Pulp Fiction Narrative

Pulp Fiction Narrative

Length: 1062 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Pulp Fiction is a controversial film, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, in 1994. It has almost everything you could wish for in a movie; drama, hilarity, intensity, action, thrills, fun, intelligence, romance, intimacy, over-the-top bravado, vulgarity, sweetness, humor, and soul-searching. The film is very raw and brutal, but has a unique sense of style that keeps the viewers entertained. It will build its way up gradually to an incredibly intense scene, before dropping down to a relatively calm, only to build back up again a few scenes later. This goes on throughout the entire course of the film, pummeling the viewer from one scenario to another.

In Pulp Fiction we see how Vincent (John Travolta) and the dealer are bringing Mia (Uma Thurman) back to life, after she had an overdose. In a medium shot the dealer explains to Vincent what to do. While the dealer is counting to three, the camera zooms into even tighter close ups of Vincent and Mia's face, the needle where the adrenaline is dribbling off, and the dealer and his pierced girlfriend's face. This effect is used to show how nervous the dealer is, how much his pierced girlfriend enjoys this spectacle, and how afraid Vincent is. The spectator is able to identify with all these emotions.

According to the feminist film theorist, Laura Mulvey, one of the most important pleasures of the classical narrative is identification. This is send to occur when the spectator narcissistically identifies with an idealized figure on screen, typically a male hero whose actions determine the narrative, in a process that recapitulates the discovery of the image of oneself in the mirror phase. For the scene just discussed, the idealized figure is Vincent, whom the spectators personally identifies with.

Then, to even increase the tension of this extraordinary scene, the camera zooms into the place where the needle has to push in, while there is no noise at all. As Vincent pushes the needle down, the camera shows Mia's opening eyes in a close up shot, while the diegetic sound of the needle stabbed in her heart makes us believe that we have seen the crucial moment. The graphic violence of how the needle is pushed into her heart is again elliptical. In a medium shot we then see Mia screaming.

Nevertheless, Quentin Tarantino's films show plenty of violence. In Pulp Fiction there is for example a homosexual rape, the hit-men killing their victims, and a man having his head accidentally shot off in a car.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Pulp Fiction Narrative." 123HelpMe.com. 28 Feb 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Narrative and Genre Features in the Opening Sequence of Pulp Fiction Essay

- Narrative and Genre Features in the Opening Sequence of Pulp Fiction A narrative is the story itself and generic features are elements expected to be contained within a certain category of film. Pulp Fiction is labeled as a gangster film; however gangster films follow very precise generic elements such a death, contraband’s, violence, wealth and strong family loyalties. Pulp Fiction doe follow the above mentioned elements but the locations of the action are unorthodox. Screen gangster activities tend to take place in sophisticated up market places as gangsters tend to be perceived as sophisticated and highly respected and feared individuals in society....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
883 words (2.5 pages)

Genre and Narrative Establishment in the Opening of Pulp Fiction, The Krays and Goodfellas

- Genre and Narrative Establishment in the Opening of Pulp Fiction, The Krays and Goodfellas In this piece of coursework I am going to study, compare and evaluate three films in order to show how the genre and narrative are established in the opening five minutes of each. The three films I have chosen to study are 'Pulp Fiction', 'The Krays' and 'Goodfellas'. Pulp Fiction was released in 1995, it was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and was star studded with the likes of John Travolta (Vincent Vega), Uma Thurman (Mia Wallace), Samuel L Jackson (Jules) and Bruce Willis (Butch)....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
2175 words (6.2 pages)

Essay on Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction

- In Pulp Fiction, directed by Quentin Tarantino, Tarantino uses quirky dialogue, vivid visuals, and nihilism to mirror postmodern pop culture in western society in the early 1990’s. The film artfully portrays the 1990’s as a time where action granted meaning instead of performing moral actions; where there was a social hierarchy held by mob bosses to control those who attempted to search for meaning through action, doing outrageously violent and horrible things without the slightest scruples. Pulp Fiction contains specifically existential nihilism, which is the belief that life has no true purpose or value....   [tags: film analysis, cinematography]

Research Papers
1122 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Postmodernism in Pulp Fiction

- The film Pulp Fiction was an immediate box office success when it was released in 1994 and it was also well received by the critics, and celebrated for the way it appeared to capture exactly a certain pre-millennial angst and dislocation in Western capitalist societies. The term post-modernist, often used to refer to art and architecture, was applied to this film. The pulp fiction refers to popular novels which are bought in large numbers by less well educated people and enjoyed for their entertainment value....   [tags: Film Analysis]

Research Papers
1676 words (4.8 pages)

The Use of Different Genres in Thelma and Louise and Pulp Fiction Essays

- The Use of Different Genres in Thelma and Louise and Pulp Fiction The term ‘genre’ is used for classifying media texts into groups that have similar characteristics. In Thelma and Louise and Pulp Fiction, a mixture of genres was used in these films. This is known as hybrid genre. In Thelma and Louise, the following genres were used throughout the film: chick-flick, drama, comedy, musical, action, police chase, western and romance. In Pulp Fiction, the following genres were used throughout the film: gangster, sporting events (boxing), comedy, action, musical, mystery, romance and suspense (the Adrenalin injection for Mia)....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
985 words (2.8 pages)

Pulp Fiction Essay

- 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....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
1723 words (4.9 pages)

