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The Big Sleepby Raymond Chandler     Wesley Hairston     Detective Fiction         Dr. Klein      May 14, 2012
Raymond Chandler•   July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959•   Born in Chicago; died in La Jolla, California•   Worked as an oil co...
Raymond Chandler• First short story was published in 1933   – Blackmailers Don’t Shoot• Wrote seven novels during lifetime...
The Big Sleep• Chandler’s first novel• Hard-boiled detective fiction• Published in 1939• First of the series about detecti...
Philip Marlowe• Philosophical and wise character• Smokes cigarettes and drinks liquor in large amounts• Enjoys mind exerci...
1946 Film Review• "The Big Sleep is one of those pictures in which so many cryptic things  occur amid so much involved and...
1978 Film Review•    "The Big Sleep is overloaded with big names, and in this case the net    effect of an all-star cast i...
Chandler’s Style in the Novel• Creates a dark tone  – Vivid discriptions of environments• Uses thunder for foreshadowing• ...
Plot Overview• Philip Marlow is hired by General Sternwood   – He is being blackmailed with pornographic images of his dau...
Influences from Other Authors• Theme of murder• Deduction (Poe and Conan Doyle)• Theme of suspense• Red herrings• Chandler...
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The big sleep pp

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The big sleep pp

  1. 1. The Big Sleepby Raymond Chandler Wesley Hairston Detective Fiction Dr. Klein May 14, 2012
  2. 2. Raymond Chandler• July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959• Born in Chicago; died in La Jolla, California• Worked as an oil company executive• Lost his job during the Great Depression• Decided to write detective fiction at age 44 in 1932 – Recurring theme of blackmail – Famous works include The Little Sister (1949), The Long Goodbye (1953), and Farewell, My Lovely (1940)
  3. 3. Raymond Chandler• First short story was published in 1933 – Blackmailers Don’t Shoot• Wrote seven novels during lifetime – Passed away before finishing his eighth novel• All have been made into motion pictures except Playback• Elected president of the Mystery Writers of America in 1958
  4. 4. The Big Sleep• Chandler’s first novel• Hard-boiled detective fiction• Published in 1939• First of the series about detective Philip Marlowe (first person narrative)• Two films were created from this story – 1946- directed by Howard Hawks – 1978- directed by Michael Winner
  5. 5. Philip Marlowe• Philosophical and wise character• Smokes cigarettes and drinks liquor in large amounts• Enjoys mind exercising activities like chess• Contemplative and not easily deceivable• Middle aged detective living in Los Angeles• Very keen and observant just like Holmes and Dupin• Created from various characters in the pulp magazines that Chandler enjoyed
  6. 6. 1946 Film Review• "The Big Sleep is one of those pictures in which so many cryptic things occur amid so much involved and devious plotting that the mind becomes utterly confused. And, to make it more aggravating, the brilliant detective in the case is continuously making shrewd deductions which he stubbornly keeps to himself. What with two interlocking mysteries and a great many characters involved, the complex of blackmail and murder soon becomes a web of utter bafflement.”
  7. 7. 1978 Film Review• "The Big Sleep is overloaded with big names, and in this case the net effect of an all-star cast is to make an already confusing mystery even harder to follow…Its hard to imagine a director less suited to the subtleties of this kind of story, but then subtleties arent anything Mr. Winner even tries for…Mr. Winner substitutes a high-priced vulgarity that wipes out every last touch of evil. The villains in this version arent wicked, and they arent even particularly villainous. They just manage to do everything in stultifyingly bad taste.”
  8. 8. Chandler’s Style in the Novel• Creates a dark tone – Vivid discriptions of environments• Uses thunder for foreshadowing• Uses several colloquialisms• Enjoys the use of irony – Ex. The title of the novel
  9. 9. Plot Overview• Philip Marlow is hired by General Sternwood – He is being blackmailed with pornographic images of his daughter, Carmen. – Also Rusty Regan has gone missing (married to Vivian Sternwood, general’s other daughter; thought to have ran off with another woman.)• Marlowe’s mission is to find the pictures as well as Rusty Reagan• Several strange murders occur on Marlowe’s quest for information including the suspected blackmailer• In the end the crime leads back to Carmen – She killed Rusty Regan and Vivian paid a casino executive to hide the body in order to protect her father from depression and humiliation
  10. 10. Influences from Other Authors• Theme of murder• Deduction (Poe and Conan Doyle)• Theme of suspense• Red herrings• Chandler’s stories were heavily influenced by pulp magazines

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