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Compare and Contrast The Big Sleep and The Sign Of Four

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Compare and Contrast The Big Sleep and The Sign Of Four Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four both detective novels have interesting characters and spectacular settings and environments. Each of the books has there own properties and some parts are very similar to each other. In The Big Sleep most of the characters are tough or crooked and in some cases both. In the Sign of Four the setting is more formal and the characters. The Language of these two books is very much different. In Chandler's 'The Big Sleep 'the language is American and involves a lot of slang. It contains many words that are influenced by the time and place. One such example when Marlowe says, "The fag gave you one", in chapter seventeen. This is different to today and we would not here this term as it is considered politically incorrect. This language seems more realistic to the world today because there is a lot of slang and informal language that we use. An example of this is where the phrase 'You Son of a Bitch' is used on page 217. In Conan Doyle's 'The Sign of the Four' the language is English and is very proper, sophisticated and elegant. ...read more.


In 'The Sign of Four' every character is shrouded in mystery and the book is a succession of unveilings and twists. For instance when they meet the prize fighter working for Sholto we find out that Holmes used to box and has a reputation for it as well. In 'The Big Sleep' the different murders and the involvement of Carmen and Vivian all add an exciting twist. Similar to mystery and twists is the suspense in novels. In both the suspense is very taught and realistic. The books both draw you into the plot and make you feel as though you are witnessing the happenings and crimes. By vividly describing the setting and happenings and character emotion. As well as similarities in the atmosphere there are similarities and differences in the two main characters of the books. Such as they are both good honest detectives doing their unselfish jobs in a corrupt and dirty world. Another example both of the characters, Holmes and Marlowe, find the police irritating, corrupt or incompetent. For instance Holmes tells Watson that he would rather have the help of Toby the tracker dog than the whole London police force. And in the scene where Marlowe is sitting in his car watching the police help the young girls across the road while he is parked illegally. ...read more.


There are also many differences between Holmes and Marlowe. Many of these are related back to the fact that Marlowe is more realistically intelligent than Holmes who seems in places to be almost superhuman. We see his superhuman abilities when he deduces when he deduces the information from the watch. Also Holmes is extremely observant and notices the 'minutiae' whereas where as Marlowe is observant but perhaps more realistically so. HolmeS is also very cold in that he seems to have no emotions towards anything. As in when Watson noticed that Miss. Morstan is good looking and Holmes said that he did not notice but did think she was helpful in providing evidence. Marlowe is quite cold but he does express some emotion, mainly towards women. Women seem to be on of his few emotional outlets. This shows that he is sexually aware for instance when he says, "They're swell legs and it's a pleasure to make their acquaintance". Holmes does not even seem to show any emotion towards women in any way at all. Marlowe is very tough and streetwise and Holmes is also very brave. This may be due to the fact that they don't show their emotions. Overall I would say that these two characters are alike although they do have their differences. Also the two books are very similar in their atmospheres but they also have their significant differences. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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