Loyalty, women and ‘business’: ideological hyper-values in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp fiction

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • SDG 12
  • SDG 8
  • SDG 5
  • Abstract:

    This article challenges claims of nihilism and moral relativism in the narrative world of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp fiction (1994) by identifying three sets of recurring values which, in addition to being markers of the film’s version of ‘gangster morality’, appears to inspire the film narrative on a variety of levels. The film’s presentation of ‘gangster values’ (professionalism, respect and loyalty), values related to ‘care of women’ and ‘economicism’ – including ‘buying’ (consumerism) and ‘doing business’ (commercialism) – are shown to be continually at work in its three interweaving storylines. This article seeks to show how the film mobilises these values as ideological ‘hyper-values’ which, by being excessively privileged ideals, dominate and distort other legitimate values and goals. It concludes by considering hegemonic relations between these ‘hyper-values’ and illustrates the distinct dominance of economicism within this triad of ideological sets of values.