Quentin Tarantino finds a lot of drama in breakfast, whether it’s the gang of thieves discussing Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” over a pre-heist meal in Reservoir Dogs (1992) or Pulp Fiction’s Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent (John Travolta) bursting in on Brett (Frank Whaley) and his pals as they eat a fateful morning meal of Big Kahuna burgers and Sprite. But the most dramatic breakfast in Tarantino-world is the diner meal that opens and closes Pulp Fiction.
It begins with a typical Jules and Vincent philosophical discussion about the differences between dogs and pigs (prompted by the side of bacon accompanying Vincent’s short stack of pancakes), progresses to matters more deeply theological, and concludes with Jules beginning his quest for redemption by defusing the restaurant robbery by Pumpkin (Tim Roth) and Honeybunny (Amanda Plummer). Redemption is the movie’s grand theme, and there’s an implicit link between it and the characters’ breakfast choices. Those who eat fatty fried meats, like Brett and Vincent, are doomed, while Jules, who eschews pork, still has a shot at a future.
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