If you don't mind would you please be able to give an analysis of Woo's breakdown in the chapter 13? Or if there is one that already exists would you happen to know where I could find it? Thank You so much in advance and sorry for the trouble!
Wow prepare for a big ramble that probably makes no sense and is all conjecture. For me, it became insightful after my third reading, lol.
The first thing you notice is that hoo boy Sangwoo does not like to be disobeyed or to be made the fool. That sounds obvious, but give me a second. You really see it in this chapter - just how fucking entitled he is, how shook he is by the idea of Bum leaving. He’s not even worried about the repercussions of his escape, legally etc - he just feels so damn personally betrayed by the idea of his disobeying him (’after everything I said? he ignored me??’). He’s even more disgustingly possessive than we thought.
I think that in general the breakdown - at least for me - reinforced the idea that once he began to progressively see his mum in Bum, he never really intended to kill him. The only thing that would change that was if Bum proved to be unbreakable and kept rebelling. So, as opposed to what i originally thought, I don’t think he was fucking with Bum with the intention of one day disposing of him, rather, he began to set him up for the long run. He wanted to keep him. But then its Bum’s first ‘betrayal’ that changes that. We see it in chapter seven - he intends to kill Bum for disrespecting him with his attempted escape (he’s thinking ‘it’s worthless, Bum will never submit’). So he’s strangling him, intending to kill, but then Bum drops the honorific:
When he’s dangling from the ceiling by his neck, though, he reverts back to “Sangwoo-ya,” without an honorific…In turn, that really explains Sangwoo’s expression there. In this situation, when Bum is literally choking to death, not in any situation to even think of manipulating him, he’s referring to Sangwoo familiarly? He’s calling Sangwoo fondly? Sangwoo’s surprise is completely understandable. (x)
Sangwoo is literally like ‘what the fuck’, even now, even as i’m doing this, you can still speak to me like that? Bum might have disobeyed him, but once again Sangwoo saw his potential, and the open opportunity for reform. Or should I say, the opportunity to mold. Bum still had potential to be obedient and submissive, and as long as there is room for Sangwoo to bang Bum into shape, he will punish, but let him live. All in order to preserve his wider goal of turning him into his perfect and submissive…*drum roll* : pseudo-momwife lol. You guessed it. And then the power rush he gets from the name-calling is so strong that he pops a boner and cums all over his feet?? Sangwoo is aroused by his power over people, and the sense of unconditional devotion to him. Ego. He likes feeling needed, and being submitted to. In fact he demands it. I had brought this up with a friend a while back, and now i can be pretty sure - he comes from his name because of his own ego being stroked (ill return to this).
Back to chapter 13, he thinks Bum really has escaped and he’s all you’ve done it now you little fucker, you’ve really pissed me off , you’re gonna get it. He doesn’t care that Bum has momwife potential because his injured ego outweighs his desire to recreate a newer and better (more on this later) version of his mother (I’ll kill him. I have to kill him now!!). Even more interesting is that directly after he says he has to kill Bum, he recalls his mum. This makes him angry and he punches the pole. I’ve been thinking about why he does that, and i’ve kind of done a 180 in my views since a week ago. I don’t think he remembered his mum because of guilt, or because the idea of killing Bum makes him feel guilty. I think he remembered her because his feeling of betrayal echoes something he felt in the past - with her. That is to say, I believe his mum might have ‘betrayed’ Sangwoo in a way that echoes Bum’s alleged escape. Whatever she did, he probably killed her for it.
Keep in mind that he doesn’t exactly head home with a change of heart after he remembers her. So needless to say, i’m flirting with the ‘Sangwoo killed his mum’ camp again. The guy is clearly obsessed with Bum - he honest to God looked deranged, losing his shit and then collapsing to the floor. It was relief, not in a ‘i’m not going to get caught yet’ way, but in a ‘this thing i value so much has returned to me’ kind of way. If he’s obsessed with this cheap, shallow recreation of her, just how obsessed was he with the real thing? The fact that he is projecting his mum onto everything around him shows how deep this obsession ran. It’s telling that even after all these years he is trying to recreate her, bring her back to life in the form of another person. A person who is easier to control.
I’m thinking maybe he killed his mum because he couldn’t handle her disagreeing with him, or because he felt that she had stepped out of bounds as pertaining to his ‘rights’ over her. It would have been intolerable to him. We know the parents died together, that is to say, within a similar time frame. Maybe she expressed outrage at his killing his dad, and whatever form this outrage of hers took, he received it as an irredeemable insult. She rebelled in some way, and he ‘had’ to kill her for it. Dude’s cray enough to do it. The narrative has cleverly left it vague so that we’re unsure - but I don’t think his feelings for his mother were purely innocent attachment augmented by fatherly abuse. He was probably outside of the scope of normal in how he felt, and what he expected of her. Super possessive.
He wants Bum to have all the characteristics his mother did, without the undesirables. Sangwoo is breaking him bit by bit so that he can sift out his will to resist. He wants his mommy - but he wants her his way. Why does he crack a boner in 13? I think it was the combined imagery/memories of Bum’s submission (wanting Sangwoo sexually despite the mistreatment, calling out for him and needing him even when the pain is being inflicted by Sangwoo) along with some memory of his mother doing something similar. Maybe she called out to him in a similar way when he killed her…like i said, it’s all speculation. It doesn’t necessarily imply he was sexually attracted to his mother…he just gets off on power.
So the most dangerous thing about this guy? Yeah, I’m thinking that it’s his ego. And you know what - I think Koogi hinted this in the very beginning. Remember when he killed the girl, he said:
He victimizes himself and cannot handle an injured ego, he cannot handle people not submitting to him or thinking theyre ‘better than him’. And i think chapter 13 and his breakdown lends itself to this idea. I don’t think he wants bum to be his man-killing murder sidekick - he just wants his perfect mommy back to play into his hands as is convenient for him. My ideas are continually changing, and im always open to new interpretations. Chapter 14 might invalidate this completely lmao but that’s where i’m at right now! I hope this was helpful.