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Pulp Fiction Thematic Structure

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Essay title: Pulp Fiction Thematic Structure

Pulp Fiction, through the course of incorporating three seemingly unrelated narratives pulled together an interwoven story that unfolded like a well-oiled machine. With each of the narratives relying on pieces of the lurid subject matter (pulp) previous to it, which aided in expressing the overall theme. The film manages to pull this off while still giving each of its narrative segments equal weight; as a result they work like interlocking gears, each one necessary to all the others. Leaving us with thematic structure and many different kinds of pulp in a humorous amoral setting. What is strange about these intermingled narratives is the order in which they are told. I hope to articulate how the fracturing of this story aided in the overall effectiveness of Pulp Fiction.

During the prologue we are introduced to Bunny and Pumpkin who bracket the film and provide us with an influential thrust toward the theme, as well as to what proceeds. As Pumpkin’s ironic discourse unfolds we find he wants to leave behind robbing liquor stores because it’s too much of a risk, yet he’s too smart and together to need a day job. So he banters on about the easiness of armed robbery aimed at soft targets. With their cocky attitude and misguided confidence, they launch a spontaneous and poorly planned robbery sending us into the credits. Bunny and Pumpkin have then setup the amoral attitudes of our protagonist. But they also have touched on the risk designated with this lifestyle and attitude, a thematic issue that is explored throughout the film.

Now two of our protagonists are introduced Jules and Vincent. While we ride along with them we are allowed to develop a partiality toward them. Through their quite friendly banter, as they nonchalantly talk about Vincent’s trip and the little differences between Europe and the US. Once we arrive at their destination the amoral nature of the characters are illustrated again, as the discussion ranges from their weapons of choice to the right and wrongs of a foot massage. Their conversation also sets up the proceeding narrative building anticipation around what is going to happen with Mia & Vincent, as well as helping to develop the outer goals of Vincent and Jules. Which are simply do there job while taking now bull from anyone (except from those higher up in the game). Their nonchalant attitudes, plus statements like, “let get into character” continue to build our partiality for the men despite their occupation. Once in the apartment our first discrepancy between the film and the screenplay also takes place, cutting this narrative segment after Jules speech. As a result the scene solidifies our impressions of the gangsters as true gangsters, by not instantly putting them in a vulnerable position. A position that isn’t even dealt with at all in the following narrative, in fact, in the screenplay Jules is not even part of the next story. Cutting the scene here also sparks interest in Jules bad speech (bad in the cool way).

Moving into the next narrative right away the foundation for The Gold Watch is setup, as Marsellus and Butch talk over their business deal. Albeit Marcellus is the big man on campus, but with the large self-confidence of all the films characters he soured his deal from the start. Condescendingly speaking of Butch’s ability: how it won’t last, and that being a fact that he’s going to have to get real about. Marsellus continues, “Besides how many fights you got left? You came close but you never made it, and if you where going to make it you would have made it by now.”

In the movie the affect of Marsellus’s words was dealt with considerably better than in the script. Marsellus’s spiel (from above) is the changed version; it makes the film more realistic not having Bruce Willis as a featherweight. However the big change that should have tipped Marsellus off was the line that was added after his mocking speech. Marsellus ask, “Are you my nigga?” And Butch’s retort, “it certainly appears so.” Adding salt to injury Marsellus continues his dialogue explaining the night of the fight Butch might feel a little sting, that sting is pride. Latter in Maynard’s shop we see the affect of Marsellus’s words amplified while Butch punches him in the face screaming, “you feel that, that’s pride mother fucker”, a line that was also added to the film. All of these things play an important part in the following narrative; once again providing us with evidence of how these “separate” stories interlock with one another.

Moving on to the meat of this narrative we deal with Mia, Mr. Vega, and our first turning point as the protagonist began to take shape based on their decisions. So far throughout the narratives Vincent’s amoral attitude has been challenged by everyone’s response to him escorting Mia out. The mystique and allure of Mia is weighted from the moment he arrives at the

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