Friday, July 31, 2009

Pulp Fiction analysis - part 12: Yellow-orange coloring represents enlightenment


Beginning with part 1 of the analysis, one of our working theories has been that in Jules Winnfield's eyes, the black briefcase contains enlightenment (that is, enlightenment in the Buddhist sense); and we have stated that enlightenment is Jules' ultimate goal. Another determination we have made is that there are certain similarities between the movie Pulp Fiction, and the 1970's television series Kung Fu. And, in part 11, it was described how a passage from the book by Herbie Pilato about the Kung Fu series, The Kung Fu Book of Caine, applies to Pulp Fiction (the passage has application to Butch and the story of the gold watch). In the same book, there is some information which fits with our theory that enlightenment is what Jules sees in the briefcase. This information is in chapter 6 (titled "Behind the Scenes"):

"[P]eople wondered why the monks in the series wore orange. Some of the people from the series say it was simply because the color looked good next to the bricks of the Shaolin temple set. [Technical advisor for the show] Kam Yuen says that there was also another reason: 'Orange is the color of the sun. Every time the sun comes up, it's another day - a new beginning, a rebirth, enlightenment.' "[a] (emphasis in original). Yuen's comment resonates with our briefcase theory, insofar as Jules believing that the briefcase contains enlightenment, because the case emits an orange glow when opened (recall that Jules can see the orange glow from the inside of the case, shining on Vincent's and Ringo's faces, while each of them is looking in the case).

Above left: Note the glow on Vincent's face while the case is open. Above right: There is light on Ringo's face while Jules holds the open case.

The fact that orange represents enlightenment also applies to Butch, and to our claim that upon awakening from his flashback of the handing down of the gold watch, he has achieved enlightenment. Above left: When Butch rises at the moment of the culmination of the flashback, just before his boxing match with Floyd Wilson, we can see that he is wearing an orange robe. Above right: Just after the match, the taxi cab in which Butch rides is yellow-orange in color.

a. Pilato, Herbie. The Kung Fu Book of Caine: The Complete Guide to TV's First Mystical Eastern Western. Boston: Charles E. Tuttle, 1993. p. 51.


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