Sherlock Holmes vs. Phillip Marlowe

Paper Rating: Word Count: 1742 Approx Pages: 7

I will be talking to you about the values and differences between Sherlock Holmes and Philip Marlowe.

To begin with, as we are all aware, there are many forms of crime fiction that are being written today. We have moved away from the classical amateur detective (Sherlock Holmes), to more professional sleuths (Philip Marlowe). A crime story must be reflective of the time in which it was written, providing an accurate and realistic depiction of its milieu and of the individuals involved. Of more importance, it must offer some insight into the social, political and moral climate of its era. Crime stories often use many different forms of the previous forms of crime fiction. The development, adaptations and re-evaluations of crime novels from comedy to tragedy, from depictions of our society to the exploration of an individual; the crime genre is now a genre that incorporates many other genres.

Philip Marlowe from ˜The Big Sleep' written by Raymond Chandler, film directed by Howard Hawks has been thrust into a morally corrupt and decayed world of the 30's and 40's, with drugs, sex, blackmail, gamblers, pornographers and murders

Crime was becoming an alarmingly large problem in the 1940's, within the major urban areas. The film was made in a time when totalitarian regimes were threatening the very existence of the free world. The prohibition in the 1930's made life on the home front to decay into an uninhabitable hotbed of organised crime syndicates whilst also breeding a selfish minded society of opportunists.

This corruption is reflected throughout. ˜The Big Sleep' through the darkness of the film in which rain pervades “ this is used as a recurring image of motifs.

Howard Hawks displayed his view on this crumbling society through his character Philip Marlowe.

Marlowe is the hard and cynical yet soft-centred and idealistic private eye who is a modern hero amongst the c... Continue Reading