Essay on pulp fiction

2691 Words 11 Pages
Pulp Fiction (1994) is a mesmerizing, violent and entertaining movie. It has a bizarre cast of characters, a nonlinear sequence of events and endless references to pop culture. The underlying theme of the movie, however, deals with religion and the transformation of two characters: Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) and Butch (Bruce Willis).
     In the beginning of the film, Vincent (John Travolta) has returned from a stay in Amsterdam, and the conversation between Jules and Vincent deals with what Big Macs and Quarter Pounders are called in Europe. As the movie moves on, other references are the Fonz on Happy Days, Arnold the Pig on Green Acres, the band Flock of Seagulls, Caine from Kung Fu, TV pilots, and other such
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     Jules always quotes this just before he kills someone. The point is that the passage refers to a system of values and meaning by which one could lead one’s life and make moral decisions. However, that system has no connection with Jules’s life and as he realizes later, the passage is actually meaningless to him.
     In addition to the pop references in the film, its dialogue on language is concerned with naming things. What’s a Big Mac called? What’s a Quarter Pounder called? What’s a Whopper called? When Ringo (Tim Roth) calls the waitress “garçon,” she tells him: “‘garçon’ means ‘boy’.” When Butch’s girlfriend refers to his means of transportation as a “motorcycle,” he insists on correcting her: “It’s not a motorcycle, it’s a chopper.” When a Hispanic cab driver, however, asks Butch what his name means, he replies: “This is America, honey; our names don’t mean shit.” The point is clear that in the absence of any lasting ambition or value and meaning, our language no longer points to anything beyond itself. To call something good or evil makes it so since there’s no higher authority or criteria by which one might judge such things. Jules quotes the “Bible” before his executions, but he might as well be quoting the Fonz or Buddy Holly.
     This absence of any kind of system for making value judgments, this lack of a larger meaning to their lives, creates a

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