Reader's Club Activity-Discussion on the movie Parasite

The Department of English of the IIS University organized a virtual Reader's Club Activity on 25th November, 2020. It was a discussion on the Academy award-winning South Korean movie Parasite.


The discussion began with a critique on class distinctions and greed presented in the social satire, bringing out the significance of the title "Parasite". The participants made various interpretations of the symbols, viewing both lower and upper classes as parasites taking advantage of each other; and, in turn, forming a kind of symbiotic relationship, driven by wealth and status. The students also commented on the myth of meritocracy portrayed in the movie, through the Kim family's adaptive nature and commendable skills, yet their downtrodden and neglected identity; enforcing the vicious cycle of the unequal distribution of wealth among the rich and the poor. Several other themes such as capitalism, and colonialism were explored while discussing the surprisingly great impact made by an eastern, South Korean movie on the western culture.


The students also observed the style and tone presented in the movie. Several motifs and symbols such as the stairway and the subway smell were examined. Moreover, the phrase given by the movie's director, Bong Joon-ho, describing Parasite as a "comedy without clowns, a tragedy without tears" was also brought in. It threw light on the engaging blend of humourous and tragic tones employed in the movie, as well as to the sudden transformation from a seemingly comic narrative to an intense thriller, and ultimately into a unique tragedy. 


The participants witnessed a thought provoking discussion on the crucial tragicomic tale with complex characters and important reflections of the social evils, or, the parasites of the society.

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