The Big Sleep - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 1 Summary

Philip Marlowe, a 33-year-old Los Angeles-based private investigator and the first-person narrator, has been summoned by General Sternwood for a case. The Sternwood family is very rich and Marlowe pauses at the entrance to admire their sprawling house, the magnificent entrance, and the impressive Packard convertible that the chauffeur is dusting. On the whole, it is not hard to be impressed with the opulence of their estate.

Marlowe enters the house and comes across Carmen Sternwood, a blonde-haired beauty with an empty head. Though General Sternwood is very old, he has two daughters that are still in their 20's, Carmen and Vivian, and both of them are dangerously immature. Carmen affectionately plays with Marlowe as though she were still a young girl. She even pretends to faint in order to get Marlowe to hold her.

As Carmen lies in Marlowe's arms, the butler arrives to bring Marlowe...

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This section contains 249 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Big Sleep Study Guide
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Novels for Students
The Big Sleep from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.