The Big Sleep

1) Sean McCann has argued that hard-boiled fiction is fundamentally a parable about the economic crises of the day (i.e. the Depression and the New Deal.) Specifically, he argues:

The Big Sleep is an allegory of economic predation in which the vernacular energy of the white ethnic falls prey to the economic elite. “To hell with the rich. They made me sick,” Marlowe notes at one point, and Chandler’s novel suggests that the image is literally intended. At its heart, The Big Sleep is a gothic tale of the way that the wealthy survive by leeching the vitality of the forthright and honest.

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How do issues of wealth and class, exploitation and corruption play out in The Big Sleep and the other texts we’ve read? In a thoughtful essay, compare and contrast Chandler’s novel to a story by another author using McCann’s argument as a frame for your analysis.



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