Identifying Heroes: The Godfather and Pulp Fiction Essay

- Identifying Heroes: The Godfather and Pulp Fiction The form of Classical Hollywood films is, first and foremost, invisible. In a Classical Hollywood film, the narrative is foremost, and style serves the narrative. Camera angles, lighting and editing patterns such as the shot/reverse-shot pattern aim to give us the best possible perspective on the unfolding events(1). These events are arranged in a strongly causality-oriented linear narrative, with one event causing the next. This narrative is arranged around a central, active protagonist, whose decisions and actions are the key to the pattern of cause and effect that drives the story(2)....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
3285 words (9.4 pages)

Distinctive Storytelling Aspects of Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Rashomon’ (1950) and the Legacy of the ‘Rashomon Effect’

- Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 classic takes us through the story of a brutal rape of a woman and the murder of her samurai husband through differing versions of the events by four different witnesses. Kurosawa stages this through a trial-like setting in which the witnesses address you, the viewer, and give their interpretation of the events. This unique storytelling method has since coined the term ‘The Rashomon effect’. By definition, this is contradictory interpretations of the same event by different people....   [tags: Pulp Fiction, film, cinematography]

Research Papers
1263 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on The Gangster Genre of Films

- 'The Godfather' is the most revolutionary gangster film of all time, it rewrote the gangster genre in such a stylized way that all latter gangster films have conformed to this genre but also evolved it as films have progressed. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola 'The Godfather' re-invented the gangster genre elevating it to a Hollywood status and making it commercially profitable. It looks into the life of the 'Corleone' family and represents America at that point in time. It portrays the violence and power, corruption and justice, honour and obligation apparent at that time....   [tags: The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Snatch]

Research Papers
3285 words (9.4 pages)

Essay on Pulp Fiction, by Quentin Tarantino

- The movie Pulp Fiction, directed by Quentin Tarantino, contains violence, sex and drugs but is an underlying religious film. The five main characters either follow the lord and are rewarded or they follow the devil and are punished. John Travolta plays Vincent Vega, Ving Rhames plays Marcellus Wallace and Uma Thurman plays Mia Wallace, these three characters represent evil and sin. Samuel L. Jackson plays Jules Winnefield and Bruce Willis plays Butch Coolidge and these characters represent good and follow a righteous path....   [tags: Pulp Fiction Essays]

Research Papers
906 words (2.6 pages)

Related Searches

For this last scene, Vincent is shown just before the gun accidentally goes off, without actually showing the exploding head. As a result, the two hit-men are covered in blood and parts of the brain.

In addition, Tarantino’s violence confuses the spectators’ emotions, as his representation of violence is comical. Jules (Samuel L Jackson) asks his victim before killing them, what a Big Mac is called in Paris, and why the French do not call a Quarter Pounder a Quarter Pounder. He then tries his victim’s fast-food, because he has never tried that brand before, as he prefers MacDonald’s. Tarantino seems to be fascinated by life’s grotesque haphazardness. In one scene Butch (Bruce Willis) returns to his house, where he finds a machine-gun in his kitchen, whereby the discovery of the gun is being presented as a point-of-view shot, a subjective moment inserted into an overall framework of objectivity, picks it up and shoots the hit-man, after having his last pee. This scene is terrifying, and hilarious at the same time.

Throughout the film there is a mystery of what is actually inside the briefcase. Every time it is opened up, the characters’ faces go pale with either amazement, or shock. A light shines out on their faces, and the audience is never allowed to actually view what is inside the briefcase. Although in the film Butch’s boss, Mr. Wallace, is seen with a huge white bandage on the back of his neck. This bandage is to be covering up a hole in the back of his head, which is to be representing the exit hole of his soul. Gangsters get rid of their soul, as it has no use for them any longer, as it will interfere with their businesses. Mr. Wallace’s soul is what is actually inside that briefcase, which brings the shiny light upon the characters’ faces when opening the briefcase.

Quentin Tarantino often achieves the humor through a well-written, witty dialogue. Another of Tarantino’s personal features throughout his films, such as Pulp Fiction, are that he seems to be fascinated by narrative structure. What was supposed to happen is disclosed via flashbacks and flash forwards. It even includes flashbacks including flashbacks. This fragmentation of the narrative continues in the film. Its four narratives overlap, with the characters wandering between them. This anthropological narrative deliberately confuses the audience. Understanding the plot is often like resolving a puzzle. At one point, towards the end of the film, we see a flashback of Vincent that continues the story of the beginning, after Butch had already shot him. The creating of the story in our minds becomes an intellectual pleasure of bliss. The non-linear narration is Tarantino’s variation from the expectation.

Pulp Fiction uses the classical narrative elements such as parallelism. After boxer Butch wins his fight, and therefore betrays the boss, he flees by taxi, as we see hidden person in the bathroom, while Jules is saying his words from the Old Testament. In addition there is the eye-line shot. The conversation between Mia and Vincent in the restaurant in an eye-line shot. The eye-line shot is a simple idea, but a powerful one, since the directional quality of the eye-line creates strong spatial continuity.

Generalizing Pulp Fiction, it can be seen how Quentin Tarantino is fascinated with narrative structure and that he deliberately confuses the audience with fragmentation of the narrative. Its four narratives overlap, thus the characters wander between them. The creating of the story in our minds gives us a pleasure of delight, where bewilderment is on top, and for certain viewers to actually figure out the film Pulp Fiction, by realizing that the light in the briefcase is the lost soul. However due to Tarantino’s witty technique, there are plenty of viewers who will not come to realize this, in so making Tarantino a master of mystification and puzzlement.
Return to 123HelpMe.com