even noticed by the woman and seller of the mirror!! Both were totally indifferent. Though he had made a joke, his action had caused no wave. Besides, we should question why the man would say that even dogs would know about his homosexuality. This implies the intensity of the grapevines. It displays that someone was deliberately leaking this information to the outside. Furthermore, one witness is saying that Yoon Seungho‘s affairs used to stir up the village… when did it happen? (chapter 45) Moreover, which affairs was he referring to? He has no idea about the masturbation in the tailor’s shop and the red dot on the painter’s face. As for Lee Jihwa’s humiliation, it was definitely not leaked to the outside as well. Besides, remember the comment from the red-haired master’s servant. (chapter 41) Striking is that (chapter 45) this statement was immediately denied by one player. As you can see, people were confused for one reason. Someone had spread a different grapevine as counter-measure. But why did Kim do this?

First, no one should be aware that Yoon Chang-Hyeon had been sent away from the family mansion. From my point of view, no one knew that the protagonist had been abandoned by his family and was the owner of the mansion. But this doesn’t end it. I have already pointed out the existence of a fake marriage between Yoon Seungho and the pedophile. In my eyes, the main character has always been the king’s ghost bride. The rumors about the main lead’s sodomy were there to ensure that no one should expect a marriage of the protagonist. The latter was already married, but the king can not claim him. And now, you comprehend why he has hanboks with designs. He was sending him clothes as a reward and a reminder that he was already taken. Note that he was always wearing a hanbok with a design, each time he had kept his distance from the painter. (chapter 34) (chapter 45) Here, Baek Na-Kyum had just returned to the mansion after his second desertion. (chapter 52) The lord had kept his distance from the artist for one week, though I believe that he still came to see him (chapter 51),(chapter 51) for the painter’s scarf was put on the way Yoon Seungho did in the courtyard in chapter 69. (chapter 69) And now, you comprehend why Kim criticized the painter in the courtyard. The lord would come to see him ensuring that he was well covered. The butler had every reason to view this dream (chapter 45) as a nightmare, for the king would get infuriated, and he could vent his frustration on the butler. He had not done his job properly. Observe that in chapter 45, Kim was acting more like the lord of the mansion, as he left the mansion without permission, he also bought ink and paper without the main lead’s knowledge, and even gave an order to Deok-Jae in order to reinforce his jealousy. (chapter 45) Now, I have the proof for this interpretation. The guardian was on his way back to the gate, so why did the valet ask him to bring the items to the painter’s study? Actually, Kim could have done it himself, it is not so that his master was waiting for him or had been requesting his presence. (chapter 45) Now, you are probably thinking that this essay has reached an end. But no… Why?

4. The other definition of “fortune-telling”

As you can see, this term has another signification which is not well known among people. In truth, this idiom is used in psychology. I discovered this, while I was looking for a word describing the butler’s mind-set. Everything started with this thought triggered by these two panels. (chapter 87) What if the butler had been saying the truth? He had no idea what was going on inside the room of the kisaeng house. But as an outsider, he observed this. Nobles were going to and from lord Yoon’s chambers. The readers had the impression that the young master was getting raped in the bedchamber. Yet, like I had pointed out, this is definitely not true, for the teenager was dressed. (chapter 87) We could detect the presence of a stock, this means that in the bedchamber, he was physically abused. And the butler could have jumped to the wrong conclusion, exactly like in this scene. (chapter 77) He had seen the kiss between the two boys, but because of Yoon Seungho’s smile, he had assumed that Yoon Seungho was consenting. (chapter 77) However, like mentioned before, the protagonist was under the influence of a drug. So in his eyes, it was, as if the young boy had been the one kissing Lee Jihwa. Because of this scene, he assumed that the two boys were fooling around. He jumped to the wrong conclusion that Yoon Seungho was a sodomite, something Kim truly abhors. So my idea was that the butler could have made the same mistake concerning the bedchamber: he made an assumption, and he jumped to the wrong conclusion that Yoon Chang-Hyeon was treating his son as a prostitute for his own greed and ambition. Because of these two expressions “assumptions” and “wrong conclusion”, I started researching for this. And this is what I found:

“As a therapist, I define this pattern of behavior as “making assumptions.” Some cognitive behaviorists call this behavior fortune-telling. Fortune-telling is considered a cognitive distortion leading to depression and anxiety. Cognitive distortions are irrational beliefs that have become habituated because they have been reinforced over time. […] Burns discusses the fortune-telling bias as “jumping to conclusions.” He states that people jump to conclusions because of impatience to achieve a resolution to confusing unresolved situations. In haste, people mentally make inferences without adequate supporting evidence. These inferences and conclusions may be negative or catastrophic, but people draw them in order to feel the situation is resolved.” Quoted from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sustainable-life-satisfaction/201909/are-you-guilty-making-too-many-assumptions

Striking is that these persons fortune-telling are trying to fill the blanks by their own thoughts and experiences, in order to control their life, yet they have always negative expectations. This shows that they are motivated by fear. While they guess, they believe to know the truth and to know people, thus they can make rash decisions. And now, you comprehend why Kim always says this: “I thought…” And because they think, they know people, they don’t feel the need to talk to others.

“Assumptions damage our capacity to relate to others. If you are always assuming you know how others think and feel, you stop listening and communicating and leave them feeling trapped or misunderstood. And relationship difficulties, whether at work or home, can lead to low self-esteem and depression. quoted from https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/making-assumptions.htm

This explains why Yoon Seungho felt so lonely in the end. The butler was not talking to him due to his mind-set. But naturally, he had other reasons to do so. He had to hide his own wrongdoings, he had made wrong decisions. He had jumped to wrong conclusions.

But this doesn’t end here. There exist 10 types of cognitive distortions, and in my opinion, Kim has many of them: All-or-nothing, overgeneralization, arbitrary interpretation/interference, selective abstraction, mental filters, jumping to conclusion (fortune-telling and mind reading), magnification and minimization, should statements, labeling, emotional reasoning, discounting the positive. I am not giving all the definitions of these types, for it would be too long. But you can read them in the links I posted below.

All-or-nothing thinking is also known as black and white thinking or polarized thinking. This type of thinking involves viewing things in absolute terms: Situations are always black or white, everything or nothing, good or bad, success or failure.2All-or-nothing thinking is associated with certain mental health conditions, including narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and borderline personality disorder (BPD).3 Quoted from https://www.verywellmind.com/ten-cognitive-distortions-identified-in-cbt-22412

The butler only sees two categories: friend or enemy. There’s no between. Hence if there’s a disagreement, he will view the other as an enemy.

“Arbitrary inference is “the process of forming an interpretation of a situation, event, or experience when there is no factual evidence to support the conclusion or where the conclusion is contrary to the evidence” [1]. https://www.psychologytools.com/articles/unhelpful-thinking-styles-cognitive-distortions-in-cbt/

And this is exactly what the butler did, when he saw the two boys (chapter 77) He ran away, and didn’t question the boys in order to discover the truth behind the stolen kiss. There was never a trial, for he had already acted as the judge and the witness. For him, the perpetrator was his master due to his huge smile, but he had not been paying attention to Lee Jihwa’s facial expressions (blushing) and his actions. In my opinion, he was already expecting the worst in Yoon Seungho, though the butler was not conscious of this. He repeated the same mistake, when he went to the shed in chapter 63. He thought that Yoon Seungho was raping Baek Na-Kyum in the shed, which was not the case. He ran away too, thus he assumed that Baek Na-Kyum would decide to leave the mansion.

And now, you have the explanation why the maids asked this to the butler: (chapter 17) This is an expression that he would often use. We could witness this cognitive distortion (should statement) in front of the shed. (chapter 77) This explains too why Yoon Seungho is called a black sheep, a bird of misfortune. (chapter 87, labelling)

Kim doesn’t accept arguments, for him a quarrel is something negative, as he has the impression that his authority is questioned. He is overgeneralizing, for he views nobles as violent liars. Thus he said this to the main lead: (chapter 68) But here, like I pointed out before, he was excluding himself from this incident. Let’s not forget that he had been the one dragging him to the shed.

