Friday, November 15, 2019

pulp fiction Essay -- essays research papers

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).   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  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 topics. At first viewing, these kinds of references seem to be a kind of comic relief set against the violence the audience witnesses on the screen. These brief, pop-culture symbols and icons are more than just comic relief. They are the way these characters make sense of their lives.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  In past centuries, people were â€Å"connected by something they saw as larger than themselves, most often religion, which would provide sense and meaning for their lives and which would help to determine the value of things.† (The Sage, p.10) Such a larger context is completely absent, however, from Jules’s and Vincent’s lives. This explains why the film is so saturated with these pop icons. The empty and subtle icon phrases are the reference points by which we now understand ourselves and each other. These references comes to a real climax when Vincent and Mia (Uma Thurman) visit Jack Rabbit Slim’s, where the host is Ed Sullivan, the singer is Ricky Nelson, the waiter is Buddy Holly, and the waitresses include Marilyn Monroe and Jane Mansfield. In the film, the pop cultural symbols are set into sudden words against a passage said to be from the Old Testament, Ezekiel 25:17: The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious... ...sp;  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  It is also important to note how Butch is always returning. He seems doomed to return, perhaps to repeat things, until he gets it right. He must return to his apartment to get his watch. This come back is associated with his decision to become his enemy. There’s his return to the cellar to save Marsellus. There’s also his return to Knoxville–-where Butch has planned to escape after he doesn’t throw the fight. After he chooses the sword and saves Marsellus, Butch can rightfully return to Knoxville, now connected to his family.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  The big overall question that this movie asks us is that can our materialistic, disorderly, human relationships provide real and lasting meaning in our lives and in the world? Butch’s actions hint at an agreeable answer. With his newly completed bonds of family, friendship, and love, Butch may achieve at least some aspect of a meaningful existence. And as a result, we are made to think about our own lives, especially in today’s society full of pop culture icons and materialistic people. This movie brings up philosophical questions such as why we do certain things and what is the true value in our life.

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