Shadow and Spirit in the American Psyche:
Lessons of Pulp Fiction
Film & Workshop
John Beebe, M.D.
February 13, 1999
Few recent films have so intrigued and perplexed our country's moviegoers as Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, which engages the problem of violence in American culture. The dialogue, the characters, the unusual structure of the film, and its balance of terror, comedy and pathos, express a paradoxical optimism toward this shadow problem that notoriously plagues our nation.
In Tarantino's vulgar imaginable America, the complexes that constitute the national character are personified as individuals in desperate search of transformation. Using his extension of Jung's theory of psycho-logical types, Dr. John Beebe will lead participants in an analysis of these collective shadow complexes, demonstrating the potential for development of the American psyche out of its present spiritual impasse.
Dr. John Beebe is president-elect of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. He is the Founding Editor of the quarterly San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, where his movie reviews have appeared since 1980. He can be seen discussing American movies in the 1990 award-winning documentary, "The Wisdom of the Dream."