I have been describing Kim as a fake shaman for quite some time, and now this new discovery reinforces my interpretation. He is a fake fortune-teller, someone who has mental problems. From my point of view, he had already a negative attitude about the young master, when he met him for the first time. Don’t forget that he only served him for a decade, this means that Yoon Seungho’s downfall coincides with Kim’s arrival. In my eyes, it is related to the description father Yoon had made about his own son. Remember what he said to the doctor: (chapter 57) He had been ill, since he was very young. But the physician mentioned the good notoriety about Yoon Seungho: he was intelligent. Striking is that Kim has never mentioned this. Either he is not aware of this, because he only met the protagonist after hearing the negative comment from the father, or as a person suffering from cognitive distortion, he is only remembering the negative aspects. I had already exposed that this was not related to sodomy, for sexuality was not relevant, when he was just a child. From my point of view, Yoon Chang-Hyeon saw in his son’s questioning and critical thinking a problem. He was not respecting the elders, and Kim is definitely a reinforcer of social norms. From my point of view, the drug administrated was not to treat him for sodomy, but in order to obtain his obedience. We were all assuming that the visit to the doctor must have occurred after the stolen kiss, but it could be the opposite. Why? It is because the physician revealed the valet’s second visit which occurred after the incident in the kisaeng house. (chapter 57) And now, imagine this. What if the purpose of the drug was to make Yoon Seungho submissive? Thus the young boy was smiling, and doesn’t remember the stolen kiss. Striking is that cognitive distortion has an impact on memory, it can create distorted memories. And this would confirm my previous assumption that here, the butler was mixing two memories together. (chapter 65) Since the butler has always been expecting the worst unconsciously, I am suspecting that he is the one who offered Yoon Seungho to the king! That way, he imagined that his master would be protected, unaware that he had never been forced to have sex before. There’s no ambiguity that his cognitive distortions led to Yoon Seungho’s suffering. Hence the father and the king will be quite surprised when they discover the verity. Kim badmouthed the main lead calling him a bird of misfortune, though lord Song views him differently, as he keeps sending him hanboks with cranes and phoenix, asymbol for good fortune.

Due to his fortune-telling and mind-reading, the butler had never confided to the protagonist, he was never close to Yoon Seungho. I would even go so far to say that he even tormented him (see the flashback triggered in chapter 81). He had lied, for he had only told what he had already interpreted. The readers will certainly recall his MO: to mix a truth with a lie!! This is the evidence of a cognitive distortion, though in the past it was not done consciously. His so-called predictions were all fake, for he always made a wrong interpretation! This brings me back to the beginning of this essay. A dream and vision are difficult to discern, and they can have many meanings, but the valet only knew one way how to read them: in a negative way. And when it happened, the valet saw his false predictions confirmed, while in truth he had just mixed causes and consequences. Because he had jumped to the wrong conclusion, he had contributed that the tragedy would take place. Deep down, he knows this, but he is refusing to admit it. This explains why he is plagued by his guilty conscience, as long as the young man remains by his side. Thus he said this to the painter: (chapter 87) He was talking about himself here. For the valet, there’s only one solution: “Out of sight, out of mind!” Hence he hoped that the father would take away Yoon Seungho from the mansion.

5. Baek Na-Kyum’s role

The manhwalovers understand the painter’s personality and role. He stands for hope and change, thus his dreams are always connected to something positive. He stands in opposition to the valet. The artist’s role is to teach the butler a terrible lesson which he will pay with his life in my opinion, as the lord’s vision implied in chapter 83. Kim is just an ignorant servant. He can never make real predictions. In addition, he doesn’t know people at all. How so? Don’t forget that the painter is a butterfly, and the moves from a butterfly are never predictable. The butterfly can have a terrible impact on others, the so-called butterfly effect. Therefore all the valet’s schemes were always doomed to failure in the artist’s presence. (chapter 45) And the nightmare Kim had will become a reality, and this shows that he was never loyal to Yoon Seungho. Here, he saw the lord relaxed and enjoying his time, but this couldn’t make the butler happy for two reasons. He feared the king’s reaction. The latter would never accept being rejected. Secondly, he realized that he would lose his position as the ghost lord. The valet rejected this vision exactly like all the other characters, but this was pointless, since he is fighting against the gods. When the butler had a real vision, he denied its existence, he preferred his own fortune-telling and mind-reading. He envisioned that since these two tools had helped him in the past, he could succeed again.

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 for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

Painter Of The Night: Sex and drugs 💉💊

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/ 

Feel free to 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.

I have to admit that when I chose this title, I imagined that this analysis would be very short, for I mainly desired to talk about Min. However, the more I pondered about the content of this essay, I realized that I should actually include all the drugs in Painter Of The Night. This led me to examine all the other characters suffering from drug addictions. That’s how I made new discoveries again.

1. The drugs in Painter

First, it is important to list the drugs present in this manhwa. We have alcohol (chapter 75), tobacco (chapter 61) and opium (chapter 52).

And because Min and his friends brought opium to the Yoon’s residence and the main lead was present, the readers jumped to the conclusion that the main lead would smoke opium too. (chapter 52) And this perception got reinforced, when the butler confided this to the physician later: (chapter 55) Many readers had the impression that Yoon Seungho had been smoking opium, many went so far to imagine that he had been smoking opium right from the beginning. (chapter 5) However, this was just a lie. Yoon Seungho never smoke opium!!

2. Yoon Seungho’s true addiction

And now, it is time to prove my interpretation. First, you’ll realize the deception, once you read the side effects of opium:

Short term effects may include: 1. euphoria, 2. relaxation, 3. analgesia” quoted from https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/opium/

This drug has a sedative effect, therefore the opium smoker falls into a torpor and semi-sleep. And we know that Yoon Seungho avoids sleep, for he is plagued by nightmares. (chapter 74) Hence consuming opium would even instigate his nightmares. In addition, observe that in chapter 5, Yoon Seungho was never euphoric nor sleepy. He could interact with the painter normally.

Nicotine causes a range of effects on both the body and mind, including:

Decreased appetite

Heightened mood […]

Sweating

Nausea

Diarrhea

Better memory

Increased alertness

https://www.verywellmind.com/nicotine-addiction-101-2825018

As you can see, nicotine increases alertness and memory. Therefore the lord never forgot the words from the painter during the day. They bothered him so much that he kept thinking about his own image: (chapter 05) As you can see, Yoon Seungho had a drug addiction, nitocine.

One might argue that he started smoking opium only later.

And now, pay attention to this image. (chapter 52) The noble in the background was the one smoking opium. Besides, the manhwaphiles will certainly remember how Yoon Seungho behaved in that scene. He heard Min’s words addressed to the painter, he walked straight to Black Heart in order to protect his lover, well aware that Min would invite the painter to join the party. (chapter 52) This means, he was conscious and alert. Besides, we saw him later getting in rage (chapter 53). Here, I would like the manhwaphiles to keep in mind that side effects of opium like euphoria, relaxation and analgesia last for at least 3 to 6 hours. So this outburst of rage is an indication that our protagonist was not under the influence of opium. He was not hallucinating either. He had grasped the whole situation, when he heard Deok-Jae predicting a terrible fate to the artist. In addition, this drug is not considered as a poison inducing psychosis.

opiates are the only sedative drugs that possess an anti-psychotic effect.” quoted from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24563427/

However, this doesn’t mean that an user from opium won’t suffer from any psychotic symptoms. They are more related to withdrawals or to hallucinations due to the big consumption of opium. https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/opiate-addiction/related-topics/opiate-psychosis/

However, one of the side effects of nicotine is heightened mood, this would explicate his outburst of rage and his irritability right after smoking tobacco. (chapter 52) This explicates why he beat Min and Deok-Jae so furiously, he wasn’t acting under the influence of hallucinations. He was perceptive, he had clearly understood the meaning behind the servant and the noble’s words. As you can see, the lord’s mood swings were more triggered by his addiction to nicotine. This explicates why the main lead had such a violent outburst in the shed after the abduction. He had smoked tobacco the whole day. (chapter 61) Remember how I compared him to dormant volcano, here he was boiling internally.

On the other hand, a person consuming opium will show signs of withdrawals 24 hours after the use. And these are the following signs of opioid withdrawal: Anxiety, insomnia, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, shaking, yawning, restlessness, widened pupils, body aches, seizures, hallucinations, body aches, rapid breathing, fast heartbeat and more importantly irritability. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/opioid-withdrawal-symptoms#1

Min shows all the signs of a withdrawal in chapter 76. First, he vomits, but hides it under the excuse, he drank too much. He gets in rage, when No-Name calls him a fool. He can no longer keep his mask contrary to the altercation in episode 41, when Yoon Seungho compared him to a mouse: (chapter 41) Besides, we have another evidence that Black Heart has developed an addiction to opium with the following panel: (chapter 76) The gaze is different, an indication of the widened pupils. Furthermore, his restlessness is perceptible the way he approaches The Joker. This time, he has to meet the criminal personally. We could say that he rushes to meet the criminal. Like he said, he was “running out of time”… (chapter 76) These words reflect his own troubled mind.

