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The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep

by Raymond Chandler

Principles Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"You can't make much money in this trade, if you're honest. If you have a front, you're making money—or expecting to."

"Oh—are you honest?" she asked and opened her bag. […]
"Painfully." (11.10-11)

Painfully? Really? Maybe Marlowe's talking about his wallet here. It seems like to be moral means to be lacking some serious cash. The more honest Marlowe is, the more painfully thin his wallet gets.

Quote #2

She peeled her right glove off and bit her index finger at the first joint, looking at me with steady eyes. "I didn't come to see you about Owen. Do you feel yet that you can tell me what my father wanted to see you about?"

"Not without his permission." (11.23-24)

The fact that Marlowe refuses to give Vivian the scoop on her dad reveals his sense of loyalty to the General. But why does he feel that sense of loyalty in the first place? Is it because he likes the general, or is it more of a professional code kind of thing?

Quote #3

"You're the hardest guy to get anything out of. You don't even move your ears." (11.62)

Vivian expresses her frustration at Marlowe's silence. Why is Marlowe's discretion an important sign of his strong sense of principles?

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