The Big Sleep Irony

The Big Sleep Irony

Fragile and yet not so much

Marlow meets the General in the second chapter inside the General’s greenhouse. There, the General compares himself with an orchid that has to stay in a warm climate to live. The fact that the General compared himself with a fragile flower is ironical considering how much power the General has and the influence he has on other people.

Public servant

From the beginning, the reader is left with the impression that Marlowe is the hero of the story, fighting for what is good and taking care of the weak. Because of this, it is ironic to see how he refuses to acknowledge the murder of a man, the kidnaping of his employer’s daughter and many others illegal activities. While the tendency is to portray him as the good guy, the fact is that he is hard to be categorized as being god or bad because he doesn’t always act as he should.

The lady in distress

When Marlowe is threatened by Mars, the character who saves him is Carmen, the same woman he saved a few chapters earlier and who was portrayed by being the damsel in distress. The tables turned however and ironically, Marlowe found himself in a similar position Carmen was in when she was saved.

Helped by the villain

Mars distinguishes himself as the villain from the first moment he is introduced to the reader. Because of this, it is ironical to see that he is the one who helps Marlowe to find Rusty Regan and his protection, something the people who hired him were not willing to give.

The woman you are looking for

The General hired Marlowe to find out who was the person who was blackmailing his youngest daughter, Carmen. The General believed that it was someone who wanted to take their money and profit after his young daughter’s antics. That is however, not the truth as, in an ironical twist, it is revealed that the person who was blackmailing Carmen was Mars and Vivian and their intention was not to take the General’s money, but to protect Carmen’s reputation and the General from finding out what Carmen did.

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