However, you can see that the lord didn’t get any sign of withdrawal after that terrible night in episode 52. Yes, he got sick, but it is because he didn’t sleep and he had no clothes on. Therefore he caught a cold. Let’s not forget that he had lived for a week without eating or sleeping properly. But my most conclusive evidence is this panel:

(chapter 74) Observe the painter’s reaction. He is coughing, he doesn’t seem affected by the smoke, while he had a total different reaction in chapter 54: Note the euphoria and the sedative effect on the artist’s face. This explicates why he didn’t push the rapists away.

As a conclusion, Yoon Seungho is not addicted to opium, he never smoked it. The aristocrats chose his place to smoke it, because they wouldn’t be caught by their parents. That’s the reason why the noble said this to Black Heart. (chapter 53) They wanted to smoke this drug there, for no one would interrupt them. But because Yoon Seungho let them smoke opium, he became guilty by association: he was also an opium smoker. And the readers had fallen into the same trap. As you can see, I believe that the author is using the method on the manhwaphiles. They are misled by what they see and hear without questioning the authenticity of the statement.

The manhwaphiles will say that Yoon Seungho has another addiction: alcohol. (chapter 55) However, this is another deception. Yoon Seungho is no alcoholic either!! 😲

I have many evidences for this. First, notice that during the first sex orgy, there was no drink and food offered. It was simply sex!! (chapter 08) So his debauchery was linked to sex and nothing more. He would live for sex and nothing else. Furthermore, the manhwalovers will certainly recall the lord’s behavior in the tavern. He ordered wine(chapter 75), but notice that he never became drunk like the painter. (chapter 75) The main lead can consume wine in moderation contrary to the painter!! Therefore he has no addiction to alcohol.

And this is different for Baek Na-Kyum, who became a drunk after his abandonment. (chapter 1) Notice that each time, Baek Na-Kyum would drink alcohol, he could never stop until he almost lost consciousness and started hallucinating (chapter 19) or he would be so inhibited that he couldn’t walk properly. These were the sign of his addiction. I can’t forget the lord’s words in episode 75: (chapter 75) Here, he saw how the alcohol was affecting his lover’s behavior.

Notice that at no moment during the night (52-53-54), Yoon Seungho walked under the influence of alcohol. His feet were the proof that he never consumed wine to the point he would lose consciousness or started hallucinating. (chapter 53) He was walking straight. When the readers saw the following image, they saw it as a confirmation that Yoon Seungho was a drunk. (chapter 54) But in truth, he took some wine in order to overcome his pain, to give himself some “courage” to go through. He had longed for the artist’s warmth after a week of separation, but he knew that Baek Na-Kyum viewed sex as prostitution. He was alert enough to see the consequences of his decision (chapter 54), therefore he broke the bottle. (chapter 54) This is no coincidence that he destroyed the bottle of wine. He had the impression that this drug was the cause for his “hallucination”, he was seeing the painter in ecstasy which could only remind him of his own past. Besides, he didn’t want his companion to become a shadow of himself: (chapter 54) He recognized the perversion of the artist’s redness and lost gaze. He loved him for his pure gaze and blushing.

For an alcoholic, a single drop of alcohol is a synonym for a relapse. Hence the addicted has to avoid anything related to alcohol, like vinegar or medicine containing alcohol. So when the lord proposed the wine, he had no idea about the consequences of his offer. So imagine his reaction, when he heard this: (chapter 75) The lord was responsible for his relapse!! Naturally, this could only pain the lord, for the latter wanted to make his lover smile. On the surface, Baek Na-Kyum’s words were reflecting the truth, as the master had encouraged his lover to take the soju. Hence Yoon Seungho could only feel accountable for this situation. He decided to act as a mature man who should take care of his lover’s intoxication. On the other hand, during the whole dating, Yoon Seungho always remained clear-minded, this was another indication that he never abused alcohol.

So when he said this to Bongyong (chapter 78), I believe that Yoon Seungho never proposed too much wine to his lover afterwards. He had made the experience that if he did, he would be the reason why Baek Na-Kyum would become a drunk. In my opinion, the painter’s relapse was linked to his own suffering, he was tormented by the idea that Yoon Seungho would abandon him, his affection was not deep. Since they had no longer any sex, he had the impression that Yoon Seungho’s love for him was vanishing. As you can see, the painter’s dependency to wine was linked to his repressed libido and his fear of abandonment.

As a conclusion, Yoon Seungho was never addicted to opium or wine. However, this doesn’t mean that nicotine addiction is no big deal. In truth, this drug is as unhealthy as any other drug. The withdrawals are only perceptible, when a consumer stops smoking. The addiction is never obvious like opium or heroine. In addition, the body doesn’t just get poisoned because of nicotine, but the latter also affects sexuality and as such relationships.

The investigators began to realize that smoking actually became a method of subtle communication for members of the couples being studied. Lighting up gave clues to each partner that it was time to talk, time to give space, or even time to defend yourself because a world-class argument was about to begin. federally funded study is scheduled to go on for another year, and hopefully, will provide methods to help counsel couples how to recognize cigarettes as an abusive third member of their relationship. If couples are going to weed the habit from their lives, the researchers say they will have to find other ways to relate to each other, and more often than just during the familiar after-sex smoke. And of course, as Jordan found, smoking can directly torpedo the sex, too.” quoted from https://www.webmd.com/men/features/want-better-sex

3. The truth behind Kim’s statement

But then why would the butler describe his master as a man addicted to wine and alcohol (chapter 55), if this was not correct? It is related to the situation how the lord became ill: the orgies and more precisely the presence of Black Heart.

What caught my attention is this: (chapter 33) Compare this sex orgy with the following one: (chapter 8) At Black Heart’s party, wine and tobacco were offered, while in Yoon Seungho’s bedchamber you only had books, pictures and sex. Besides, there were more guests. As you can sense, the parties were totally different: austerity versus luxuriousness. Yes, Min wanted to impress his host Yoon Seungho!! He desired to show him what a true sex orgy was. He desired to prove that he was the real hell-raiser, the real king among nobles.

Besides, another detail caught my attention: (chapter 33) The Joker and the bottle of wine!! The manhwaphiles will certainly recall how the villain offered the expensive alcohol to Yoon Seungho (chapter 19). Moreover, I realized that in episode 33, we have a slight change. While Black Heart is seen first with the pipe full of tobacco, (chapter 33), slowly the author brought the villain in connection to the bottle of wine: And at the end, we have this: (chapter 33) The pipe is no longer present, but Byeonduck focused on the bottle. In my eyes, she desired to outline that Min was slowly getting addicted to alcohol. This means, Black Heart is not only addicted to nicotine and opium, but also wine! Notice this:

  • chapter 43:
  • Chapter 83: .

In these two scenes, Min was serving alcohol or encouraging Jihwa to drink! And now, you have an explanation why the red-haired master became a drunk, when he got abandoned by his lover or tormented by the murder plan. Black Heart was the one introducing this addiction to the second lead. And this interpretation becomes more visible, if the manhwaphiles revisit the event around the failed gangrape.

chapter 51

The person laughing so loudly was in reality Min. You recognize him with his green hanbok. So he was visiting his “acquaintance” and was drinking wine there. While the maid thought, the lord would be the drunk one (chapter 51), I believe that Black Heart was the main consumer!! And now, you comprehend why Yoon Seungho fell into debauchery. (Chapter 55) There was this peer pressure coming Min, who loved luxurious parties. But these parties were no longer sex orgies, for the protagonist was no longer interested in sex. He needed to offer something else to his guests: alcohol and food. Therefore the last picture above is actually more deceiving the readers than anything else. It gives the impression that Yoon Seungho was consuming wine all the time, while in truth he was killing time with these parties. He was alert for the most part of time keeping his thoughts to himself.

But like I outlined above, Black Heart was the one who became more and more addicted. First nicotine, then wine and finally opium. But why? Notice that this coincides with his obsession with the painter. He grabbed the bottle of wine (chapter 33), when Yoon Seungho refused to share his painter with him. So when he heard that Yoon Seungho was organizing parties again, he envisioned that his plan had succeeded. Hence he visited the mansion, yet his loud laugh was actually masking his pain. (chapter 51) He was far from happy, for his fixation on Baek Na-Kyum had not disappeared at all. Therefore, it is not surprising that he started drowning his sorrow. However, alcohol was no longer effective, he needed something stronger to dull his agony. That’s how he discovered opium. And notice that when the lord got punched in the propriety, he felt no pain. (chapter 54) He didn’t protect himself, he had no strength because of the relaxing and sedative effect. He even laughed, a sign that he was under the effect of the drug. (Chapter 54)

However, this doesn’t mean that Min left the house happily! All the guests got evicted like vulgar commoners. His ego was definitely hurt, just like the other nobles’. Therefore on his way out, he told Kim that they had been evicted due to Yoon Seungho’s intoxication. He was under the influence of alcohol and opium. That way, appearances were saved. For the butler, the truth didn’t matter. He could just portray his master as a man living in debauchery, so that no one would ever blame him for this! The appearances were against him. He had indeed organized parties, but they were no longer sex orgies.

