Concerns of the 90s are also brought out in the film, including increased violence, changing rates and types of drug use and cultural oddities such as all over body piercings. Each character has their own perspective on the times in which they’re living as well, bringing in even more depth in Tarantino’s analysis of this era, which is brought out in even sharper detail thanks to the several references made to pop culture icons of bygone eras. It is through these various devices that Tarantino is able to deliver a film that not only captures the prevailing culture of 1990s America, but that also provides an answer for those seeking meaning in a confusing and violent world.
Violence plays a big role in the film just as it did in everyday life in America in the 90’s. By the end of the decade, Americans had become used to acting as the world’s policeman, having worked singly and with other countries in a variety of predominantly Middle Eastern issues. However, the beginnings of this trend were already evident by the time the movie was released. Although he doesn’t make a comment upon these actions directly, Tarantino indicates his own feelings regarding war in the flashback Butch experiences just before he’s called to his fight. The character of Captain Koons enters the home where Butch as a young child is watching cartoons and gives him his father’s watch. While war is given a somewhat nostalgic, honorable memory in the story regarding Butch’s great-grandfather who went to war in World War I and his grandfather who died in World War II, the Captain takes on a whole new tone when discussing his own experience in Vietnam. Although his voice has been calm and gentle, almost sing-song as he relates the family history regarding the watch in his hand, he takes on a much harsher tone and introduces vulgar language in discussing how the watch was preserved to be passed down to Butch.