Pulp Fiction

Essay by RavenQueen67 March 2003

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Pulp (pulp) n. 1. A soft, moist, shapeless mass of matter. 2. A book containing lurid subject matter, and being characteristically printed on rough, unfinished paper.

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and goodwill shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and a 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."

- Jules' version of Ezekiel 25:17

Pulp Fiction opens up in a diner as a couple of thieves discuss the possibility of holding up restaurants. This leads us into three distinct strands; a date between a hit man and the wife of his boss, the boxer who is supposed to throw a fight and the cleaning up of a hit man's mistake.

The stories are told in non chronological order and we finally return to the diner for the final scene.

Pulp Fiction's three tales are structured to intersect and overlap at key points, even though they are not presented in chronological order. Tarantino arranges his initial scene to dovetail with his final one in a remarkable example of closure. Those confused by the structure will see everything clearly once the final line is spoken. "Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife" is the first story. It opens with Vincent and Jules out on a hit for their boss, Marsellus. Along the way, Vincent confesses that he's uneasy about an upcoming job - taking out Marsellus' young wife Mia while the main...