The most infuriating is that the butler was to blame for this “relapse”. He had made sure that the painter and his lord would no longer be together. Since he had no sex, then he could only offer wine and food. But there’s another point why I don’t believe that Yoon Seungho ever consumed opium. Since this drug was illegal in Joseon, the butler would have to dirty his own hands to buy such a thing. Besides, notice that the nobles brought the drug themselves. (Chapter 52) This shows that the aristocrats had to buy the opium themselves. This was too dangerous to give this task to a domestic, the latter could definitely betray them. So when Black Heart said that the main lead was smoking opium, his true goal was to ruin the main lead’s reputation. And for Kim, it was perfect. He needed his master to have a bad reputation so that he could live his life peacefully.

4. The connection between sex and drugs

In my opinion, Min’s addictions are his karma. He had to pay a huge price for plotting in order to obtain the painter. He became more and more addicted to the wine, and later to the opium, when he thought that his plan had succeeded. In other words, his opium’s addiction is the divine retribution for hurting the shaman. The irony is that his obsession for Baek Na-Kyum never disappeared. In other words, since he couldn’t have sex with the painter, he replaced sex with drugs. That’s how I realized the following connection. Baek Na-Kyum, Jihwa and Black Heart used drugs to cover up the absence of sex and indirectly love. For me, they somehow symbolize a subterfuge, to mask the absence of passion.

Notice that the artist’s libido is strongly intertwined with the paintings, so the moment he could no longer paint, he was forced to become chaste. Hence he started drinking. (chapter 75) This strong connection between sex and drugs gets even confirmed in the same episode. Notice that in that scene, Yoon Seungho had not sex with the painter for a while, and Baek Na-Kyum was definitely missing it. Naturally, his true desire was to get loved by his companion. For the low-born, sex is a symbol of love. Hence he drunk because of Yoon Seungho. (chapter 75) He felt the need to fill the void. But I believe that the incident with Nameless was a wake-up call for the artist. Through the hug and the music box, he realized that the lord’s affection had not diminished at all. And now, you comprehend why the painter is no longer addicted to the wine. He no longer feels awful and fears abandonment…

As for Jihwa, he drank, when he was happy, for he imagined that he would get his friend’s attention again, or when he was sad, for he had been repudiated. Once he got abandoned, he could no longer have sex… (chapter 36) and he drowned his sorrow in wine. (chapter 59) However, this association between alcohol and his lust for Yoon Seungho started changing, after Jihwa had sex with Nameless. Notice that in episode 83, he is no longer looking like a wreck. (chapter 83) He is still biting his nails, a sign of remorse and fears, but he is no longer obsessed with Yoon Seungho. From my point of view, the torments the second lead suffered in the second season played a huge role. He started drinking alcohol for another reason. (chapter 50) This time, he got afraid of the consequences for the murder. As you can perceive it, there was a slight shifting. This shows that the wine became less and less connected to his obsession with his childhood friend, his desire to have him. This explicates why he was so devastated at the end of the second season. Out of guilt and anxiety, he started drinking again. (chapter 76)

And now, we have to wonder why Lee Jihwa doesn’t seem plagued like in the past. (chapter 83)It is because his father got involved again, and visited father Yoon. The second lead imagines that after his father’s intervention, his problems will be solved. He won’t have to fear for his life, for Yoon Seungho will be sent away to his father. (chapter 82) He knows about his father’s plan. If Yoon Seungho is forced to submit himself to his father, he won’t be able to use his wealth and power to attack him. That’s the reason why he is no longer looking like a wreck. In other words, he is well aware what is going to happen to his friend. He witnessed the abuse, but he doesn’t care, for his “life is in danger”. 🙄 As for Min, he looks more healthy again (chapter 83), for he had to plot in order to achieve his goal. He needed to find a new puppet, lord Lee, and as such he needed to make a good impression. He had to become proactive and become more directly involved. Hence he needed to be more alert.

As for Yoon Seungho’s addiction, it becomes obvious why Yoon Seungho smoked in the past. It was not related to sex, but to his inner turmoil. He had to calm down his frustration and negative emotions. Notice that only he smoked during the day, a sign that this was not connected to sex at all. However, it started changing too. Yoon Seungho felt the need to smoke while having sex with the painter (chapter 45), for he felt something was missing. Consequently, this is not surprising why Yoon Seungho had a sex marathon in the shed after smoking the whole day. It was to contain his rage, but also to mask his strong desire for the painter. What caught my attention is that after their love session, the main lead started smoking again, exactly like in the past. (Chapter 74)However, there is a huge difference. In my opinion, he was trying to control his sexual desires. Remember the quote above: nicotine has a huge effect on libido. That’s another reason why Yoon Seungho was so chaste in the study: (chapter 74)

However, what caught my attention is that during the third season, we never see Yoon Seungho smoking. Though he hurt the painter and felt terrible, he decided to leave the mansion in order to hunt. He wanted to vent his anger and hide his anxieties: (chapter 83) This observation is important, for it shows that he is no longer using tobacco to hide his inner turmoil. That’s why I believe that Yoon Seungho’s addiction was originally linked to his traumas. It was his way to “anesthetize his emotions”, he had the impression that he would become more clear-sighted.

5. Personality and drugs

I have to admit that when I started preparing this analysis, I tried to discover why Min, who is a psychopath, would come to consume drugs. That’s how I discovered that personality indeed plays a huge role.

The Five-Factor Model of Personality

The Five-Factor Model of Personality is a group of five broad trait aspects that help explain personality differences and people’s behavior. The five traits include:

Extraversion- is when someone enjoys being around other people more than being alone.

Neuroticism- is the tendency to be in a negative, stressed, or anxious emotional state.

Agreeableness- is a set of characteristics perceived by others as being sympathetic, warm, kind, and considerate.

Conscientiousness- is being careful or diligent, hoping to do a job or task successfully, and to take obligations seriously. Conscientious people tend to be organized and efficient.

Openness to Experience- indicates how open-minded a person is, and is characterized by being imaginative and curious, and enjoyment in trying new things.

Generally, those who use drugs or alcohol are characterized by having high Neuroticism, high Openness to Experience, low Agreeableness, and low Conscientiousness.

quoted from https://www.fortbehavioral.com/addiction-recovery-blog/personality-traits-related-to-drug-use/

After reading this quote, you can recognize that Black Heart has a predisposition for addiction. He fits the following profile: “high Neuroticism, high Openness to Experience, low Agreeableness, and low Conscientiousness”. He loves experiencing new things (chapter 52), he is always seeking entertainment (chapter 66), a sign that he is not hardworking. He is very sensitive to criticisms, which was underlined in chapter 83 one more time. (chapter 83) Therefore I tried to find out if persons suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder could be suffering emotionally, though they are supposed not to feel any pain and empathy. And yes, such persons are definitely not happy, for they are often lonely.

psychopaths may be unhappy due to the quality of their interpersonal relationships. Romantic relationships and friendships are critical to happiness. […] The results from our studies suggest that people with high levels of psychopathic tendencies are generally unhappy. They show low levels of positive emotions and life satisfaction, and high levels of negative emotions and depression. Further, this unhappiness is partially explained by the poor quality of their romantic relationships. ” quoted from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-happiness-doctor/201701/are-psychopaths-happy

This explicates why Min was so obsessed with Baek Na-Kyum. (chapter 9) He felt lonely, and hoped that the artist would give him the same gaze, when he looked at the protagonist. He had already snatched Lee Jihwa, but the latter was too obsessed with his childhood friend to look at him in a different way. Min was definitely longing for love, but he could never admit it. Striking is that Min picked his “bride”, exactly like the psychologist Love described it:

For instance, Love notes that individuals high on the psychopathy spectrum prefer friends who contribute to their volatile lifestyles, such as criminals, fellow thrill-seekers, or ego-feeding suck-ups. Teaching psychopaths how to form healthier, more positive, interpersonal relationships with emotionally stable individuals, however, may help to reduce their antisocial behaviors.” quoted from https://qz.com/819283/can-people-who-have-psychopathic-symptoms-feel-love-or-be-truly-happy/

And now, you comprehend why Min was dissatisfied with Lee Jihwa in the end. The latter was a delinquent, a selfish man who desired Yoon Seungho’s constant attention. He could never give him the attention and love Black Heart was longing. (chapter 66) Hence he could only view the second lead as his puppet. That’s why The Joker had to use “drugs” to mask his emptiness and longing for affection.

