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Published June 21st 2014
The Big Sleep is a crime/mystery novel written by author Raymond Chandler. The novel taken into context was written during the late 1930's where the United States was attempting to recover from the depression that had economically devastated the country since 1929.
It is no wonder that the dialogue and the conversation between two or more characters is rich and filled with temperament. The deft handling of the plot, as well as Chandler's brusque style and bitter wit, is a most important means for writers to use for characterization and also to drive the plots.
Writers often use dialogue to reveal the needs, wishes, inspiration, and character of the 'cast' in their stories, serving to give an idea and an image of them in the audiences' minds. Chandler's characters talk the way that 1930s thugs, cops, and private investigators talk on the job, in linguistics, punched in with slang, Chandler excels.
The main character Phillip Marlowe, a man of contradictions and also a cynic (sarcastic with the feeling that everyone else is insecure) has helped Chandler attract a large readership, as he also embodies professional and personal integrity, speaking his mind without worrying about being politically correct or offending the powers that be. It is through his perceptions and comments that judgements about the other characters are formed. Marlowe is the epitome of the tough but sensitive private eye.
Chandler's fiction text shows and portrays no exertion of social criticism – in fact The Big Sleep forms as the slow decay of the American family and its high values and primary causes — the corruptive influence of wealth. A good read for those who enjoy a narrative that is too the point, one that holds no parables or hidden allegories.