Korea Book Club discussion

SOUTH KOREA: The Price of Efficiency and Success
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Nonfiction > Social inequality as portrayed in the Oscar-nominated movie "Parasite"

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message 1: by John (new) - added it

John (skoreaefficiency) | 2 comments Dear club members, I recently joined based on the focus of the club. I, too, am interested in topics related to South Korea. I also happen to be the sponsor of a book giveaway and the author of SOUTH KOREA: The Price of Efficiency and Success, I'd like to suggest the topic related to the Oscar-nominated movie, "Parasite." The premise of the discussion I'm suggesting is as follows: The director of the movie, Bong Joon-Ho, has said repeatedly during interviews that the issues portrayed in the movie are universal; I agree. However, I believe that the degree of inequality is intensified in S. Korea as a result of cultural nuances, their lifestyle, the unprecedented emphasis on education, etc.


message 2: by Margie (last edited May 29, 2020 12:17PM) (new) - added it

Margie Trevillyan | 1 comments I agree that the inequality is intensified in SK. I think that it probably has to do with the Confucianism influence.
I have some thoughts on the movie.
I think that Parasite is more about selfishness and how as humans, despite our social class, we will do anything to protect ourselves and ours, me and mine, than about class inequality. In fact in my opinion, in this film, the way the poor treat the other poor is worse than the way the rich treat the poor. Hear me out. The rich can not relate in any way to the poor, so they almost can’t see how selfish their actions are. Whereas the poor can TOTALLY relate to the other poor, but yet still make selfish choices.

I feel like the poor in this movie are being more “parasitic” by sneakily using the rich. The rich are being “parasitic” by using the poor to maintain their lifestyle and raise their kids, but they are paying the poor to do so. They are “using” the poor, but in a more direct way. This is probably not the clearest, but what do you think of the ideas that I’ve presented?


message 3: by John (last edited Jun 05, 2020 04:23PM) (new) - added it

John (skoreaefficiency) | 2 comments M wrote: "I agree that the inequality is intensified in SK. I think that it probably has to do with the Confucianism influence.
I have some thoughts on the movie.
I think that Parasite is more about selfis..."


First, allow me to apologize for the delay in responding to your comment. The current situation is definitely impacting how much we can do in a 24-hour period.

You make some truly insightful observations. I totally agree with you regarding the larger view of the parasitic attitude depicted in Parasite: rich vs. poor, poor vs. rich and poor vs. poor. In a sense, it's a reflection of a "survival of the fittest" attitude and taking advantage of a situation to look after very selfish interests by improving one's own situation or that of one's herd. As you alluded, in the movie the poor seem to have the ability to read others in their own socioeconomic status better than the rich are able to or care to read the poor. In my opinion, it's a case of art reflecting life.


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