The Big Sleep Themes

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Although Marlowe works for General Stern-wood, a millionaire, his loyalty to the man is not based on Sternwood's wealth but on his age, infirmity, and honesty. Throughout the novel, Marlowe treats people as they treat him, rather than as they expect to be treated by virtue of their class standing or social position. This is demonstrated in the way he responds to the Sternwood sisters, both of whom are privileged and behave as if they are entitled to special treatment. Vivian Regan is shocked by Marlowe's "rude manners" during their first encounter, and Carmen Sternwood is so disturbed by Marlowe's sexual rejection of her that she attempts to kill him. Marlowe is also discourteous to Captain Cronjager during his visit to Wilde's office, refusing to defer to Cronjager's position as police captain when discussing the Geiger and Brody killings. Marlowe's behavior in this instance has as...

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This section contains 465 words
(approx. 2 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.