On the other hand, the Five-Factor Model of Personality explicates why Yoon Seungho never fell into debauchery so deeply. First, he didn’t have many addictions despite suffering for a decade. His tumultuous sex life was influenced by the brainwashing and his traumatic past. In my opinion, the principles from Taoism were another reason why the protagonist never became a drunk or desired to smoke opium. Then he reads books, but no one knows this except the butler. Finally, he definitely worked hard, for he could gather wealth and create connections. From my point of view, the enemies are definitely underestimating his power.

As a conclusion, when in chapter 52 we had this cold war between Black Heart and Yoon Seungho, we didn’t assist to a sex party, but to a drug party: tobacco, opium and wine. There was no sex at all!! Hence Yoon Seungho had no erection… however, they attempted to turn this into a sex orgy (chapter 54), but fortunately they failed. Thus when I look again at this sex orgy (chapter 8), I can only view this as quite harmless: this party reflected the main lead’s purity. He is definitely no hell-raiser!! The real one is Black Heart, but father Lee has not realized it yet, for he believes in reputation and rumors. Since Min was able to keep his name intact, the lord Lee trusted in the noble’s integrity. He never discovered that his son was under the influence of a vicious and perverted man. I would say now, Jihwa is supporting a murderer. (chapter 83)

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 for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

Painter Of The Night: Truth and memories (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/

Many readers are able to recognize the similarities between chapter 40 and 75, because both episodes contain the following elements:

  • The prank: (chapter 40) (chapter 75: repetition from chapter 74)
  • The presence of the bulletin board (chapter 40) versus (chapter 75)
  • The honest conversation between the protagonists, where Yoon Seungho is encouraging his lover to introspect himself (chapter 40) versus (chapter 75)
  • The color of the sky (chapter 40) versus (chapter 75)
  • The presence of memories: (chapter 40) versus (chapter 75)

Yet despite all the parallels, if I had to give a title to chapter 75, I would select “Memories” and not “Responsibility”, although the latter is still present in episode 75. Why? It is, because the painter talks about his past and youth and as such, he is forced to bring up memories. (Chapter 75) And this made me realize two things: Baek Na-Kyum embodies memories, hence we got many flashbacks from the painter (chapter 2, 11, 23, 34, 38, 40, 41, 46, 56, 57, 60, 66, 74, 75), whereas Yoon Seungho embodies truth. Note that unlike the artist, Byeonduck showed us only a few memories from the aristocrat (chapter 19, 25, 48, 55, 74 with the nightmare). Moreover, the latter is always confronting the painter with his questions and observations. The noble wants him to be true to himself and question his own motivation. (Chapter 75) And this observation made realize another aspect about Yoon Seungho, because unlike chapter 40, the aristocrat stands in the center of episode 75: the significance of memories in the lord’s life.

1. Memories and identity

In order to understand why I came to this conclusion, it is relevant to examine the memories in chapter 40 due to the parallelism. There, the painter recalled the questions and comments from Yoon Seungho, which incited the commoner to ask his teacher about his future. Once the scholar had succeeded, would he become responsible for the painter, like he had implied? And observe that during the confrontation, the artist used a statement from the past: (chapter 29) Thanks to the memories, the low-born had gathered courage and faced his teacher. However, this discussion led to a tragedy. Baek Na-Kyum got hurt, because his learned sir chose to destroy him in the worst possible way. With his words, he showed his true thoughts (chapter 40) and in order to reinforce his statement, he made sure that Baek Na-Kyum would perceive his real gaze: cold and ruthless. (chapter 41) But more striking is that the scholar used memories (the kisaeng house) to define the painter’s identity: he was born to be a prostitute despite his “lessons”. He puts the whole responsibility and blame on the commoner. As a conclusion, the memories served in the conflict to identify Baek Na-Kyum. Who was he really to the scholar? Was he his helping hand, like the low-born claimed, or was he just a “prostitute” according to the scholar?

2. Memory loss and identity

This connection between memory and identity in the manhwa is not random, because according to John Locke’s “memory theory”, a person’s identity only reaches as far as their memory extends into the past. In other words, memory is a necessary condition of personal identity. Thus, as a person’s memory begins to disappear, so does his identity. Therefore, we could say that without memory, there’s no identity. On the other hand, in my previous analysis, I had demonstrated that the lord’s unconscious was trying to force his conscious to remember his past, because he had repressed his traumatic past. This meant that he was suffering from memory loss. Hence we could say, that he lost his own identity. This is not surprising that childhood trauma and memory loss go hand-in-hand. Blocking out memories can be a way of coping with the trauma. It goes even so far that an adult survivor of childhood trauma can even believe that he was never a victim of childhood trauma. Consequently, in case of a permanent memory loss, it signifies that the victim even loses his own identity. Since my theory has been confirmed that the lord was a painter in his youth, chapter 75 actually exposed the memory loss in two different ways:

  1. First, the lord couldn’t even remember painting an orchid (Chapter 75), an indication that his short-term memory was defective due to his lack of sleep.
  2. However, the master’s hand could still paint a orchid without paying too much attention to his hand. It exposes that it was actually an automatic gesture, revealing that he had internalized such a gesture in the long-term memory. And note that when he did this, he mentioned his youth (chapter 36) Therefore I come to the conclusion that Yoon Seungho’s short-term memory is not working properly. Imagine, he could remember one incident from his childhood, but he couldn’t remember painting the orchid. Hence I believe that the lord can’t even reminisce the drawings in chapter 8 and 23 . Only thanks to Baek Na-Kyum’s mention, he was able to recall the drawing. Thus the manhwalovers can comprehend why I consider the artist as a synonym for memories.

3. Trauma and memories

But in the manhwa, there’s more than just memory loss due to a coping mechanism. Traumatic events such as sexual assaults, are encoded differently than more routine due to extreme fear. The victim won’t be able to remember everything, just details, the chronology will be mixed up due to existential fear, that’s why if you recall the following panel, you’ll truly grasp the real atrocity of Yoon Seungho’s suffering. (Chapter 65) While he can’t remember what truly happened due to his poor emotional and physical state, Kim somehow blames him. The young master is so confused that he has to defend himself. This means that after the first rape, the domestic didn’t even comfort the protagonist, but he used the victim’s vulnerable state of mind (who was confused due to this terrific incident) to manipulate the noble’s memory.

That’s why when police investigate a sexual abuse and interview a victim, the latter will always be interrogated twice. The first interview focuses more on the sensory and emotional memories, while during the second, the officers will try to reconstruct the chronology. This explicates why they always wait for quite some time for the second statement. It is necessary, as the memories are now stored and they can be retrieved, although due to fear and stress, the incident can never be properly reconstructed. As you can imagine, Yoon Seungho was not in the capacity to testify about the sexual assault. This terrible event affected his memory so much that he was not given the opportunity to denunciate the crime. He was made speechless in the end due to the insinuation and as such manipulation. I bet, he couldn’t even describe what had truly happened to him. That’s why he repressed the first rape.

4. Amnesia and manipulation

But now imagine this. You are exposed to physical and sexual abuse for more than a decade, this means that your memory will be definitely affected. You are living constantly in fear and stress, two important factors, which can trigger memory loss. [read more here: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-causes-memory-loss-4123636] Like I explained briefly above, terrific events are never encoded normally. This signifies in our case, that the lord’s faculties to memorize were definitely affected due to the constant exposure, which can make him more vulnerable to false memories. Studies show that individuals with PTSD, a history of trauma, or depression are at risk for producing false memories, when they are exposed to information that is related to their knowledge base. This also signifies that they are more receptive for manipulations. Therefore I come to the next deduction that in chapter 68, Kim was definitely attempting to distort the past and create false memories. (Chapter 68) He mixed facts with lies in order to confuse his master’s judgement and memory. That’s the reason why it is important now to recall my initial statement: without any memory, there’s no identity. This signifies that in chapter 68, when Kim tried to give him memories, he desired to give him a certain identity: he was similar to his father. The latter would punish or imprison the boy and not release him. Giving a false reflection and identity is something Kim had never done before in front of his master, as he knew that his master feared his own image. However, he never imagined that Yoon Seungho would react differently. Instead of pushing away the painter, he let the artist choose his fate.

