An except from Frank Baker’s “To Kill A Mockingbird” film study guide:
“When we read with our students, we often point out all of the relevant and important symbols in a story or a novel….We assume that students cannot pick up on a symbol on the first read-through, and that may be true, since for a symbol to be truly a symbol, it must be repeated throughout a work, though students may have difficulty picking out symbols because they do not understand the purpose or the function of symbols…so we need to help students see how artists use various techniques to get the audience to recognize that something is, in fact, a symbol.” (Source: Reading in The Dark-Using Film As A Tool In The English Classroom, pp. 82)
So, what are the 2 biggest symbols in Parasite according to the video?
So the net time you write, think about how symbols can affect your screenplay. Then, once you have those symbols, how they can inform the greater motifs at hand, as well as contribute to the theme!
Figure 2.21 I developed a leit motif using snakes and spiders to represent unknown fears in my vision quest cave story. Ezzie’s biggest fear is poisionous snakes and spiders, and the cave is full of them playing various archetypal roles. At the end of the story, during her shamanic journey, she meets the King Rattle Snake and Queen Black Widow who help her to understand her fears and give her lots of valuable information. Snakes are symbolic of sacred knowledge, death, fear, and rebirth, which fit nicely with the story. Spiders are known for their ability to travel between the real world and the mystical world, which is what the character needs to do to accomplish her plot goals.
Passion, desire, anger, destruction
During the auction scene, people who are bidding on Chris hold up marked bingo cards to place their bids. Each card has already been covered in dots indicating that it is a winning card. So, although only one person will win the auction, everyone in the audience is already a winner: they are wealthy and privileged and they belong to a group of elites.
The Coagula operation, while providing a longer and healthier life to the person whose awareness is transplanted into another person’s body, is not completely successful. It has the effect of reducing the drive and ambition that formerly (supposedly) characterized the person seeking immortality. Although “Walter” is very physically fit and exercises by running, he pretends to be a groundskeeper while “Georgina” pretends to be the maid. The condition of the Armitage residence suggests that “Walter” and “Georgina” consistently choose to perform these chores instead of devoting their time to other activities. Later, at the party, “Logan” asserts that, since the operation, he doesn’t get out much anymore. Household chores, he says, have become a refuge for him. In all three cases, the post-Coagula transplant patients voluntarily choose simple, repetitive tasks involving physical labor. Physical labor, particularly of the low-status variety, is a recurring motif throughout the movie. After the Coagula operation, wealthy upper-class people voluntarily choose activities that associate them with a lower socioeconomic class.
The discovery of Moon-gwang’s secret marks the transition from satire to high voltage thriller, which takes place in a matter of seconds with a totally unexpected and unsettling change of style: in a continuous exchange of roles, the Kim family and the other pair of squatters continually pass from victims to executioners depending on whether they are in a position of strength or weakness, in what is one of the most convincing representations of the concept of war between the poor seen in recent years. When Kim’s mother Chung-sook (Hyae Jin Chang) is still in an advantageous position, she treats Moon-gwang, servile to him, as a criminal to be arrested, while when the situation turns upside down and the Kim’s secret is revealed, it’s Moon-gwang to mistreat the “rival” family, forcing them to kneel and keep their arms raised as she performs the intimidating imitation of a North Korean news program (the compromising video is compared to a nuclear missile by the dictator Kim Jong-un).
Difficult, if not impossible, to classify it. After two American co-productions, the black sci-fi fairy tales of Snowpiercer (2013) and Okja (2017), born from the success of the dazzling Memories of Murder (2003) and The Host (2006), Bong returns to his homeland to carry out an entirely personal project, which initially could have turned into a drama: like the director’s previous Hollywood films, Parasite is also in a certain sense a fairy tale, full of symbols and metaphors, but this time the director’s maturity and his wise and elegant use of the mean allow to achieve a result that makes the two, albeit excellent, predecessors turn pale.