Farewell, My Lovely Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is Philip Marlowe's history prior to the beginning of the novel?

Philip Marlowe's history prior to the beginning of the novel is that he used to work for the District Attorney's Office until he was fired for insubordination. After his firing, he went into business for himself as a private detective. Raymond Chandler does not reveal any additional information about Marlowe's past, so details about his family background or his romantic past remain unknown to the reader.

2. Who is Little Velma, and why is Moose Malloy looking for the woman?

Little Velma is a woman who worked as a singer at Florian's night club eight years before the novel begins. Moose Malloy is looking for the woman because she was his girlfriend. Malloy has just gotten out of prison after an eight year sentence and wants to reunite with Velma.

3. What is unusual about Moose Malloy's appearance?

Two things are unusual about Moose Malloy's appearance. First, Malloy is huge. He is six foot five inches tall and "no wider than a beer truck". In addition, Malloy wears garish clothing that doesn't match in color. For example, he wears a bright yellow tie with a brown shirt and grey slacks and a grey jacket with big white golf balls for buttons. Philip Marlowe believes that Malloy's size and his unique way of dressing will make him easy for the police to find.

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