5. Making memories and forgiveness

However, in order to comprehend the topic memory, it is relevant to know how memory functions. The latter is divided in 3 parts: encoding, storage and retrieval. And in order to encode information, you have to utilize your senses. There are 3 types of encoding: semantic (words), visual and acoustic (sound). The manwhaphiles should recall that according to my interpretation, Yoon Seungho had been deprived of all his senses, therefore he lived like a ghost. And this signifies that he couldn’t make any memory at all. And with no memory, you have no identity and as such no life. That’s why when he cut ties with Jihwa the first time, he never mentioned the word “memories”, but time spent together: (Chapter 18) In my opinion, this shows that Yoon Seungho had no true memory in reality. He knew that they had sex together, but that was it. It was more like “the night is long and I need to kill time so that dawn can come faster.” Note that he never mentions their childhood together. With this interpretation, it becomes comprehensible that the main lead could act, as if nothing had happened between Jihwa and himself after the topknot incident. From my point of view, he had literally forgotten the incident, yet for Jihwa, it meant that he had been forgiven. (Chapter 59) And this explicates why Yoon Seungho barges in the mansion in chapter 67: he makes it clear that he won’t forget what happened. (Chapter 67) The real forgiveness occurred in chapter 59: Despite the caused pain, Yoon Seungho was willing to overlook the terrible action (chapter 59), but he made it clear that he would never reciprocate the feelings. This was real forgiveness from my perspective, whereas in the past, Yoon Seungho couldn’t remember anything. Jihwa had the terrible habit to use the past in order to torment his childhood friend, which always triggered buried emotions connected to memories, which the noble couldn’t control. From my point of view, the lord only had flashbulb memories which the readers could discover in chapter 55: (chapter 55)

“A flashbulb memory is an accurate and exceptionally vivid long-lasting memory for the circumstances surrounding learning about a dramatic event. Flashbulb Memories are memories that are affected by our emotional state.” quoted from https://www.simplypsychology.org/flashbulb-memory.html

These memories connected to emotions were the remains of his deeply repressed memories. The lord could only remember the feelings he had felt during his traumatic past. To sum up, the lord had no real recollection of his past, and the few things he knew where manipulations and lies explained by his butler. Therefore you can comprehend why Kim got scared, when he heard that lord Song asked for a meeting. The latter could definitely reveal new information and let the protagonist realize that he was truly suffering from memory loss.

6. Recovery from amnesia: memories

However, due to the exposure to arts, his eyes got healed, hence he could sense positive emotions and as such create good memories (visual encoding). From my point of view, when Baek Na-Kyum entered his life, the noble had started developing good memories, because so far, all he had were traumatic memories. However, Yoon Seungho’s capacities to memorize were under-developed due to the lack of practice. This explicates why he shows no interest to discover why the commoner stopped painting. This was not meaningful to him, and the readers should know that people will only memorize significant information. The emergence of his memory is visible in chapter 1. We see him speaking about his nightly activities so positively, but observe that he is only talking about recent and meaningful memories. (Chapter 1) Striking is that when Baek Na-Kyum confronts him with his poor image (“man consumed by lust”) (chapter 4), the lord is bothered. He is forced to ponder why he is described like that, hence he has to recall events from the past. Nonetheless if you pay attention, you’ll notice that the more time passes on, the more memories the lord has. They are strongly intertwined with the paintings. The latter helped him to reminisce the sex sessions and his past. He can’t forget how the painter masturbated behind the door. He is even getting more and more good memories. (chapter 18) Then in chapter 19, he reminisces the painter’s facial expressions which puts him in a good mood. (Chapter 19) This explicates why Yoon Seungho was so moved by the painter’s confession during their Wedding night. For the first time, he experienced warmth and love, he even heard a love confession. This could only be stored as a wonderful memory. At the same time, he hoped, the artist would create a picture of this night in order to ensure that this memory was real. Moreover, note that in chapter 58, he externalized how much this night meant to him. (Chapter 58)

Yet, the manhwaphiles can detect that in his confession, the memory is not entirely described as positive: “haunt”. This explicates why I consider the Wedding night as a turning point in Yoon Seungho’s life. This memory is a combination of positive and negative elements. The lord wished to relive this, but he was not satisfied, because he knew that he had impersonated the scholar. Moreover, the manhwaphiles should reminisce that after this night, the lord will do terrible things to the artist and as such, he gets now terrible memories. That’s the reason why in my opinion, Byeonduck chose to expose the rape as a flashback from the master’s perspective. Because of his bad actions, Yoon Seungho feels huge pangs of conscience and can’t act like nothing happened. He is now forced to remember. However, in my eyes it is different from the past. Before, he was just a ghost, hence he was incapable to get memories, with Baek Na-Kyum’s help, he can get memories which will help him to face his own traumatic past.

7. Memories and learning

There’s one aspect, strongly connected to memory, which I didn’t mention so far: learning.

” Learning and memory operate together in order increase our ability for navigating the environment and survival. Learning refers to a change in behavior that results from acquiring knowledge about the world and memory is the process by which that knowledge is encoded, stored, and later retrieved.” quoted from https://opentext.wsu.edu/psych105/chapter/8-2-how-memory-functions/

As you can see, in order to change, the lord needs memories. Through positive and negative experiences, the noble can gain knowledge leading to a change of attitude which the readers could observe. Gradually, the noble learnt from his mistakes and good memories. Therefore, this is no coincidence that when in chapter 75, Baek Na-Kyum talks about his past and memories, he criticizes his master: (Chapter 75) He gives him the impression that he will never change, the lord wouldn’t even remember him after his death. Now, you grasp why he reproaches Yoon Seungho his fickle nature, he is indirectly referring to the lord’s memories. His feelings will fade away just like memories. He will forget him. What the painter doesn’t realize is the following: this date is actually an important moment in Yoon Seungho’s life. For the first time, he gets to discover the painter’s memories and past, which now the noble can store as his own. He will never forget this day, especially when he heard that the painter would cry because of him (a new version of chapter 21: (chapter 21) , but here out of concern. In other words, Baek Na-Kyum would like to be remembered. Hence he complains that the lord didn’t call for him. And this can only make the lord happy, because he can detect through the painter’s words that the latter is longing for his presence and care. From my perspective, Yoon Seungho has finally grasped why the artist is not truly honest with him. Therefore he can only tease his lover pushing him to make the first step. Let’s not forget that right now, the master is now treating his lover as his new lord. So the latter has to call for him. (Chapter 75) Here, the protagonist clearly displays that he has never forgotten his companion. Their date is so important for two reasons. It allows the noble to gather more information about the commoner, and get a really good memory before the next tragedy.

From my point of view, it will help him to face his own traumatic past. Let’s not forget that a rape is planned, so if the noble was to discover this, he would be definitely reminded of his own past. Simultaneously he would be able to help his lover to recover from the traumatic incident. We shouldn’t forget that during the kidnapping, the lord’s smile was the reason why Baek Na-Kyum didn’t lose his sanity (Chapter 60) and could cope with the kidnapping much better. Note that he has no nightmare afterwards. And this detail is important, because we have to envision that while Yoon Seungho was exposed to physical and sexual abuse for a decade, he had no good memory at all in order to remain sane. Moreover, he never felt loved. Consequently, he couldn’t even think of anyone in a positive way. That’s why he was so damaged in the end. (Chapter 57)

8. The impact of Yoon Seungho’s traumas on his mind and attitude

And this leads me to the next observation: Due to his childhood trauma, the lord’s memory was affected and didn’t work properly, as for a long time, his memory was not encouraged to encode events. On the other hand, because of Baek Na-Kyum, Yoon Seungho was forced more and more to face his traumatic past, therefore his fears and abandonment issues came to the surface. This explicates why he couldn’t pay attention to details and never questioned the circumstances of the first abduction. Note that during the night at the physician’s, he still doesn’t trust his own senses. (Chapter 58) This signifies that he is unsure if what he is experiencing is real or not. From my point of view, the memory loss and his life as ghost affected his brain and the way to encode and store information. Hence he has no real recollection of the incident with Deok-Jae (chapter 30 and 53). That’s why he is not asking for his whereabouts. However, I believe to see a turning point in chapter 75. By giving the lord the opportunity to have a real date, where he could hear and see that Baek Na-Kyum was definitely affected by him, the noble will react differently compared to the first abduction and after the painter’s first flashback. He will not lose his mind blinded by his emotions and insecurities, he knows that the artist chose him. And he won’t blame himself like for the first flashback. Remember that in chapter 66, he never called the physician. Why? Because deep down, he knew that he was responsible for the panic attack. (Chapter 66) That’s why he remained by his side, until the artist had recovered. Thus the manhwalovers should envision this: After meeting Nameless, Baek-Na-Kyum will get a panic attack. (Chapter 75)

This is what I wrote in the first version:

“However, this time, the noble will wonder how this could happen. They had a nice conversation, where they exchanged thoughts. He is not responsible and it can’t be the alcohol. Moreover, he will recall his lover’s words: He won’t focus on his own emotions, but will try to calm down the artist and investigate why the painter reacted like that.” It is definitely possible that he brings back the painter to the mansion and decides to visit the physician in order to ask for an advice. From my point of view, thanks to the new memories, the noble is learning more about his surroundings and gaining more experience.”

