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The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep


by Raymond Chandler

The Big Sleep Violence Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

His [Geiger's] glass eye shone brightly up at me and was by far the most life-like thing about him. At a glance none of the three shots I heard had missed. He was very dead. (7. 5)

Geiger's body is the first death we witness in the novel. Marlowe has stumbled upon a gruesome scene of violence, but what catches our eye are the tone and pacing of the sentences. The curt and matter-of-fact tone of Marlowe's voice suggests that he's used to seeing dead bodies. No shock here, folks.

Quote #2

"Drunk, hell," the plainsclothesman said. "The hand throttle's set halfway down and the guy's been sapped on the side of the head. Ask me and I'll call it murder." (9.40)

Owen Taylor's death is the second act of violence in the novel, but the cause of his death remains unknown. We don't know whether someone murdered him, or whether he committed murder due to his unrequited love for Carmen. Why does Chandler decide to keep Taylor's death unresolved?

Quote #3

The giggles stopped dead, but she didn't mind the slap any more than last night. Probably all her boy friends got around to slapping her sooner or later. I could understand how they might. (12.48)

Marlowe does his fair share of roughing up women. He slaps Carmen around several times during the course of the novel, and also gets pretty rough with Agnes. Is his occasional violence toward uncalled for? Does this uncouth behavior affect the way we see him as a modern day knight figure? We certainly think so.

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