The Big Sleep | Study Guide

Raymond Chandler

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The Big Sleep | Characters

Character Description
Philip Marlowe Philip Marlowe is a cynical, wise-cracking private detective with a strong ethical code. Read More
General Sternwood General Guy de Brisay Sternwood is an aging, ailing, yet proud millionaire who feels obliged to take care of his daughters' indiscretions but not to interfere with or guide them in any way. Read More
Vivian Regan A suave, spoiled, and manipulative young woman of questionable morals, Vivian Sternwood Regan is married to Rusty Regan, a bootlegger who has disappeared. Read More
Carmen Sternwood Unbalanced and violent, Carmen Sternwood is an amoral young woman who reacts badly when men reject her infantilized flirtation. Read More
Bartender The bartender at Mars's club comments on how often Vivian Regan gambles there.
Bookstore worker The bookstore worker, an intelligent woman who works at a legitimate store, tells Marlowe the book he has requested does not exist, thus furthering doubts about the legitimacy of Geiger's business.
Joe Brody A small-time criminal, Joe Brody blackmails General Sternwood and is killed by Geiger's lover.
Canino Lash Canino is a vicious killer who poisons Harry Jones and whom Marlowe kills.
Larry Cobb Larry Cobb is Vivian Regan's drunk escort to Mars's club.
Captain Cronjager Captain Cronjager is the police officer who challenges Marlowe's credibility but who gets credit for solving the crimes Marlowe has solved.
Croupier The croupier at Mars's club denies Vivian Regan further play when her bets get too large.
Customer in Geiger's bookstore After the customer in Geiger's bookstore buys a wrapped package, Marlowe follows him.
Drugstore clerk A tired man with an honest face, the drugstore clerk advises Marlowe it is illegal to drink alcohol in the drugstore but then allows it.
Geiger Arthur Gwynn Geiger, who runs a pornography ring from his bookstore, attempts to blackmail General Sternwood.
Captain Gregory Head of the Missing Persons Bureau, Captain Al Gregory is a tricky, complex police officer.
Art Huck Art Huck runs a garage in Realito and helps Lash Canino beat Marlowe unconscious.
Harry Jones Harry Jones is a low-level grifter who sells Marlowe information concerning the whereabouts of Mona Mars. Canino poisons Jones because of this.
Lanny One of Mars's gunmen, Lanny wears a mask to hold up Vivian Regan outside Mars's club.
Agnes Lozelle Agnes Lozelle is the blond woman who works for Geiger. She is involved professionally and romantically with Joe Brody and later Harry Jones. Unlike the Sternwood sisters, Agnes has no independent source of wealth and must work for a living. She shows the reader what Vivian Regan would be if she did not have her father's money.
Carol Lundgren Carol Lundgren is Geiger's young, foul-mouthed, homosexual lover.
Eddie Mars The gangster who owns the club where Vivian Regan gambles, Eddie Mars knows the truth about what happened to Rusty Regan and has concocted an elaborate scheme to keep it hidden. He provides an emotional counterpart to Philip Marlowe, who feels empathy while maintaining a cool, reasoned assessment of a person's moral failings.
Mona Mars More moral than the other women in the novel, Mona Mars, whom Marlowe calls "Silver Wig," is Eddie Mars's wife and Regan's former lover. She participates in her husband's scheme and remains in hiding until she is found, having put herself at risk to save Marlowe's life.
Mathilda Mathilda is Vivian Regan's middle-aged maid.
Medical examiner (older) A small man who wears glasses, this medical examiner does the autopsy on Owen Taylor's body, the Sternwood's chauffeur.
Medical examiner (younger) A husky young man, this medical examiner investigates Canino's death.
Norris Vincent Norris is the Sternwoods' trusted butler.
Bernie Ohls Chief investigator for the district attorney, Ohls gives Marlowe the lead about General Sternwood and provides Marlowe with information.
Rusty Regan Terence "Rusty" Regan, who never appears in the novel, is a former bootlegger married to Vivian Sternwood Regan. His disappearance is a mystery until the end.
Mr. Schiff Mr. Schiff is the cautious manager of the building that Harry Jones tricks Canino into thinking is Agnes's residence.
Owen Taylor Owen Taylor is the Sternwoods' chauffeur who, in love with Carmen, kills Geiger for her. His unresolved death is called a suicide, although it seems certain that Brody kills him after retrieving the pictures.
Taggart Wilde Taggart Wilde is the district attorney for whom Marlowe used to work and who is well acquainted with General Sternwood.
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