However, the reality was that Yoon Seungho thought that the painter’s panic attack had just been triggered by the entertainers. (Chapter 76) He didn’t take his words seriously, for he believed that he had discovered the truth. Therefore the lord never investigated the circumstances of the kidnapping. Since he thought, he knew the truth, he had no reason to question this. Why did the Joker scare the painter so much? Thus the lord didn’t take the memories from the painter seriously. How could he, since he had been already informed? However, the revelation from Min had diverted Yoon Seungho’s attention from the real problem: the involvement of the helping hands (Kim, Deok-Jae, No-Name) and of the mastermind behind this.

9. Baek Na-Kyum’s memories and truth

What caught my attention is that Baek Na-Kyum is also hurt, though he has memories from his past. What he confessed to his lover represented a bad memory, and this made him feel guilty. Striking is that he believes, he knows the truth, as he can reminisce his past. Yet, he is making a huge mistake: memories are by no means facts, they are biased and even tainted. The artist took the scholar’s words as face-value. He never questioned his words, therefore he blamed himself for Jung In-Hun’s failure. Here, I would like the manhwaphiles to notice the parallels between Jihwa and the artist: both feel responsible for a tragedy, while in reality it was not the case. Both were victims of manipulations and lies.

My theory is that the learned sir imagined that he had finally the possibility to get a high position. Yet the officials thought, the teacher was the author of the erotic pictures. Remember that in the Alternative Universe, the protagonist used Jung Na-Min as his artist name. In other words, the low noble was offered a position as painter, but he couldn’t work for the officials, as he was not the author. Hence he blamed Baek Na-Kyum for not securing a post. It was, as if he had stolen it from him. I think, Jung In-Hun published poetry, but couldn’t get recognition. Therefore he used the incident (discovery of the erotic pictures) in order to punish him and force him to give up on painting. He couldn’t allow that a commoner was more successful than him. But now, we have to wonder why Baek Na-Kyum talked about his past. From my point of view, an important detail played a huge role at the inn: (Chapter 74) Observe that the woman has a similar hair dress than his noona. That’s why I believe that when he saw her, he must have been reminded of her. Note that when he speaks about the leftovers, he describes leaving food as a sin, but strangely, in chapter 40/41, he had the opposite attitude. (Chapter 41) He didn’t eat all the sweets or even skipped meals. (Chapter 41) In other words, he didn’t eat everything and committed a sin. This indicates a certain hypocrisy, simultaneously Baek Na-Kyum’s lack of critical thinking, when it comes to his noona. Moreover, he says the opposite of what he thinks. In chapter 74, he claims that the lord has changed(chapter 74), in episode 75, he claims that he has not improved his behavior. The painter’s memories clearly reveal Heena’s strong influence, which explains why he doesn’t make the first step in the end. He would like the lord to become responsible for him. But Yoon Seungho would like the opposite, because that way, the low-born can never claim that he was forced or pressured by him. In my eyes, Baek Na-Kyum still fears to be perceived as a man consumed by lust, if he makes the first move.

That’s why I believe that Yoon Seungho embodies the truth, while Baek Na-Kyum represents the past and memories. The commoner’s past will become the trigger for Yoon Seungho to decide to discover the truth about his own past and as such regain his own identity: he was a talented painter with a promising future. Since the low-born’s past with the kisaeng and the scholar are more recent, it is much easier for Yoon Seungho to unveil the lies concerning Baek Na-Kyum’s past in the kisaeng house. At the same time, thanks to the physician, Baek Na-Kyum is gathering information about his lover’s past (chapter 57), which will assist him to regain his lost memories.

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 for the support, particularly, I would like to thank all the new followers and people recommending my blog.

Painter Of The Night: A Fool 🤡 in love 😍❤️‍🔥 (third 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/

Announcement: I updated the essay “Painting and desires – part 3”

Like I already pointed out in the essay “Animals of misfortune”, chapter 74 is a new version of chapter 40, for there are similarities in the topics (responsibility and jealousy) and the situation. The main leads are on a date again. However, I didn’t examine a particular scene in details: the walk on the street. Hence this will be in the center of this analysis and by contrasting the two scenes, the manhwaphiles will discover the protagonists’ state of mind reflecting the evolution of their relationship.

After leaving the physician’s, the lord is strolling in front of the painter (chapter 74), exactly like in the past. (Chapter 40) On the surface, it looks like a repetition. Yet, the first contrast are the steps. While in chapter 40, lord walks away and the painter remains immobile first, in chapter 74 the young man is following the lord step by step. This illustrates the progression of their relationship. Yoon Seungho is like his guide and the commoner just follows him, full of trust.

Moreover, in the two scenes, we have a prank (chapter 40) (chapter 74). However, the trigger for the joke is diverse. In chapter 40, he got jealous, while in chapter 74 he was curios. And this comparison between the two pranks led me to realize that the red dot on the forehead had another signification. In my first interpretation about the chapter 40, I exposed that the red dot on the forehead was the symbol of marriage, the bride would wear such a sign. However, if you recall that Yoon Seungho described the painter as a fool , the red dot is also a reference to the Third eye, the chakra. In other words, when the lord put the red point, he hoped that the painter would experience an awakening. By meditating, he would introspect himself and get new insight. That way, he would no longer be foolish. And exactly like the main lead wished, it truly happened. Through the lord’s critical thinking triggered by rhetorical questions , Baek Na-Kyum realized that he was indeed hoping for more, although he claimed the opposite during the conversation. (Chapter 40) That’s why after pondering, the artist visited his teacher and expressed his wish for the first time that he would like Jung In-Hun to become responsible for him, like the former had promised. As you can see, the red dot and the questions did cause an Awakening. But it was a brutal waking up, as the painter discovered how the learned sir truly viewed him: a prostitute and nothing more.

But why did the lord play this prank, not recognizing that his gesture was totally ambiguous? According to him, he was just hoping that the painter would meditate, while in his unconscious, he was already claiming the artist as his “wife”. The reason for this prank was that he got jealous and annoyed, when he saw the artist smiling by simply thinking that the scholar would pass the exam soon. Imagine, the commoner was walking right behind him, yet Baek Na-Kyum was not mentally and emotionally present. His thoughts were directed at the scholar. This is not surprising that Yoon Seungho resented his lover. In the aristocrat’s mind, this signified that the painter was not even enjoying his time with him. He preferred thinking about the learned sir than talking or looking at his lover. In other words, he was standing behind the lord absentminded. And the lord sensed it, hence he looked behind. How did he notice it? It is because the artist didn’t keep asking about the date. There was a silence after the question. And when he saw the blushing accompanied with a huge genuine smile, Yoon Seungho was hurt that he couldn’t help criticizing his lover. Note that with such a comment, the noble is not interested in initiating a conversation, he already knows what the low-born is thinking. And if you contrast this to the scene in episode 74, you’ll detect a huge difference. Although the artist is absentminded as well, he is already meditating about his lover and his relationship. The lord’s back (chapter 74) is the trigger for him to ponder. And this shows the noble’s increasing influence on Baek Na-Kyum. Meditating is definitely the lord’s favorite occupation so far. In addition, this shows how much the aristocrat means to him. All his thoughts are now directed at Yoon Seungho. Therefore we have to imagine this. While Baek Na-Kyum is walking, the lord notices that he is just walking lost in his thoughts. Hence he throws him the hat as a joke. On the one side, he definitely wants him to be present mentally and emotionally, like in the past. On the other hand, note that unlike in the past, there’s no reproach, in truth he desires to discover what the artist is thinking. This is one of the biggest wishes Yoon Seungho has ever had: (chapter 49) The lord always felt the need to share what was in their mind. Now, I can truly grasp why it’s a dream for Yoon Seungho. Remember when I described how the lord lived for so many years in the darkness. He only knew that he existed through his mind and thoughts. But during this whole time, he could never communicate his thoughts to anyone, he felt terribly lonely. This explicates why he had such a huge desire to communicate with the painter. He felt closeness in their soul, which he could detect in the art. As you can see, although the noble detected that his lover was lost in his thoughts, he no longer reprimands him. In fact, he voices curiosity. Moreover, he is no longer claiming that Baek Na-Kyum is transparent contrary to chapter 40. There’s a reason for that. The artist has changed so much as well. He is indeed applying his lover’s philosophy: introspection and meditation. And this leads me to the next observation. There is a huge difference between these two scenes: the chronology.

