Pulp Fiction – Characters Analysis
The first scene that will be analysed is the one where Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega are going to fulfil their duties as gangsters (0:06:45-0:20:12). The scene shows how normal it is for the main characters to have a job as gangsters and kill people on command of their boss. While watching it, the viewer has the impression that the world in the film is absurd, but it is a perfect example of a social satire.
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The main characters live in a world full of violence, drugs, but they find themselves perfectly suitable in it. Also, the verbal humour has a crucial role here; lots of comical ornaments of the speech, curses, irony and sarcasm create the whole background of this environment. Basing on the benign-violation theory, the whole scene evokes amusement, because characters present quite controversial behaviour.
For the purpose of the forthcoming analysis, the scene will be divided into three parts:
- Jules and Vincent’s dialogue in the car (0:06:45-0:08:43);
- The conversation about the foot massage (0:08:43-0:13:46)
- The score of gangsters and debtors (0:13:46-0:20:12).
As the first part of the scene begins, Jules and Vincent drive a car and the main focus here is on the dialogue between the characters; they talk mostly about Vincent’s journey to Europe. He mentions many cultural differences: the policies of hash bars, the law of policemen, beer in cinemas, or mayonnaise on fries in Holland, how a Quarter-Pounder with cheese is called a Royale with cheese in France.
At this point, the viewer has no idea where the main characters are driving or what the purpose of their mission is. It can be only assumed that they are partners and that the circumstances are quite amusing, because they seem serious, but their conversation is completely ridiculous. This contrast is highly intriguing and introduces the viewer to the world full of absurd.