Mind Map of The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep
overview
Themes
Symbols
Aging millionaire General Sternwood hires detective Philip Marlowe to resolve an attempt to blackmail him over his daughter Carmen's gambling debts. As Marlowe investigates, the case deepens, leading to several deaths and exposing serious dishonesty in 1930s Los Angeles.
Language
To solve the case, Marlowe must read and understand coded clues.
Corruption
Marlowe encounters rampant corruption in decadent 1930s Los Angeles.
Sexuality
Sex is used as a weapon, lure, or trap, but Marlowe remains above temptation.
Book
Stand for communication, coded ideas, and hidden deception
Stained-Glass Window
Reflects both Marlowe' chivalric code and his cynicism
Greenhouse
Symbolizes artificial virility and masculinity powered by wealth
Main Character
Philip Marlowe
Hard-drinking, fast-talking, incorruptible private detective and modern-day white knight
General Sternwood
Aging, ailing millionaire; protective but ineffectual blackmailed father
Vivian Reg
Allurihg, well-educated, and manipulative daughter of Sternwood; heavy gambler
Carmen Sternwood
Vivian's spoiled, unbalanced, and violent younger sister; used to getting her way
Author
RAYMOND CHANDLER
1888-1959
Though Chandler didn't create the hard-boiled detective, he gave the genre an archetype in Philip Marlowe, the wisecracking, urban knight who is both street-smart and incorruptible. Chandler looked to create realistic, multidimensional characters in a gritty world where people get hurt and crime pays very well.
11