In Bullet Train (2022), The Elder tells the other assassins a metaphor regarding plums to get them to stop fighting each other and cooperate:

The Elder: A plum does not resent the hungry man, but the farmer who planted the tree.
Ladybug: He resents the farmer?
Lemon: So how do plums have fucking resentments now? So how can it resent?
The Elder: Listen. The White Death is the farmer.
Ladybug: So we're the plums. We're the plums?
Lemon: It don't make sense! Why are you motherfuckers using metaphors?

Like Ladybug and Lemon, I don't quite understand the analogy that The Elder was trying to make here. Who are the plums, and who is the hungry man? And why would the plum(s) "not resent the hungry man, but the farmer [White Death] who planted the tree"? What did The Elder mean by his metaphor?


3 Answers 3


At this point Lemon is furious at Ladybug for killing Tangerine and for ruining this job, and is about to kill him in revenge. The Elder is explaining to Lemon that Ladybug (the hungry man) was only trying to survive when he killed Tangerine (the plum).

The White Death (the farmer) is the one who "planted the seed" for this whole situation. The Elder is trying to convince them that the White Death is the one they should all resent, since his plan was to manipulate the assassins into killing each other.

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    Accepting this answer since it is currently the only one answer which explains who's who in The Elder's analogy. Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 4:59

Once a plum tree has been planted, the plums have one purpose; to be farmed and eaten. Had the plum trees never been planted, that plum wouldn't exist and, therefore, wouldn't be eaten.

Of course, plums do not have free will to change their situation like humans do. In that respect, I'm assuming he is referring to White Death as the origin of their current situation, and as such that would make him the Farmer.


Here it is: The hungry man is simply playing the game of survival in life, while the farmer is furthering the game itself (life) - The interpretation I have on this is basically parallel to the saying "don't hate the player, hate the game."

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