The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep

Introduction This study guide The Big Sleep by Raymond Thornton Chandler Please click on the literary analysis category you wish to be displayed. Back and Next buttons can guide you through all the sections or you can choose to jump from section to section using the links below or the links at the left. Author : Raymond …

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The Big Sleep: Biography

Raymond Thornton Chandler was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 23, 1888. His father, an American, abandoned the family early in Chandler’s life, and his mother, an Anglo-Irish woman, obtained a divorce and moved with her son to England in 1895. Funded by an uncle, Chandler attended London’s Dulwich College, a prestigious prep school where …

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The Big Sleep: Top Ten Quotes

“The General spoke again, slowly, using his strength as carefully as an out-of-work show-girl uses her last good pair of stockings.” p. 8 Chandler’s famous detective draws on the noir world he knows not only to do his work but also to describe his world. Examples of his creative figurative language occur throughout the novel …

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The Big Sleep: Theme

Models of Manhood Philip Marlowe is a noir protagonist, which means he’s no hero—but he’s the closest thing to a hero in The Big Sleep. The first-person narrator through whose eyes we see Chandler’s vision of a Los Angeles with a corrupt heart dictates how readers perceive other characters. His narrative voice firmly in control, …

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The Big Sleep: Metaphors

GamesGames, illegal and legal, and their players come up in the plot, sometimes in unlikely places. A character’s choice of game can function as a metaphor that reveals traits and motivations. Two instances of games as metaphors stand out in the novel. One occurs in Chapter Eleven, when Vivian explains her attraction to the high-stakes …

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The Big Sleep: Characters

Joe Brody Joe Brody is a man who blackmailed Sternwood “to let [his] younger daughter alone”; Sternwood paid him off. Brody has ties to Geiger’s “rare book shop,” that is, his pornography business. Brody is tall, lanky, and above all calm, with “dark brown eyes in a brown expressionless face that had learned to control …

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The Big Sleep: Chapter: 31,32

Thirty-OneNorris and Marlowe walk out together, and their brief conversation reveals that Norris’s loyalties lie with the General, who, he says, appreciated Regan’s lively youthfulness and “soldier’s eye,” not unlike Marlowe’s own eye, he adds. As for “the ladies,” Norris simply shrugs when asked about their health.As Marlowe leaves, he sees Carmen sitting in the …

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The Big Sleep: Chapter: 29,30

Twenty-Nine Marlowe, still handcuffed, walks past the now-dark garage, playing out Canino’s intentions in his mind. Canino would come back and escort Mona to the brown coupe. He would dispatch Marlowe silently—no gunfire—and then drive away with Mona, telling her that Marlowe would eventually loosen the ropes and escape. He would preserve Mona’s belief that …

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