The Big Sleep Essay

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In the following essay, Speir offers a detailed analysis of the plot of The Big Sleep, focusing on Marlowe's emotional transformation and the events that influence it.

"I'm not joking, and if I seem to talk in circles, it just seems that way. It all ties together - everything."

Philip Marlowe crackles to life on a cloudy October morning in the first paragraph of The Big Sleep (1939). "I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars." Already he exhibits the wry self-mockery which occupies us throughout the novels. The tone is self-assured, even cocky, but it also maintains the ironic detachment...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 5,157 words
(approx. 13 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Big Sleep Study Guide
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The Big Sleep from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.