Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 32: Ardelia represents Starling's Jungian self


In The Silence of the Lambs, Ardelia Mapp represents Clarice Starling's Jungian Self.

According to Carl Jung's Man and His Symbols, "If an individual has wrestled seriously enough and long enough with the anima (or animus) problem so that he, or she, is no longer partially identified with it, the unconscious...changes its dominant character and appears in a new symbolic form, representing the Self, the innermost nucleus of the psyche. In the dreams of a woman this center is usually personified as a superior female figure - a priestess, sorceress, earth mother, or goddess of nature or love..."[a] (emphasis not in original).

The name Ardelia is related to the name Delia, which is of Greek origin and means "from Delos." The island of Delos was Artemis's birthplace.[b] Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women. She is considered to be one of the nature goddesses.[c] Ardelia represents Artemis, a goddess of nature, and therefore, she represents Clarice Starling's Self.

a. Man and His Symbols. Ed. with introduction Carl G. Jung. London: Aldus Books, 1964. pp. 207-208.
b. Wikipedia, 'Delia'. Web, n.d. URL =
c. Wikipedia, 'Artemis'. Web, n.d. URL =


Friday, August 27, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 31: Plato/Augustine vs. Aristotle/Aquinas


Plato (left) and Aristotle (right), a detail of The School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael. Aristotle gestures to the Earth, representing his belief in knowledge through empirical observation and experience, while holding a copy of his Nicomachean Ethics in his hand, while Plato gestures to the heavens, representing his belief in The Forms.[a] [Image from the Wikipedia 'Aristotle' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.]

"Plato and Aristotle! These are not merely two systems; they are also types of two distinct human natures, which from time immemorial, under every sort of cloak, stand more or less inimically opposed. But pre-emininently the whole medieval period was riven by this conflict, persisting even to the present day; moreover, this battle is the most essential content of the history of the Christian Church. Though under differing names, always and essentially it is of Plato and Aristotle that we speak. Enthusiastic, mystical, Platonic natures reveal Christian ideas and their corresponding symbols from the bottomless depths of their souls. Practical, ordering Aristotelian natures build up from these ideas and symbols a solid system, a dogma and a cult. The Church eventually embraces both natures - one of them sheltering among the clergy, while the other finds refuge in monasticism; yet both incessantly at feud."

--H. Heine, Deutschland (from Jung's Psychological Types in V.S. de Laszlo ed., The Basic Writings of C.G. Jung, Modern Library, 1993, p. 230.)

The above quote immediately brings to mind Augustine (a follower, to some degree, of Plato, in the sense that he was influenced by the works of some Neoplatonists), and Aquinas (a follower of Aristotle). In the analysis of The Silence of the Lambs, there was a certain amount of going 'back and forth' between Augustine and Aquinas; what must be the case is that the movie-makers intend this to come about when one interprets the movie, that is, this mental going back and forth, with the idea being that each person interpreting the movie will discover for himself or herself, which of the two ways of thinking predominates in his or her own psyche. Note that we're engaging in some 'meta-analysis' here.

a. Wikipedia, 'Aristotle'. Web, n.d. URL =


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 30: Lecter wants to unite with God


Seven Sermons to the Dead (Latin: Septem Sermones ad Mortuos) was written in 1916 by the Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist Carl Jung and ascribed to the gnostic teacher Basilides. The booklet was printed privately for Jung's friends but not widely available until it appeared as an appendix in his autobiography Memories, Dreams, Reflections in 1961. The text speaks cryptically about the Pleroma, the Abraxas and the soul; therein, Jung also discusses his principle of Individuality and warns of the mystical tendency to 'unite' with God, which he interprets as a dangerous psychological desire to identify with the unconscious.[a] In the analysis of the the movie Hannibal) on this blog, it was observed that Lecter is trying to 'get close' to God, to see him; in effect, to experience the beatific vision. Ultimately, Lecter wants to unite with God, and thereby identify with his own unconscious.

a. Wikipedia, 'Seven Sermons to the Dead'. Wikipedia, n.d. URL =


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 29: Satan is pulling the strings


Jame Gumb (Lecter's/Satan's pupil), with rope in hand, lowers the waste bucket to Catherine Martin while she's in the well in his basement.

