I think we can all agree that Snowpiercer was a stark portrayal of humankind. There was no one who was entirely good or entirely bad because they were operating under the assumption that “all people have a preordained place” and they held themselves to the standard of that preordained place. The only person who deviated from this, was the main man with an axe, Curtis. Curtis literally worked his way from the very back to the front. He was motivated by the fact that the people in the back were being treated so terribly by the soldiers who were presumably working for the man in the front, Mr. Wilford.
There really isn’t a question of “is there a class system present” but more a question of why this class system is present. I mean, they are all perpetually riding this train with a zero percent chance of getting off because the world has been frozen, so why do they need to have a train with tons of carts on it that separate the people?
Perhaps when Mr. Wilford tells Curtis that natural selection doesn’t have time to take care of itself so the front works with the back to spark these various revolutions to keep the population down, he is telling the truth. We have trouble trusting him because throughout the entire film we make him out to be this lunatic who just lets people hang out in cramped quarters in the back eating cockroach blocks while the more privileged people get to huff industrial waste and have meat and sushi. Maybe, in order to function, society needs the class system to keep itself in check and in order. It seems as though everything is running smoothly, in its rightful place until revolutions are born and after this one, only two people survive the crash and the class system doesn’t matter anymore.
Maybe this is a commentary on social classes because it begs the question, why do people think they are preordained to have their positions in the world? It also makes us ask ourselves, in order to break free of the system and in order to change it, do you have to completely destroy it?
I think as humans, we like order and we like a routine, so I can see where this logic of needing a system makes sense. What I don’t understand is why the characters in the film insist on the fact that the classes are set in stone and the people in those classes concretely belong there.