The Big Sleep
Men and Masculinity Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"And I don't like your manners."
"I'm not crazy about yours," I said. "[…] I don't mind if you don't like my manners. They're pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings. But don't waste your time trying to cross-examine me." (3.19-20)
This snarky exchange between Vivian and Marlowe is a classic example of Marlowe's gruff manner of speaking. He definitely plays the part of the tough guy pretty well. His wisecracking dialogue becomes a weapon for him to control the situation by not allowing Vivian to cross-examine him. And he won't let her get close to him either.
"So you're a private detective," [Vivian] said. "I didn't know they really existed, except in books. Or else they were greasy little men snooping around hotels." (3. 4)
Greasy? Harsh! We'd interpret this dialogue, but we'd much rather let Lauren Bacall do it for us.
I had my horn-rimmed sunglasses on. I put my voice high and let a bird twitter in it. "Would you happen to have a Ben Hur 1860?" (4.6)
What a bizarre Big Sleep moment. Is Marlowe playing gay? And why might he be doing that?