Catherine tries to pull Gumb's dog into the well. As described in part 43 of the Silence of the Lambs analysis, what we're supposed to do is pair this shot with the one above, in order to realize that Catherine's strings are being pulled by the Devil. Since Starling being in Gumb's basement corresponds to Catherine being in the well, Catherine represents, in part, Clarice Starling. Therefore, it is Starling's strings that are being pulled by the Devil. Since no rope is ever actually shown attached to any part of Catherine's body, the context of this 'pulling the strings' metaphor is one in which the 'strings' themselves are effectively invisible, i.e., there is a representation being made here whereby one entity is manipulating another, but this manipulation is 'hidden' from direct view.

Starling looks in Frederica Bimmel's music box. The figurine of a woman is a marionette - a 'little little Mary'; it here represents Clarice, insofar as Clarice represents the Virgin Mary.

Metaphorically speaking, Starling is here looking for the source of motion for the figurine - she is looking for 'that which moves her'. Since Clarice represents holiness itself, she also represents the Catholic Church.

The white robe Clarice is wearing in the dorm room scene, indicates that she also represents the 'presence' of Jesus.

'Marionette' is also a name for a puppet operated from above by strings, like the one shown at left.[a] Recall that in the analysis of The Silence of the Lambs, many references to body parts and their sources of motion were uncovered. Also, as indicated in part 37 of the Silence of the Lambs analysis, the biblical book of 1 Corinthians, chapter 12, associates the members of the church with the parts of Jesus' body. Taking all of the above into consideration, what is ultimately being represented by this marionette metaphor is the belief that the members of the Roman Catholic Church are operating under the influence of Satan. Since Gumb is a 'pupil' of Lecter and represents the Freemasons, and Lecter represents a personification of Satan and the evil hermaphroditic Jews, this is another way of saying that the Catholics are being controlled by these evil Jews 'via' the Freemasons.

Since, in addition to representing Starling, Catherine Martin also represents the general public (as indicated in the Silence of the Lambs analysis), the movie-makers must also be saying that the general populace is being manipulated and controlled by evil hermaphroditic Jews.

a. Image from the Wikipedia 'Marionette' page; Marionnette, by SoHome Jacaranda Lilau, Tamelifa Puppeters, Pierre S Frana Line, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 28: Clarice Starling's animus


We briefly described the anima and animus in part 24 of the analysis, in the introduction to Jungian psychology. Here we will go into these in more detail.

According to the Wikipedia 'Anima and Animus' page,[a] the anima and animus are elements of Carl Jung's theory of the collective unconscious, a domain of the unconscious that transcends the personal psyche. In the unconscious of the male, it finds expression as a feminine inner personality: anima; equivalently, in the unconscious of the female, it is expressed as a masculine inner personality: animus.

Swiss Jungian psychologist Marie-Louise von Franz stated that there are four parallel levels of animus development in a female. The animus "first appears as a personification of mere physical power - for instance as an athletic champion or 'muscle man'"[b].

Lecter's fellow prisoner Miggs (shown at left) represents the first figure of Starling's animus - he climbs on his cell bars upon seeing Clarice, showing his physical prowess. However, since he is quite small and thin, he represents a kind of 'deficient' animus figure; in this context, he represents the 'inadequate' boys Clarice dated while she lived in her home town.

In the next phase, the animus "possesses initiative and the capacity for planned action."[c] Being part of the FBI, Clarice is surrounded by men of action; the most noticeable is, of course, her supervisor, Jack Crawford. Thus, Crawford represents the second phase of Starling's animus.

In the third phase "the animus becomes the 'word', often appearing as a professor or clergyman."[d] Recall the local man named Lamar who shows up at the West Virginia autopsy - he had been playing organ at the victim's funeral, just prior to coming into the autopsy room. He represents the third animus figure for Clarice, insofar as he represents a 'member of the clergy' in his organ-playing capacity.