Chapter 40Chapter 74
criticism no reproach
Prank Introspection
Questions: why? Prank
Introspection Open question

This meditation at the beginning displays the artist’s maturity. However, if you pay attention to Baek Na-Kyum’s thoughts, you’ll notice that he is not meditating about himself, but about his lover. (Chapter 74) He recalls all his actions, and he notes the lord’s selflessness and humbleness. And this truly exposes that now the roles have been switched. The so-called foolish one is Yoon Seungho, but the latter has long forgotten his own words. On the other hand, Baek Na-Kyum is the one wishing more, he is definitely not content with a kiss from time to time, while Yoon Seungho is thinking like the artist in the past: (chapter 74) versus (chapter 40). What caught my attention is the significance of hope. Yoon Seungho is definitely no longer hoping for a love confession, which makes me think that in chapter 58, he wasn’t entirely honest. He still had that dream, this explicates why he mentioned Jihwa. He envisioned that the artist would get jealous. But the artist remained silent. Then he confessed twice (“I adore you” and ) in order to push the protagonist to reply to his confession. He definitely dreamed that if he confessed, the painter would feel pressured to return the affection. That’s why the painter was trapped under the noble and the latter was grabbing the painter’s hand. (Chapter 58) His gestures illustrated the pressure made on the artist. But the master never got a reply. Thus it elucidates why the noble got infuriated after the painter’s disappearance. He might have admitted his defeat, nevertheless he hoped for a confession, as a new form of allegiance. That way, Baek Na-Kyum was obliged by his words. However, in chapter 74, the only desire the noble has is to exchange their thoughts. He has truly given up on his dream. When in chapter 49 the master voiced this wish for the first time, he was lowering his expectations. That’s why I believe that this indicates that Yoon Seungho is no longer hoping for more. He is so in love, and the past Yoon Seungho would call him: a fool!

However, there’s a huge difference between episode 40 and 74. Contrary to the actual Baek Na-Kyum, Yoon Seungho was acting under the influence of his unconscious and he wasn’t aware of this. That’s why he never realized the signification of the gesture with the red dot. He had no idea that he was already in love and he was longing for the painter’s confession. On the other hand, the painter is already aware that he has developed some feelings for Yoon Seungho. He even admitted to his noona that he would think a lot about the noble (chapter 68), which is a similar attitude to the past Yoon Seungho. The latter was confusing the heart with the mind, however the low-born has been just afraid of admitting his affection.

Striking is that in his reflection, Baek Na-Kyum senses that he’s hoping for more. (Chapter 74) The repetition of “nothing more” is an evidence for the painter’s longing for more. There’s no doubt that his wish is physical intimacy, because for the artist sex is a synonym for love. Consequently, he stands up during the night in order to look at the lord’s bedchamber from far away or he is awake, (chapter 74) when the noble visits his study. All this exposes that he is longing for the lord’s warmth. A simple kiss is enough to make the painter blush, but not enough to satisfy his “thirst” for affection.

When the lord plays the prank with the hat, Baek Na-Kyum’s attention returns to his lord standing in front of him. When he sees the noble smiling and showing curiosity, he is definitely moved. From my point of view, he is slowly realizing his true affection for Yoon Seungho. That’s why his eyes are bigger than before, like in this panel. (Chapter 74) He is literally glowing. He is enjoying this moment with the noble, hence he stares at him so intensively. And this represents the biggest contrast to the chapter 40. Back then he didn’t truly enjoy the walk with the master. He was either embarrassed or thinking about the scholar. At the end, he was even called “a fool”.

From my perspective, this scene (chapter 74) marks a turning point in the painter’s love life. He is on the verge of accepting his feelings, for the noble. That’s why we have the color of the rainbows, a sign for hope. He has made up his mind for three reasons. First, he has just admitted that the lord has changed. This signifies that he recognizes that Yoon Seungho is trustworthy. Secondly, he views the noble’s huge and genuine smile. I believe that this was one of the triggers for Baek Na-Kyum to face his love. Let’s not forget that in the past, the commoner was definitely affected by the scholar’s smile. (Chapter 7) Secondly, as the lord is the mirror of the artist and the former once expressed the wish to see the painter’s smile (chapter 63), I deduce that Baek Na-Kyum has a similar mentality. As long as he can make someone happy, he is really touched and thankful. The manhwaphiles should reminisce that the painter has always felt as a burden and had abandonment issues. But there’s another important reason for Baek Na-Kyum to be so affected by Yoon Seungho. For the first time, someone is wishing to know his thoughts. (Chapter 74) Imagine, in the past the scholar reprimanded him (chapter 10) or silenced him with a caress. Heena noona had a similar atttitude, she never asked for his opinion, when she sent him away. (Chapter 46) The painter is realizing that the only one who is treating with great respect is the noble. First, the lord eats his meals with the artist in his room, giving the impression that Baek Na-Kyum is the host and the lord his guest. Secondly, the lord allows him to speak freely. Thus the painter is so moved to the point that he is about to recognize his affection for Yoon Seungho. But then he remembers Heena’s words: (chapter 74) he would be a fool, if he followed his instinct and heart. This leads me to the conclusion that Baek Na-Kyum restrains himself in the last moment and doesn’t reveal his true thoughts. When he recalls his sister’s warning, I interpret that he is refusing to have a leap of faith. However, he is not recognizing that he has already changed. He might deny his attachment to the master, yet the tailor is not blind: (chapter 74) Baek Na-Kyum’s behavior is acting like a man in love. This change of behavior is the sign of his slow transformation, but he doesn’t realize it. This explicates why he doesn’t pay attention to his surroundings and shows no embarrassment. He no longer cares for reputation or appearances. What truly matters for him is Yoon Seungho, the foolish one who is not asking for more. Besides, since the chapter 40 was about responsibility, it implies that Baek Na-Kyum is not willing to become responsible for Yoon Seungho, still too afraid of getting hurt. He has been a fool in love in the past with Jung In-Hun, he fears to re-experience it.

Another divergence is that this time, the lord is declaring the commoner as his wife consciously, that’s why he chose such a headgear, which is reserved for women. Contrary to the past, this significant gesture is noticed by the tailor, that’s why we see him whispering. (Chapter 74) There’s no ambiguity that he will mention it to the other shop owners, creating some new gossips. However, I don’t think, town folks will condemn the lord, because he has definitely changed. After the disappearance, there was no scandal any longer and the aristocrat didn’t organize any sex party. He had settled down for good. Consequently if the artist disappears for a second time, I doubt that the tailor will believe in his escape. He saw how they flirted in front of his shop.

However, as you can imagine, I believe that “their blossoming romance” can be interrupted. We have Min monitoring their moves and after watching them from afar, his envy and jealousy will reach a new peak. In this scene, he was sensing that his chances to get Baek Na-Kyum were diminishing. He could definitely sense that the relationship between the protagonists had changed. Baek Na-Kyum was not keeping his distance from Yoon Seungho. He even accepted the hat without protesting, while in the past he rejected the lord and remained distant to him. (Chapter 54) And in the first version, it came to my mind that we could have a new version of this scene due to the Joker’s arm and hand. In chapter 52, the lord was protecting the painter with his arm and hand, which became true in chapter 76. The lord’s hug gave Baek Na-Kyum a certain comfort and safety. The existential fear could slowly disappear.

Due to the last terrible experience, the noble is slowly realizing that he needs to pay better attention to his surroundings and enemies. As a fool in love, he must recognize that he is behaving the same way than Baek Na-Kyum in chapter 40: (chapter 40) After the fake abduction, he had not investigated the matter, though the painter had mentioned one detail: (Chapter 76) For him, the incident had been resolved, but he never imagined that in reality, he had not solved the problem at all. The real mastermind was Min. Hence after the last tragedy, he is tasked to investigate the circumstances which led to the bloodbath in the shaman‘s house. (Chapter 102) He knows the perpetrator, he is himself the murderer, but what he doesn’t know is how it came to this. The painter’s question is actually inciting the main lead to investigate the matter, and as such to discover the helping hands. Lee Jihwa blamed Min, and the latter reproached the red-haired master. But the Joker asked him this: (chapter 102) How come that Black Heart had the learned sir’s glasses? He has now to prove his reliability and trustworthiness towards his partner. He should become more proactive, if he wants to protect his loved one better. My final conclusion is that in chapter 74, we don’t have one fool in love, but two! The painter has unfortunately forgotten Min’s confession in chapter 52. If he hadn’t thought too much about Yoon Seungho due to the separation and been surprised by Min, he would have realized that his life was in danger. Both protagonists are so in love that they don’t realize that their special relationship represents a threat to others, especially to people who stand for social norms and traditions. Simultaneously, their scandalous relationship is a source of envy for others, as Baek Na-Kyum and Yoon Seungho were able to break free from the shackles of social customs and hierarchical society. The couple becomes a symbol of liberty and true love … no wonder why The Joker is so envious. Because both were two fools in love, they couldn’t detect the enemies around them and the existence of the plot. On the other hand, the last tragedy brought back the two lovers to reality. They needed to pay more attention to their surroundings.

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