Marlowe is the hero of The Big Sleep, as well as our narrator. We find ourselves rooting for Marlowe when he gets into jams and fights crooked criminals. He's not the best detective out there, sure, but what Marlowe lacks in case-solving skills, he makes up for with heart. He takes a great deal of pride in his work and is always dedicated to serving his clients at his own personal risk. In fact, Marlowe is also one of the few honest men left in a world of depravity, and his strong personal conscience is the only glimmer of hope left in the vice-ridden society of 1930s America.