"Finally, in his fourth manifestation, the animus is the incarnation of meaning. On this highest level he becomes (like the anima) a mediator of the religious experience whereby life acquires new meaning. He gives the woman spiritual firmness, an invisible inner support that compensates for her outer softness."[e] Hannibal Lecter, who helps Starling become better in her profession, is her fourth animus figure.

a. Wikipedia, 'Anima and animus'. Web, n.d. URL =
b. M.-L. von Franz, "The Process of Individuation" in Carl Jung ed., Man and his Symbols. London: Aldus Books, 1964. p. 206.
c. Ibid., p. 206.
d. Ibid., p. 206.
e. Ibid., pp. 206-7.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 27: An implication of Starling's defeat of Gumb


Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Foster) in The Silence of the Lambs. Starling is an angel of death, sent by God to destroy Satan's pupil, Jame Gumb.

On defeating Gumb at the end of The Silence of the Lambs, Starling has assimilated the 'evil side' of herself, which had been represented by Gumb. Since Clarice represents the Roman Catholic Church (by virtue of the fact that she represents holiness itself), what's being symbolized by Starling's assimilation of evil is the fact that the Catholic Church itself has assimilated evil.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 26: Clarice Starling's psychological shadow


Clarice's view of Catherine Martin as she peers down into the well while pursuing Jame Gumb.

In part 24 of this analysis, a brief description of the shadow in Jungian psychology was given. In this post, we will go into more detail on what the shadow is, and we will see that Catherine Martin represents Clarice Starling's shadow.

As indicated in part 24 of this analysis, the shadow is an unconscious complex defined as the repressed, suppressed or disowned qualities of the conscious self.[a] It is one of the three most recognizable archetypes, the others being the anima and animus and the persona. "Everyone carries a shadow," Jung wrote, "and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is."[b] It may be (in part) one's link to more primitive animal instincts, which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind.The shadow may appear in dreams and visions in various forms, and, according to von Franz, typically appears as a person of the same sex as that of the dreamer.[c] In the analysis of The Silence of the Lambs, it was stated that Catherine Martin being in the well in Jame Gumb's basement, corresponds to Clarice Starling being in the basement itself. This is an indication of a correspondence between the two women themselves; in particular, Catherine represents Starling's Jungian shadow.

Speaking generally, one's encounter with one's own shadow plays a central part in the process of individuation. Jung considered that "The meeting with oneself is, at first, a meeting with one's own shadow. The shadow is a tight passage, a narrow door, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep well"[d] (emphasis not in original).

The shadow sometimes overwhelms a person's actions; for example, when the conscious mind is shocked, confused, or paralyzed by indecision.[e]

The interaction between Starling and Catherine Martin in Jame Gumb's basement is a confused and frantic one, indicating that Clarice is, at this point, close to being overwhelmed by her shadow

a. Wikipedia, 'Analytical psychology'. Web, n.d. URL =
b. Jung, C.G. "Psychology and Religion" in The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 11. Princeton University Press, 1969. para. 131. Google Books. URL =
c. Wikipedia, 'Shadow (psychology)'. Web, n.d. URL =
d. Jung, C.G. The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 9, Part 1. Princeton University Press, 1969. para. 45. Google Books. URL =
e. Wikipedia, 'Shadow (psychology)'. Web, n.d. URL =


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 25: Silence of the Lambs hidden plot (cont'd)


Earlier in the Silence of the Lambs hidden plot thread (which began in part 1 of the individual analysis of The Silence of the Lambs on this blog), it was stated that the two insect biologists, Roden and Pilcher, and Ardelia Mapp as well, are working on the side of Jame Gumb, whom as we've said, represents the Freemasons. Recalling that Gumb is attempting to trick Lecter (evil hermaphroditic Jews) on the creation plan, as indicated by the fact that he weighted down Frederica Bimmel's body expecting it never to be found, it must be the case that Roden, Pilcher, and Ardelia are assisting Gumb in his plan to fool Lecter. This implies that Gumb has promised them a piece of the 'evil kingdom' that will result if Gumb completes his act of creation as he intends, that is, without Lecter's ultimate rule over this kingdom, which in turn represents the 'utopia' that is planned to be established in southern Indiana, by evil hermaphroditic Jews, certain evil high-ranking Freemasons, and other parties.

Once Lecter (evil hermaphroditic Jews) realizes that Gumb (evil high-ranking Freemasons) is trying to trick him, he knows he has to resurrect himself prior to Gumb's confrontation with Starling - he wants Gumb to win the confrontation, but, as indicated above, he does not want Gumb to usurp his place as ruler over the 'evil kingdom' the suit represents, nor does he want his resurrection to be 'pre-empted' by Gumb attaching an eighth and final piece to the suit. Lecter desires that Starling lose the confrontation, but that even if Gumb skins Catherine Martin and obtains a seventh piece for the suit, Starling's thigh will be too small to use for the eighth piece; and, as we've observed earlier, if Starling wins the confrontation with Gumb, she will be 'converted' into an ordinary human being, and will no longer be an impediment to Lecter. Lecter's 'sprinkling' of Officer Boyle's blood on his Memphis cell floor, which represents the sprinkling of the blood of the Paschal lamb on a metaphorical 'door' to the underworld, is designed to protect Gumb from Starling, the angel of death. Lecter knows that he can escape from his Memphis cell, and then perform his resurrection attempt, prior to the confrontation between Gumb and Starling; then Lecter can deal with Gumb as necessary, should Gumb win the confrontation.

Next to Officer Boyle's dead body lies some of his blood, spattered by Lecter when he killed Boyle by beating him to death with a police baton. The blood on the floor is to serve the function of protecting Jame Gumb in his basement underworld, from Clarice Starling, the angel of death - just as the lamb's blood sprinkled on the Israelites' doorposts during Passover, served to protect their families' first-born sons.

[If you are only viewing the explanation of the Silence of the Lambs hidden plot, which began in part 1 of the individual analysis of The Silence of the Lambs, continue on to part 45 of the unified analysis. Otherwise, use the buttons below to navigate the analysis.]


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lecter series - unified analysis - part 24: Introduction to Jungian psychology


In The Silence of the Lambs, Aredelia Mapp (right) acts as a psychopomp for Clarice Starling (left).

One of the subjects that was discussed in the Manhunter analysis was how Hannibal Lecter (spelled 'Lecktor' in Manhunter) acts as a Jungian psychopomp for Will Graham, that is, Lecter serves, in part, as a mediator between Will's unconscious and conscious mind. And, discussed in the analysis of The Silence of the Lambs was how Ardelia Mapp serves the same function for Clarice Starling. We are now going to start further applying Jungian psychology to the Lecter movies. The below is a basic introduction to Jungian psychology.

Analytical psychology (or Jungian psychology) is the school of psychology originating from the ideas of Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist Carl Jung, and then advanced by his students and other thinkers who followed in his tradition. It is distinct from Freudian psychoanalysis but also has a number of similarities. Its aim is the apprehension and integration of the deep forces and motivations underlying human behavior by the practice of an accumulative phenomenology around the significance of dreams, folklore and mythology.

The overarching goal of Jungian psychology is the reconciliation of the life of the individual with the world of the supra-personal archetypes. Central to this process is the individual's encounter with the unconscious. Humans experience the unconscious through symbols encountered in all aspects of life: in dreams, art, religion, and the symbolic dramas we enact in our relationships and life pursuits. An innate need for self-realization leads people to explore and integrate these symbolic materials. This natural process is called individuation, or the process of becoming an individual. Individuation is a process of psychological growth and maturation and is of critical importance to the human being, and ultimately to modern society. In The Silence of the Lambs, Clarice is portrayed as undergoing this process of individuation, more or less under Lecter's guidance.

In Jungian psychology, the shadow is an unconscious complex defined as the repressed, suppressed or disowned qualities of the conscious self. According to Jung, the human being deals with the reality of the shadow in four ways: denial, projection, integration and/or transmutation. According to Analytical psychology, a person's shadow may have both constructive and destructive aspects. In its more destructive aspects, the shadow can represent those things which people do not accept about themselves. For instance, the shadow of someone who identifies as being kind may be harsh or unkind.

Anima and animus
Jung identified the anima as being the unconscious feminine component of men, and the animus as the unconscious masculine component in women. Jung stated that the anima and animus act as guides to the unconscious unified Self, and that forming an awareness and a connection with the anima or animus is one of the most difficult and rewarding steps in psychological growth.[a]

The Self in Jungian theory is one of the archetypes. It signifies the coherent whole, unified consciousness and unconscious of a person - 'the totality of the psyche'. The Self, according to Jung, is realized as the product of individuation, which as noted above, is a process of psychological maturation. Another way to think of individuation is that it is the process of integrating one's personality. For Jung, the Self is symbolized by the circle (especially when divided in four quadrants), the square, or the mandala.

What distinguishes Jungian psychology is the idea that there are two centers of the personality. The ego is the center of consciousness, whereas the Self is the center of the total personality, which includes consciousness, the unconscious, and the ego. The Self is both the whole and the center. While the ego is a self-contained little circle off the center contained within the whole, the Self can be understood as the greater circle.[b]

a. Wikipedia, 'Analytical psychology'. Web, n.d. URL =
b. Wikipedia, 'Self in Jungian psychology'. Web, n.d. URL =


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pulp Fiction - Analysis of the Movie - part 1: The briefcase contents


[Image at left from the Wikipedia 'Pulp Fiction (film)' page; "Pulp Fiction (1994) poster",[a] licensed under fair use via Wikipedia.]

Welcome to the analysis of Pulp Fiction. Buttons at the bottom of each post enable navigation through the parts of the analysis. You may want to view the table of contents.

Pulp Fiction was released in 1994, and was directed by Quentin Tarantino, with stories written by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary. It stars Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Ving Rhames, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Harvey Keitel, Quentin Tarantino, Maria de Madeiros, Rosanna Arquette, and Eric Stoltz.

The first topic to be discussed in this analysis is the all-time question, what is in the black briefcase that is in Jules Winnfield's possession (as shown at left), at certain points in the movie?

Ever since people have been asking Quentin Tarantino what is in the briefcase, he has been responding by indicating that it contains whatever each viewer thinks it does. Many people have inferred this to mean that the issue of the case's contents is a totally subjective one, and that the case is a 'MacGuffin', in that its contents (if there are any) are unimportant to the overall plot. However, there is a way of interpreting Tarantino's response, that can be used as a starting point to show that the case and its contents are important insofar as the film's actual plot: Tarantino's response can be taken to apply to the movie characters, and not just to the members of its audience, i.e., for each character, the case contains what that character thinks it does. For example, as will be explained later in this analysis, that which Marsellus believes to be in the briefcase is important, when one considers the fact that we are never shown Jules returning the case to him.

The question is, what does each character think is in the case? As explained below, Vincent thinks drugs are in it, Ringo thinks it contains gold, Marsellus believes it to contain cash (in the form of paper currency), and Jules believes that it contains enlightenment (in the Buddhist sense).

Above left: Vincent flips the briefcase around with ease while in the kitchen in Brett's apartment, prior to opening it; this indicates that for Vincent, the case cannot contain anything heavy, such as gold (i.e., Vincent does not think the case contains gold). Above right: Vincent dials the combination to open the case.

Above left: We see that when Vincent opens the briefcase, to check its contents, there is a light shining on his face, implying that whatever he sees in the case is tied in with something that glows. While Vincent is looking in the case, Jules asks him, "We happy?" Then there is a pause when Vincent doesn't answer, then Jules says, "Vincent! We happy?" and Vincent responds, "Yeah, we happy", and shuts the case. As indicated by Vincent's heroin use (as shown in the screencaps below), drugs are what makes Vincent 'happy'; therefore, he sees drugs in the case. Above right: From where Jules is standing in Brett's apartment (in the living room), Jules can see the glow of the case contents shining on Vincent's face, even though he (Jules) cannot see inside the case. Note that Jules' verbal interaction with Vincent here, suggests that he knows what Vincent believes to be in the case, for he knows that what Vincent sees in the case makes him "happy", indicating that he knows Vincent sees drugs in the case (of course, as Vincent's partner, he knows Vincent is a drug user).

The glow Vincent sees in the briefcase, is a reference to the glow from the open flame he uses to prepare his heroin.

Above left: Vincent injects some prepared heroin. Above right: As indicated by Vincent's mellow facial expression on his way to Mia's house, while high on the heroin he has just injected, drugs are what makes Vincent happy.

Ringo's desire is for things of monetary value - recall that in the movie-ending diner scene, he and his partner rob the diner's cash register (and the diner's patrons of their wallets, as well).

Above left and right: Ringo robs the diner's cash register.

As shown at left, Jules easily handles the case prior to opening it for Ringo (at Ringo's 'request' - as shown in the screencap, Ringo is pointing a gun at Jules); this indicates that it cannot contain anything heavy (such as gold) for Jules, i.e., gold is not what Jules believes to be in the case.

Above left: When Jules opens the case in front of Ringo, Ringo gazes inside it. He asks Jules, "Is that what I think it is?", and Jules responds that it is. There is a pause, then Ringo, fascinated with what he sees in the case, says, "It's beautiful." The fact that we see a gold-colored light inside the case itself here, taken together with the fact that Ringo's desire is for things of monetary value (i.e., 'free' money - money obtained by robbing people, as opposed to that obtained from, say, gainful employment), we conclude that Ringo sees gold in the case. Above right: From where Jules is sitting, he can see the glow of the case contents shining on Ringo's face. Ringo himself never handles the case.

We are never shown the briefcase opened in Marsellus Wallace's presence at any point during the movie, but during the diner robbery, Jules tells Ringo the case contains his boss's "dirty laundry", suggesting money laundering. Since Marsellus is Jules' boss, Marsellus must believe that the case contains cash (in the form of paper currency).

Note that the contents of Jules' verbal interaction with Ringo, suggest that Jules knows what Ringo and Marsellus, respectively, think is in the case; and recall from above that he knows what Vincent sees in it. Jules has wisdom, for he knows what each of the other men sees in the case, indicating that he knows the men themselves. Jules knows other people, but he feels the need to reach the stage of enlightenment, so that he will know himself. It is, in fact, enlightenment (as stated above, in the Buddhist sense) that Jules believes is in the case. Jules' recognition that he has not yet attained enlightenment, is what is indicated when he says to Ringo, "But I can't give you this case, cause it don't belong to me" - meaning Jules recognizes that enlightenment does not belong to him.

a. Poster for Pulp Fiction: The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Miramax Films, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pulp Fiction analysis - part 20: Wrapping up the analysis


We begin this post by re-arranging the narrative structure of Pulp Fiction so that we can see the various segments of the movie in their proper chronological order, and then we add comments to each item on the list based on observations we have made during this analysis, as well as certain new observations:

1. Prelude to "The Gold Watch" - flashback. Captain Koons hands a young Butch Coolidge the gold watch. This event marks a kind of initial awakening (in the Buddhist sense) for Butch. Metaphorically speaking, Koons, a leading-edge baby boomer, is also handing the watch to the Pulp Fiction audience; this represents the historical hippies/yuppies handing down shit to the members of Generation Y (and by implication, to all of us).

As indicated in part 14 of the analysis, the film's screenplay says the scene in the Coolidge residence (the handing down of the watch) is set in the year 1972. As was said, for Butch to be either 8 or 9 years old in this scene, he would have to have been born in 1963. Recall that in the bar scene, Marsellus asks Butch, "how many fights you think you got left in you - two?" A boxer who has only two fights left in him would be in his late 30's - about 38. Then, 1963 + 38 = 2001, so Pulp Fiction is set in the year 2001. Note the year match with the title of Kubrick's movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Also note that Butch himself is a trailing-edge baby boomer (i.e., he is a member of the segment of baby boomers that was born between 1956 and 1964).

2. Prelude to "Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife." This segment includes the scene in Brett's apartment (Brett is shown seated at above left), and is the first scene in the film in which the briefcase appears (Vincent is shown handling the briefcase at above right). The briefcase represents, in part, the black monolith from A Space Odyssey.

3. "The Bonnie Situation." The Wolf's arrival at Jimmie's house represents help arriving from Asia (i.e., from certain concepts of Buddhism, Hinduism, and/or Indian Buddhism), as evidenced by the 'contraction' in time during The Wolf's trip to Jimmie's house, and by the fact that an evening get-together appears to be going on at The Wolf's starting location while it is morning-time. Shown at left is The Wolf looking inside Vincent and Jules' car.

4. Prologue: The Diner(i). Ringo and Yolanda decide to rob the diner. The camera perspective is from their own point of view (i.e., the POV of their table). This is the first scene shown in the movie.

5. Epilogue: The Diner(ii). The POV begins at the table Jules and Vincent are occupying. The robbery takes place. The presence of Vincent in the diner scene suggests that he has undergone a (metaphorical) rebirth, since he had 'previously' been killed by Butch. Since this is the final scene shown in the movie, then it taken together with the diner prologue effectively make Pulp Fiction a circular narrative; we note that Buddhism views the continual process of death and rebirth as a circular (cyclical) process.

6. "Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife." Butch accepts money from Marsellus to (supposedly) throw his upcoming fight. Jules seems to look over at Butch intently (above left screencap), then he heads to the men's room with the briefcase. We are never shown Jules handing the briefcase to Marsellus; this represents Jules failing to save mankind by virtue of him not paying the Devil (ransom view of the atonement). Later in this segment, Mia is depicted metaphorically as dying and then being reborn. We note that Mia and Vincent (above right, removing their shoes) represent the complementarity of yin and yang.

7. Prelude to "The Gold Watch" - present. Butch rises upon the culmination of his flashback to the handing of the gold watch, having achieved enlightenment.

8. "The Gold Watch." It is during this segment of the movie, that Butch saves Marsellus from the two men shown at left, Zed (in blue shirt) and Maynard.


Some readers of this analysis may have noticed that when his face is viewed from close up, Captain Koons looks too old in 1972, the year of the watch-handing scene, to be a baby boomer - if he was born around 1947, as stated in part 14 of the analysis, he'd only be about 25 years old in '72; but, his facial appearance places him in his 40's. One implication of this is that Koons is some sort of impostor; at the same time, the discrepancy can be explained within a certain context, when we see that in addition to representing Kung Fu's Master Kan, and a leading-edge baby boomer, Koons also represents Stanley Kubrick: Kubrick was born in 1928, so he would have been 44 years old in 1972. We can take this even further and say that Kubrick (represented by Koons) is handing the watch, which here represents the 'time puzzle', to Butch insofar as Butch represents Quentin Tarantino himself - Tarantino was born in 1963, and we have said that Butch was born in 1963, so there is a birth year match. Another correspondence between Tarantino and Butch is that Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, which is precisely where Butch and Fabienne are headed at the end of the gold watch (present)/boxing match/basement scenario. Also note that Tarantino would have been five years old in 1968, the year in which 2001: A Space Odyssey was released. Recalling that the Pulp Fiction screenplay says the camera perspective in the watch flashback scene is that of a five-year old boy, what's being suggested is that the audience watching Pulp Fiction in 1994 corresponds, in some way, to Tarantino watching A Space Odyssey when he was five.

It is important to recognize that to the Pulp Fiction audience, Koons represents a leading edge baby boomer, since he was born between 1946 and 1955 (specifically, from the audience's perspective he was born in about 1947, so he'd be in his mid-40's in 1994, the year of the movie's release). On the other hand, Butch and Tarantino are both trailing edge boomers, the group which consists of those people born between 1956 and 1964 (as indicated above).


1) In certain instances it has been determined that the creators of some of the productions analyzed on this blog, and/or the creators of source material(s) used in the making of these productions, may be making negative statements about certain segments of society in their productions. These statements should be taken as expressing the opinions of no one other than the creators.

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Marcus Aurelius's Meditations - from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Augustine's Confessions and City of God from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica from the 'Logos Virtual Library' website (except where otherwise noted), compiled and edited by Darren L. Slider; believed to be in public domain.