Let’s Talks About Squid Game

Edwina Nwaogu Written by Edwina Nwaogu · 1 min read >

If you haven’t been living under a rock (jokes) you would have already watched or heard about the sensational nine-part South Korean drama on Netflix.

 Squid game tells the story of hundreds of people who are experiencing crippling debt. They are invited to participate in a series of life-threatening competitive games for a cash prize of $38 million. The show however is much more than this. Deep down it depicts the insidious ways money can make us turn against each other. I will give my insights into the psychology of some of the main characters.

Seoong Gi-hun: first impression of Seoong Gi-hun is that is he a wreck of a person who would do anything for money to feed his gambling addiction. He went as far as stealing from his mother. However, he displayed kindness to many of the other characters, his character is a reminder that all human beings possess some goodness in them. This glimmer of goodness is however called into question when at the end of the show he abandons his daughter to go back into the game. Is it because he is trying to do the right thing or is he still addicted to gambling?

Cho Sang-Woo: Is the guy who makes himself out to be a good guy but deep down, he lacks compassion and has no moral compass. This is clear when he betrays his teammates on more than one occasion. He was willing to do whatever it took to win the prize money. However, in the end he exhibited a form of humanity when he sacrificed himself for his long-time friend and teammate.

Abdul Ali: entered the game to make money for his wife and son. He was a nice guy who was always ready to help at his own expense. My observation from his character is that being nice alone does not get you very far. A lot of people expect that if you are nice the world would automatically be nice to you and unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. In addition to being nice, one has to be wise in their dealings with people.

Jang Deok-su: The gangster who believes that violence is the answer in all situations. His mistake was to forget that human nature is too complex for life to be reduced to an animalistic fight. Violence will only get you so far, eventually intelligence and social dynamics will overpower you. If violence is what keeps one in power, the clocking is ticking.

The thought experiment Squid Game asks of us is: Who are we on our worst day? What is humanity on its worst day?


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