As the story begins, we come across Marlowe meeting General Sternwood. He is hired by Sternwood. His main responsibility involves tracking crimes and murder. He also has to track nude photos of his daughter that were previously obtained by blackmailers. He is fortunate to track some of the photos through Arthur Geiger in his books store. He seeks refuge in his house when he hears gunshots. The photos contain Carmen nude photos as well as those showing Geiger dead body (Chandler, 1981:16). Unfortunately, Geiger’s body and negatives disappear before he could trace those trying to exploit the items.
The novel “The Big Sleep” by Raymond Chandler and the film “Out of the Past” have some similarities in depiction of the protagonist (Chandler, 1981: 56). Marlowe’s main role is to discover the truth behind murder and crime. He is an independent detective. On the other hand, Jeff in the film “Out of the past” unfolds to Kathie that Whit is alive and really wants her back. This involves revealing the truth (Roger, 2004: 17). Acts of murder are evident in both that contributes in development of the protagonist. For example, Marlowe in the novel “The Big Sleep” witnesses murder every day such as the killing of Regan. On the other hand, Kathie fatally shots at a guy he suspects he would he her blackmailer (Ballinger, 2007:38). Moreover, Eels is killed by Whit who is planning to frame Jeff. Both the novel and film also depict female responsible for committing acts of murder. For example, Kathie in the film kills three men-Fisher, Whit and Eels (Roger, 2004: 71). This show how evil she is. Unfortunately, both Jeff and Kathie are killed by the police as the end of the novel.
Thus, the two represent the main characters living in a dark world filled by evil and violent acts. This forms part of their daily existence. Jeff Bailey, the main character in the film “Out of the Past” witnesses every act of murder that is committed by other characters. Just like Marlowe in the novel, he is obliged to take a job that he did not like. This creates an avenue that makes him to come across this acts in course of his duty (Chandler, 1981: 18). This is a similar case with Marlowe.
In his course of duty, Marlowe witnesses murder and crime everyday. This makes his job very sensitive, although he is able to maintain an urge within himself of finding the truth. They form part of his daily life. However, Marlowe remains honorable and ready to work for meager payment of twenty five dollars per day despite the nature of his work. At the beginning of the novel, Marlowe comes across a naked woman tied on a tree who he later realized that she is Carmen. These were some of his tasks involving rescuing people. Surprisingly, he argues that he does not do his job for payment, but he feels deep within him that he is doing what he is ought to be doing. He desires to discover the truth in such an unjust society (Chandler, 1981:26). This acts as the driving force, discovering the truth independently despite the situation. He is not a cop. Thus, he does not work according to the law but for himself. He is a private detective.
In the novel, female characters have played a significant role. They have helped in development of the plot as well as the main character. One of the major female characters in the novel is Carmen Sternwood. She is responsible for the murder of Rusty Regan (Ballinger, 2007:86). This is the person that Marlowe has been searching for long. Her essence in development of the main hero in the novel is seen as she illustrates the inherent “doubleness” that runs throughout the novel. She also led to development of the main character, Marlowe as hero due to the murder she commits resulting in investigations.
Analysis of female characters in the novel is depicted through Carmen and Vivian, and Mona Mars. Carmen is mentally instable, emotional and unintelligent. Her sister, Vivian is also depicted as a spoilt girl. Chandler states describes her as, “a siren of sorts, much like the deadly sirens who temp Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey”. Thus, through Carmen and her act of murder, Marlowe finds a role to take in the novel-investigating the murder of Rusty Regan. The characterization of female in both the novel and the film provides the basis through which the protagonist is developed. They help in development of the plot and flow of events throughout the novel. They are the main perpetrators of the main actions such as murder. As a result, the protagonist seeks to investigate the person behind the murder hence development of the story.