In Bong Joon-ho's Parasite (2019), the Kim family (the poor family) were employed by the Park family (the rich family) in the Parks' mansion. At the end of the movie, it was revealed that the mother Chung-sook and the son Ki-woo were still living in the semi-basement apartment.

So my question is: did the Kims get paid by the Parks? If so, why were the poor family still poor?

1 Answer 1


Yes, they were paid, but they stayed in their previous living circumstances for a couple of reasons

  1. They were making great money, compared their previous income, but coming from modest means, they were still frugal in their lifestyles. They could have afforded to buy their own booze and drink it, but instead looked for an opportunity to steal from their employers, instead, for instance. The accumulation of increased income had probably not reached the point where they felt comfortable spending more for a nicer place.
  2. You mentioned where Ki-woo and his mother were living at the end of the movie. Well, at the end of the movie, their income from the rich family had been reduced by 100%, with sister being killed, father in hiding, employer being killed by father, and both mother and son getting convicted for fraud.
  3. As awesome and well-paying as their jobs may have seemed to them, context matters. Their former employer was able to pay them as an afterthought, almost, so in terms of whether the money would be considered substantial in the eyes of most people is not definite. Remember, earlier they were haggling over a 10% reduction from the standard pizza-box folding rate. A great pay increase, for them, might still be a relatively modest income, in terms of lifestyle. They were basically household help, which isn't generally considered a high-wage occupation.
  • 2
    The father (Mr Kim) mentions at some point that they have enough income to move out of their place
    – Luciano
    Feb 10, 2020 at 10:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .