Study Guide

Pulp Fiction Loyalty

Loyalty

BRETT: I just want you to know how sorry we are about how f***ed up things got between us and Mr. Wallace. When we entered into this thing, we only had the best intentions. […]

JULES: What does Marsellus Wallace look like? […] Does he look like a b****?!

BRETT: No.

JULES: Then why did you try to f*** 'im like a b****?!

BRETT: I didn't.

If you're a gang boss, you have to make an example of people who try to betray you. For all we know, Brett was telling the truth but, honestly, it doesn't matter, not to Jules or Vincent, and definitely not to Marsellus. No briefcase means no loyalty and if you're not loyal to Marsellus then you are a dead man.

MIA: Besides, it's more exciting when you don't have permission.

Vincent wants to talk ask Mia about the foot massage incident but he doesn't want to offend her. We think his reluctance is warranted; it's a touchy subject. But Mia's comment might be about more than just their conversation. The date could be a test of Vincent's loyalty, and suggestive remarks like this aren't making it any easier.

VINCENT: You see, this is a moral test of one's self; whether or not you can maintain loyalty. Because being loyal is very important.

"Very important" in the sense that you'll get killed otherwise. Even now that he knows the foot massage story wasn't true, Vincent knows he should keep his hands off Mia and gives himself a talking-to in the bathroom. Do you think Mia is testing him or does she really fall for him?

VINCENT: I got a chick, she's f***in' ODing on me.

LANCE: Well don't bring her here! I'm not even f***in' joking with you, don't you be bringing some f***ed up pooh-butt to my house!

VINCENT: No choice. […]

LANCE: Are, are you talking to me on a cellular phone? I don't know you, who is this, don't come here. Prank caller! Prank caller!

Well, so much for Lance being Vincent's buddy. What happened to the discount prices and the "mi casa, su casa" talk? We guess Lance's loyalty goes out the window when danger's involved. Vincent has to remind Lance that Marsellus would be extremely unhappy to know that Lance didn't help his wife.

CAPTAIN KOONS: Your granddad was facing death and he knew it. None of those boys had any illusions about ever leavin' that island alive. So three days before the Japanese took the island, your 22-year old grandfather asked a gunner on an Air Force transport named Winocki, a man he had never met before in his life, to deliver to his infant son, who he had never seen in the flesh, his gold watch. Three days later, your grandfather was dead. But Winocki kept his word. After the war was over, he paid a visit to your grandmother, delivering to your infant father, his Dad's gold watch

We see here how loyalty codes in the military are like the ones among the gangsters. It's not as if Dane, Butch's grandfather, would have known whether Winocki delivered; he was dead either way. But it's the loyalty principle that counts and now Butch, for better or for worse, is left with the heirloom. Some people have suggested that that maybe Butch remembered this story of loyalty and that's what made him decide to rescue Marsellus

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