Essay on The Big Sleep

1073 Words5 Pages
In the books The Big Sleep and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, both authors, Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep) and Simon Armitage (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight), create the protagonist of each story into archetypal knights. The protagonist of The Big Sleep is named Phillip Marlowe and in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the protagonist is named Sir Gawain. The 3 knightly qualities that we will be focusing on in this essay are self-sacrifice, loyalty and courage. These qualities are displayed throughout each story in different and similar ways throughout each book.

In The Big Sleep, Phillip Marlowe displays self-sacrifice a few times throughout the book. Phillip Marlowe displays an act of self-sacrifice on page 129 and he says, “The
…show more content…
“I left out a couple of personal matters. I intend to keep on leaving them out... Because my client is entitled to that protection...” Marlowe is loyal towards the Sternwood family as he specifically leaves out pieces of the story about Carmen and her family. This act of nobility ties directly to the figure of a knight, in which Marlowe represents. Gawain as well displays loyalty throughout the book Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Gawain displays an act of loyalty on page 19, line 339. “Gawain now to his king inclines and says, I stake my claim. This moment must be mine.” Gawain intervenes with Arthur’s challenge with the Green Knight as he steps to the challenge in a form of loyalty to the crown. This act of loyalty is another sign that Sir Gawain represents a knight throughout the book.

The last knightly characteristic that we will cover in this essay is courage. Both protagonists, Phillip Marlowe and Sir Gawain demonstrate a lot of courage throughout each book. Phillip Marlowe displays this trait in The Big Sleep on page 33 when he says
-At seven-twenty a single flash of hard white light shot out of Geiger’s house like a wave of summer lightning. As the darkness folded back on it and ate it up a thin tinkling scream echoed out and lost itself among the rain drenched trees. I was out of the car and on my way before the echoes died. This act was very courageous, as Marlowe had no idea what he was getting into. He decided that it was
Open Document