Study Guide

Pulp Fiction Loyalty

Loyalty

You know when you're at a party in a heated debate over the value of the Marvel movie franchise and your buddy who you thought was on your side suddenly stabs you in the back just because he sorta liked the eighteenth installment of Iron Man (or whatever they're on)? Well, that's not a very loyal friend but the worst that's gonna happen is getting kicked out of the party for dumping your glass of punch all over him.

Loyalty means a whole lot more in the world of Pulp Fiction where your friend is carrying a gun…or is the only person you know with an adrenaline shot. Loyalty is a valuable tool, more powerful than violence. Marsellus knows it, Vincent knows it, and Tony Rocky Horror shoulda known it. Every gangster knows it. The big problem with loyalty is that it's a lot harder to gain than it is to throw away, and you never know just how loyal anyone really is in the crime biz. Hint: not much; they're all sociopaths.

Questions About Loyalty

  1. Who do you think is the most loyal character in the film? Why are they loyal and who are they loyal to? 
  2. Is loyalty advantageous for both parties? Do the loyal characters benefit from their loyalty?
  3. Can Vincent's loyalty ethic be considered a moral code?

Chew on This

Loyalty never pays off. Vincent stays loyal through Mia's date and everything else that Marsellus has him do and still ends up dead.

There's no loyalty based on camaraderie in Pulp Fiction. All loyalty is a product of greed and fear.