English Assignment 1 - Baronikian 1 Setting and Perspective to create meaning The setting in this passage of The Big Sleep is an oddly configured one

English Assignment 1 - Baronikian 1 Setting and Perspective...

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Baronikian 1 Setting and Perspective to create meaning The setting in this passage of The Big Sleep is an oddly configured one. Chandler describes Geiger’s house in a way that makes it seem to be overcompensating for something. The reader knows that Geiger is a pornographer running a market supposedly “underground”. Chandler makes this known to the reader earlier in the book, and uses this to his advantage in this passage. By using our previous knowledge and essentially our opinions on Geiger, Chandler creates a scene of a dingy, stodgy and tacky atmosphere, which Geiger clearly attempts to hide by using a “thick pinkish Chinese rug… floor cushions…silk tossed around…” (Chandler 35), as well as large lamps. Realistically if someone were to walk into Geiger’s home, if they were just to see what is first described, it could be considered a “normal” house. But then another part of the room is exposed to the readers that is odd; “on a sort of low dais… high-backed teakwood chair…orange shawl”, and the setting is now nearly complete. Carmen sitting on this big high- backed chair naked is a clear depiction of what Geiger has men and women do from him. The smells of the house and room in particular contribute immensely to the overall setting as well. Chandler describes the mix of smells as “pungent” and “odd”, two words that could be applied to describing the room as a whole as well. These smells are clearly of drugs, another aspect to the pornography, as it is clear when Marlowe walks into the room that Carmen is drugged. Yet to the reader, and Marlowe, it is unknown as to whether or not Carmen took the drugs willingly. In this way, we are always left wondering. The conditions create the perfect atmosphere for a murder, and that is precisely what occurs.

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