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Pulp Fiction Discourse

In: English and Literature

Submitted By
Words 825
Pages 4
Alex Peterson
Professor McClure
11 AM Intro to Comm
3/30/14

Pulp Fiction Pulp Fiction is a classic Quentin Tarantino film made in 1994 that is best known for having the story line written in small vignettes that piece together to throughout the course of the movie. The movie starts off in a coffee shop where two minor characters (Ringo and Honeybunny) begin to rob the shop while two main characters (Jules and Vincent) are sitting with a briefcase that they need to bring back to their boss (Marsellus Wallace). After this, it goes to a new scene where Marsellus has asked Vincent to take his wife out to dinner and show her a good time. Vincent is nervous so he goes and gets heroin before taking her out to dinner for the night. Later they get back and Marsellus’s wife (Mia) mistakes his heroin for cocaine and overdoses, so Vincent has to give her a shot of adrenaline to bring her back. Now it goes back to the opening scene before the coffee shop where Vincent and Jules are first retrieving the briefcase. Vincent and Jules get shot at from close range, but none of the bullets hit. Jules has an epiphany and calls it divine intervention that they are both not dead. They take the briefcase with them to the coffee shop as Ringo and Honeybunny rob it, and Jules has a new way of looking at things. Instead of killing them he gives the robber fifteen hundred dollars to leave so he doesn’t have to kill them. This movie has one main symbol that is shown throughout the entire film in the case of Jules, and that is nihilism. Nihilism is described as life without objective meaning. Jules starts off the movie with no objective meaning at all, and you see this because Marsellus could give Jules an order to kill someone and he would not even question why it is necessary or justified he would just do it. Before Jules kills someone he says this line from the bible, “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children.
And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”
The reason he gives for saying this at the beginning of the movie is that it sounds like something cold blooded to say before he shoots someone, when in reality there is a much deeper meaning within the passage. This shows nihilism since it is a meaningless statement to him. Later in the movie Jules is shot at from close range and is not hit with a single bullet. He claims that divine intervention happened and comes up with a new outlook as to what that bible verse actually means. Jules claims that he himself is the evil, the person who he is talking to (Ringo) is the weak, and that Jules is trying to transform himself into the shepherd to lead Ringo through the valley of darkness. When Jules realizes this he puts meaning into the things he does with his life, and no longer suffers from life without meaning. Another way that Jules shows nihilism is with the briefcase that has to be delivered to Marsellus. Jules never questions what is in the briefcase or why it is so important, he just gets the briefcase and brings it to Marsellus because that’s what he was told to do, and since he was told to do it must be important. He had to kill people to get the briefcase and has no justification as to why it is so important he just does it. This is where nihilism is shown in the movie Pulp Fiction. After watching this film, I believe that the director did get his point across because he shows multiple examples of nihilism in the way that Jules goes about his life and the briefcase, and then shows how Jules transformed throughout the movie to get meaning into his life. We never find out what is in the briefcase so that does leave us hanging a little bit, but when Jules is shot at he shows large change in a small amount of time. Jules going from doing whatever Marsellus tells him to whenever, without asking, to stopping working for Marsellus and really questioning how he has been living his life throughout the movie. Also, the way Jules looks at the bible verse he says before killing people at the beginning compared to the end shows that he went through drastic change.

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