At first glance, Parasite seems to be a film based on typical Korean subjects and situations, such as living conditions in semi-underground housing among many others, but it draws universal sympathy since it deals with the typical problem that constitutes the gap between the rich and the poor, which can be found anywhere in the world. In addition, this film succeeded in creatively fusing various existing genres, such as black comedy, thriller, grotesque, and horror, genres with which audiences around the world are familiar. This study attempts to explore Parasite, which is a mixture of various genres, by connecting it with the picaresque genre, which originated in Spain in the 16th century. In particular, we explore the similarities between this film and Quevedo's picaresque novel El Buscón. To this end, we first examine the historical realities of Spain in the 17th century and Korea in the 21st century, their respective historical backgrounds, and we explore the epistemological similarities related to the conflict between individuals and within the society. Subsequently, the similarities between both works are analyzed through their respective portrayals of deception and forgery as means of survival, various symbols of class distinction, and ‘line’ as a boundary of status. In addition, the ideological similarities and the differences concerning ‘family’ between these works emerging from their comparison are also discussed.
In this way, this study is able to expand the scope of Parasite by examining this film through its comparison with the picaresque novel El Buscón and broaden the understanding of the correlation between literature and film.