Kindness itself can be radical

Some might say that Dong Hoon’s integrity and kindness is a sign of weakness, but @chickfactor thinks that that’s precisely what sets him apart

My first thesis is about Dong-Hoon’s character. He’s been perceived, especially in the beginning, as a conformist. As someone who just doesn’t step out of line, who is a slave to society’s rules. However, I never thought that was true.

My analogy was about manners. People observe basic manners because it’s a rule they were taught, but its true purpose is to be kind and courteous to others. For some, they need to learn and remember the rules, because it is not in their nature to be considerate. For someone like Dong-Hoon, kindness and courtesy is a basic part of his nature. And at times, kindness and courtesy itself can be radical.

So, the kind of person Dong-Hoon is, a considerate person – and there are ways in which his nature benefits him in this society. He’s a nice guy, so he has lots of friends, loyal underlings at work, and was popular with girls. But there are times when his nature conflicts with society – when it comes to cut-throat executive politics where your opponent is willing to be sneaky and shady, that’s when he’s outmatched. But he still won’t play their game, he would rather lose out instead.

Moving onto my next point…

I’ve been pondering Sang-Won, the monk. Sang-Won was (as we just learned) Dong-Hoon’s best friend. Smart, handsome, and popular with the girls. And I think he is kindred spirits with Dong-Hoon. He also said that Dong-Hoon was the biggest reason for him to decide to become a monk. So how repressed does Dong-Hoon have to be at age 18 that your best friend decides he’d rather withdraw from the secular world than live a life like yours?

So Sang-Won is living an ascetic life in the mountains with the goats and the grass. Dong-Hoon is living an ascetic life in the secular world. He’s like a monk living in the modern world, basically Sang-Won’s counterpart. So he’s going through the motions of a regular Korean ahjussi, marrying, having a child, going to work. But he did say that this life was a hell he had to endure for something bad he did in a past life. And he also talks about how he should have never been born, that he just doesn’t belong here. People constantly describe him as dour, and his own wife says that something is missing in his life.

The point I made before, and I think it still stands is that Dong-Hoon’s nature is to do what he thinks is right, not what society thinks. It was never what society thinks. So that is why when people say that he would never jeopardize his career or reputation for Ji-An, I say no. He absolutely would and he absolute did. And he absolutely will again. That is the selfish thing that he is going to do – not compromise. He will fight for her, protect her, and yes, he is going to have her.

(Or she is going to have him. Because that is the title of this show.)

3 thoughts on “Kindness itself can be radical”

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