The Big Sleep- the Depiction of Marlowe as a Modern-Day Knight

1532 WordsDec 20, 20127 Pages
The Big Sleep- The depiction of Marlowe as a modern-day knight The novel “The Big Sleep” by Raymond Chandler was published in 1939 during the heart of the Great Depression. The novel is written in a very sinister, dark and kind of a gangster tone and carries much of the cynicism of 1930s America. The Big Sleep is a story of intrigue, corruption, delinquency and obliquity with a rather complex plot which can be very confusing. The main character in “the Big Sleep” is the private detective Philip Marlow who is very masculine man with values and a good moral. His strong moral is often evidenced throughout the novel. Marlowe is the only one in this complex world who cannot be corrupted because the other characters are all described as sleazy,…show more content…
There is another passage where he is looking down at a chess board saying: “I looked down at the chess board. The move with the knight was wrong. I put it back where I have moved it from. Knights had no meaning in this game” (95). It is clear that he depicts himself as the knight and he is referring to his cold case and the mistakes he has made so far in solving the crime. The sentence “knights had no meaning in this game” refers to his chivalrous behavior and that this has not been helpful so far in solving the crime and that frustrates him. Furthermore, his behavior has no meaning or value for the other characters that are included in this crime and he is instantly reminded that he is the only one in this “game” who is faithful and morally. However, the description of chivalry is not only portrayed through the imagery in the novel but moreover through the behavior of Philip Marlowe. For hundreds of years, the knight is one of the most fascinating figures or motives of the history which has not lost his symbolic brightness and power. If one is looking for a definition of a knight it always includes certain terms like strong, noble, chivalrous, morally straight or protector of the weak as well as the existence of a certain code. According to this code it is the duty of a knight to protect women, children and to have faithfulness. This is exactly the behavior that Marlowe displays throughout the novel. Within the novel there are several passages and examples

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