Squid Game; A Look at Classism

November 4, 2021

The freshly released Squid Game captured the spotlight, its dystopian ideals bringing it nowhere but up. Squid game was released September 17th, 2021, becoming a global hit in less than a week, slowly taking hold of Netflix’s most-streamed show of all time. With gore, suspense, and a realistic terror to the show, there is something for everyone to enjoy but is Squid Game just fiction. While character deaths may be fictional, the core ideals of classism and desperation shine through, offering insight into the rising global problems of income gaps. The Atlantic wrote an article discussing the underlying themes of the Korean drama, saying, “Squid Game fits into a category of South Korean works that grapple with economic anxieties and class struggles, which are rooted in the country’s concerns but resonate globally.”

Squid game has brought light to the fears many feel towards our economy, one discussing the increasing wage gap between the highest and lowest earners within an increasingly corrupted system. One that speaks truth on how many will risk their lives every day just to make ends meet, whether it be on paying back millions worth of medical debts, or a teacher who works two jobs to pay off school loans. The Borgen Project says in 2021 it would take around 30 billion dollars to end world hunger, something many of the high-class call spare change. In a time where the poor can’t afford this month’s rent and the rich would need three lifetimes to spend their wealth, Squid Game tackles the unfairness regarding a ginormous pay gap. 

It’s always an interesting occurrence to watch films and television shows that bring up real-world problems, ones that continue to worry the upcoming generations. If those who are older and wiser are failing, how can the newest graduates come into the workplace hoping for success and happiness? Especially when so many are followed by loads of student loan debt that will continue to trail them for generations to come.

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