Squid Game is a brutal show loved for its morbid games, but Gi-hun’s story made many good points about how economic status significantly impacts perceived morality. This is especially seen in how the main character, seen as a bad person before entering the Games, changed throughout season 1. This all came down to Gi-hun’s need for money, his equal standing while playing the Squid Games, and his sudden possession of more wealth than he could have imagined after winning.
Squid Game season 1 revealed that the cruel competitions in which Gi-hun competed were established by wealthy elitists who were looking for some entertainment. Squid Game creator Oh Il-nam, one of these rich and powerful individuals, stated that people with too much money and those who don’t have enough ultimately have unhappiness in common. This was demonstrated throughout season 1 in the desperate souls playing in the games and the masked VIPs willing to bet on them. It was all about money, and Gi-hun demonstrated how much its pursuit can change someone.
Gi-Hun Seemed Like A Bad Person Before Entering Squid Game (All Because Of Money)
At the start of Squid Game season 1, Gi-hun seemed to be a despicable human being. He stole money from his old and injured mom to bet on horses and lost all the money that was supposed to go to his daughter’s birthday present. It’s then revealed that he owes so much debt to sharks that he was forced to sign away his body rights—freeing himself up to having his organs harvested. Altogether, it would be easy to identify Gi-hun as a low life. However, as Squid Game season 1 continued, it became clear that he was extremely moral when given the opportunity.
While competing in the Squid Game, Gi-hun and many other contestants demonstrated extraordinary compassion. Abdul Ali saved Gi-hun’s life in the first game and showed immense kindness from beginning to end. Kang Sae-byeok, who had been a criminal in the real world, formed a connection with another contestant, Ji-yeong, who sacrificed her life so Sae-byeok could live. Finally, Gi-hun nearly let go of the prize money so he wouldn’t have to kill Cho Sang-Woo. This is because the brutal nature of the competition in Squid Game brings out a person’s true self—all because of one crucial detail.
Why Equality Is So Important In The Squid Game
In Squid Game season 1, the Front Man explains that equality is the most sacred aspect of the games. For many out in the world, the goal is the same as in the competition—acquire financial security. However, not everyone is set up for an equal chance to achieve this. Most will struggle financially for their entire life, and their only hope is to ignore ethics and be perceived as criminals and lowlifes. On the other hand, others are born into wealth or have the privilege of criminally acquiring it in far more covert ways (while escaping any prosecution).
The Front Man truly believed in the nature of the Games, since they ensured that every person who competed had an equal chance of achieving wealth. Of course, the stakes were also raised, and there are various problems with this way of thinking of the Squid Game games. Still, the equal playing field was successful in stripping away the circumstances of the world that kept a person’s true self from emerging. For some, like Gi-hun, this revealed that he was just a good man in bad circumstances. For others, like Sang-Woo, it exposed his darkest impulses, even though he was the more respectable one outside of the Games.
Squid Game Season 2 May Change Gi-Hun’s Morality
The brutality of Squid Game season 1 was essentially a giant social experiment that explored the impacts of economic status on the perception of morality, and season 2 is on track to continue this. As the winner of his Games, Gi-hun is now technically a member of the wealthy elite. It took him some time to let down his guilt and begin using his money, and he continued to demonstrate his kindness by using it to help the families of the deceased players. However, as of the end of Squid Game season 1, Gi-hun switches his goal to revenge, which may result in another change in his morality.
A major fault of Gi-hun’s at the beginning of Squid Game was his difficulty putting his daughter first. It seemed this would change, and he could have the family (and financial security) he had always wanted. All the things he had fought for were coming true. However, he left it all behind when confronted with an opportunity to make the people who run Squid Game pay for their crimes. This shows once again that a person’s circumstances and the opportunities they are offered (for better or worse) dictate their morality. Only time, and Squid Game season 2, will reveal how that will work out for Gi-hun.
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