The Big Sleep By Raymond Chandler

1291 Words6 Pages
Throughout the history of mankind, money has always been the prime motivator for people. Its possession meant higher placement in society; with money you could virtually get away with anything. During the 1930’s especially, the need for money was universal due to the Great Depression, which was hovering over the economical balance in the United States. Greed created a cycle of corruption within the society, where if one had money, they could pay the money to the ‘right’ people who were in need of it to find a way that the wealthy could get away with their crimes, which was exactly what others were chasing. Raymond Chandler challenges and reflects upon these beliefs in his novel, “The Big Sleep”. In a society where greed is developed in…show more content…
The fall into poverty led people to abandon their morals and exert to wrongful ways of obtaining wealth, which caused the crime rate to rise in the country dramatically. Petty thefts, and even murders for the sake of obtaining money have become a more popular approach to making a living in the US. Along with the historical events of 1930’s, citizens’ beliefs have also shifted. “ The Great Depression brought a rapid rise in the crime rate as many unemployed workers resorted to petty theft to put food on the table.” People were desperate to survive, therefore committing crimes in order to provide for their families was the only option available. Another way out which Americans have found was alcohol. Those who were vulnerable to hardship resorted to drinking as a way of escaping the brutal reality around them. Suicide rates rose due to the depression taking over the nation; suicide seemed to be the only option left for those who weren’t able to deal with the pressure. Prostitution, as well, became more popular among women desperate to pay their bills, resulting in a shift in the way women were viewed at the time. In Chandler’s novel women were also portrayed as sexual creatures, taking advantage of it to get what they wanted. In “The Big Sleep” Raymond Chandler tells the story of an honest yet cynical detective, Philip Marlowe, hired by a wealthy old man, General Sternwood, to help him “take care of” a pornographer who has been
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