The Park Brothers

The three Park brothers seem to represent the id (Ki Hoon), the ego (Dong Hoon) and the superego (Sang Hoon) – every aspect of which is always present in an individual.  


About the brothers, I wasn’t sure what to make of them in the context of the story. Initially, they just seemed like comic relief or background characters for Dong Hoon. Yet as the story went along, I began to see the reason why they were there. To me, they represent those emotions in Dong Hoon that he himself can never express. They are the different aspects of his personality that are long buried inside him. Someone over at tumblr put it beautifully in that the three Park brothers represent the id (Ki Hoon), the ego (Dong Hoon) and the superego (Sang Hoon), every aspect of which is always present in an individual.

From the beginning, they already knew the dangers of Lee Ji An for Dong Hoon. At the onset, despite the jokes and the teasing, they already sensed that there was something different between their brother and this young woman. Perhaps they sensed a different energy, a certain vibe. Perhaps they saw that Dong Hoon seemed much more alive around her. Much more involved. It’s unlike him. Dong Hoon once told them maybe the reason his will was strong was because he had never been tempted. Maybe as men, they could tell that this temptation has come in the form of Ji An, because temptations often manifest as something that compels the person being tempted to fall into it against all odds.

Dong Hoon himself never saw the great temptation to him of Lee Ji An because he was being very rational about it. She was just a “pitiful person”, someone he felt like he needed to help. She was his employee and he felt like as her employer, he has a certain responsibility in ensure her well-being. And anyway, it was just being humane.

It was only during their conversations that Dong Hoon (the ego) was able to understand his true feelings because his id and his superego manifested their perspectives through his brothers.

(Note: “The id, ego, and super-ego are three distinct, yet interacting agents in the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freud’s structural model of the psyche.”

“According to this Freudian model of the psyche, the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends; the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role; and the ego is the organized, realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego.”



Actually, the motif of a triumvirate representing the three sides of a human psyche is really common – the superego and the id fighting with each other, and the ego as the middle person must resolve this conflict and decide the path forward. If you watch Star Trek (The Original Series) you’ll know what I’m talking about.


This triple manifestation is seen most clearly when the the brothers come face to face with Yoon Hee’s betrayal.  Upon discovery of the affair, Sang Hoon and Ki Hoon react as if they were the ones personally offended.  Ki Hoon takes it one step further and gets ready to confront the man who has inflicted pain to his manly ego.  Sang Hoon, on the other hand, takes it upon himself to apologize to Yoon Hee for having come up so short in so many ways.

As they say, a picture (gif) is worth a thousand words:


15 thoughts on “The Park Brothers”

  1. Park Brothers misc scenes:

    PSH’s failed career and his very bad financial situation highlight what kind of damages DJY and KYH trying to do to PDH. (That tells you something about KYH, who has witnessed the whole mess/ruin of PSH.)

    PSH thinks nobody knows the money he’s hiding. (PDH thinks nobody knows the feeling he’s hiding.)… yet, everybody knows.
    PSH sees the yellow light and knows it’s red light ahead, but simply can’t stop the car. (PDH the same. Can’t stop…)

    PSH kneels down… pls note Park mom’s tearful/sad smiles to him and the way she walks away. (After PDH’s promotion celebration at JH’s, Park mom gives PDH the same tearful/sad smile hugging him, and walks away very much the same way.) *

    PSH’s family event (his daughter’s wedding): PDH helps out financially. (PDH’s [“wedding oh no”] grandma’s funeral… PSH helps out by organising it and paying the bills.)

    PKH, quoting Notting Hill, lets YR go, for her future. PDH lets LJA go, for her full rebirth ie starting a new life in Busan.

    PKH always lashes out his emotions through his anger. The only time he drops a tear is for PDH, because of KYH’s affair.**

    * For years mom feels PDH’s sadness but misreads that a more successful career would fix it (especially his unhappy marriage). Yet, she finally realises PDH still sad in spite of his promotion. And PDH returns an equally sorrowful look when she hugs. But how can she tell what went wrong?
    ** a very subtle tear. (the Park brothers drinking and not knowing what to do with KYH’s affair) then PDH grabs PKH’s collar saying he will go elsewhere to cry, he finds PKH dropping a tear. (PKH has been friendly to KYH. They give high-fives. He always defends her when mom says anything negative. But…)

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    1. How PKH and PSH reacts to the PDH/LJA relationship:

      PKH wants to avoid the PDH/LJA relationship to be deemed as an affair.
      He has his measures about PDH is “allowed to do that much”, and has reservations whenever PDH seems too close to LJA. Details include:
      -his poker face, when PDH singing the love song and everybody else cheering (btw JH’s knowing look)
      -he’s annoyed, when PDH walks in JH’s bar only staring at LJA (the two staring into the eyes of each other for a few seconds)
      -“you shouldn’t say ‘see you again’, when you know crossing the line” (telling the half drunk Lee Jae Chul, but more like a message to PDH/LJA who are just right next to them);
      -furrowing his brows, while PDH (in front of many people) brings up to PSH that he would repay PSH the funeral bills;
      -stopping PDH from sitting/ chatting with LJA (grabbing PDH to join the (funeral) football game, although they already have enough players)
      -telling PDH to wear sunglasses (when he staring at LJA)

      In contrast, PSH doesn’t seem to care. He:
      -hugs PDH who’s very down because LJA has left (director celebration)
      -says “see you again” to LJA (vs what PKH has just said to Jae Chul)
      -proactively takes care of the funeral very much like it’s a Park family event.
      -arranges all the wreath on behalf of everyone, apparently except PDH (hosts don’t send wreath?). PSH doesn’t care what the Hoogye gang would think about PDH, who acts like a host/family member throughout the entire funeral. (btw I also wonder what the big mouth Deputy Jung would say when she’s back to SamAn office).
      -One exception: when PDH brings up to Omma someone pities him, PSH immediately steps in and diverts the conversation. (But it’s before the funeral.)


      1. Correction: looks like there’s a wreath right at the entrance under the name of SamAn E&C PDH. (My English subtitles only highlight PSH and PKH and a few others.)

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