Pulp Fiction Marsellus Wallace Analysis

Pulp Fiction’s Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) is not one of the primary characters of the movie, but still manages to be an iconic character within it. That said, few people and critics alike have attempted to explore the meaning of the various characters in Pulp Fiction and mores specifically Marsellus Wallace. Herein, it will be argued that Marsellus Wallace represents authority and the manner in which he does so revealed.

How Does Marsellus Wallace Represent Authority?

Pulp Fiction is a post-modernist film in the sense that it is about how different ways of approaching the world function. As a result of this, each of the characters represents something different of which Marsellus represents Authority. Whenever Marsellus Wallace is in a scene he is basically in it as an authority figure, as the boss. As a result of this theme being associated with him, he rarely actually does anything himself but rather orders others to.

Marsellus and the Briefcase

As he represents authority and as the briefcase is basically the item that the plot revolves around in Pulp Fiction, Marsellus believes the briefcase belongs to him. Despite this, as authority he can only really get others to do his work so sends Vincent and Jules to get it back to him. In other words, this is symbolic of the manner in which authority depends on others to succeed, to manipulate ideas and forces in order to accomplish something. Tarantino further explores this theme when he shows the luxury Marsellus is in compared to the difficult situation his subordinates are in. The first example of this is when Jules and Vincent are in trouble and he is sitting by a pool relaxed, the second is when he is off buying takeaway when Vincent is killed.

Marsellus And The Disagreement with Butch Coolidge

Before attempting to understand the nature of the disagreement between Marsellus and Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis), it first must be understood that Butch basically represents honor. When Marsellus, as he represents authority, tries to get Butch to go against his honourable principles it ultimately backfires on him. As a result, Butch says that he will throw a boxing match and then ends up winning it. Despite this, it would have been dishonourable for Butch to leave Marsellus in the gun store and subsequently Butch turns around after escaping and saves him. It is also of note that the weapon Butch chose above all others was a Samurai sword, a symbol of honor amongst the Japanese.

Related posts: