The Big Sleep: Analytically Breakdown

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  • Topic: Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
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  • Published : April 17, 2013
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The Big Sleep: Analytical breakdown
The big sleep represents our class’s first exploration into what is known as “Hardboiled” fiction. The advent of Hardboiled literature means an escape from classic detective novels where all we find are ingenious investigators and mind numbing puzzles designed to impress and surprise us. In such novels, the protagonist is often observed from a third person point of view; where insight into the (genius) mind of the protagonist isn’t revealed till the end of the novel. Instead, hardboiled literature takes us on a more realistic route; solving crimes in first person with brute force investigators, rather than “Sherlock Holmes” like characters. Detective Philip Marlowe of The Big Sleep is an example of such a character. Clever, but no Sherlock Holmes; Marlowe takes on cases with good old fashion leg work and tenacity. Such is the way things are done in the real world, where all Hardboiled novels take place. The Big Sleep is no exception.

A common theme often portrayed in Hardboiled novels is that of corruption. This corruption is often seen through the eyes of the protagonist, who is usually cynical and jaded because of which. The real world in The Big Sleep is a post WW1 Los Angeles, right around the time of the great depression. The effects of this time in history are clearly illustrated in many of characters represented in The Big Sleep. Here we have a world of money hungry people, who will do anything to escape such realities. This is how corruption starts. Everyone is dirty; politicians’ takes bribes, police can be bought and newspapers lie. People no longer have faith in promising futures, so they do what they have do to survive. In this sort of world, characters like Philip Marlowe are rare. At 25$ a day, Marlowe works for cheap, proving that he is above the common desire of wealth. Marlowe is depicted as man full of integrity and honor, and works simply because he feels it’s the right thing to do. However, such a job...
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