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Persuasion by Jane Austen

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The novel “The Big Sleep” by Chandler Raymond and the novel “Persuasion” by Jane Austen are some of the books regarded as cornerstones in hard-boiled fiction. The two books share the feature of having a deliciously developed plot and a number of complex characters in their plots. They also share baffling and cynical narrative style that has many twists and turns. The unique writing styles of each of the authors are some of the features that make the two books to be literary masterpieces.

A unique and well developed plot defines the two novels. The novel “Persuasion” begins the story seven years after its protagonist Anne Eliot has jilted her lover named Fredrick Wentworth upon the request of her mother figure whom she loved dearly. Although at the time of jilting Frederick was an inadequate match to Anne Elliot,  after seven years the tables has changed and now the boy is rich and the girl is poor as her family is running bankrupt. When Anne Elliot’s family run bankrupt and rented a house owned by Frederick’s sister and brother-in-law, Anne and Frederick found themselves in contact once again.

Through many turns and twists in the story of jealousy, poetry, rumors, romance and injuries,  Anne  and Frederick find themselves in various tricky situations that evoke some old feelings they had for each other . The novel ends with a comparison of the attachments that men and women develop to each other, which leaves the reader amidst the confusion. The themes of reciprocal and non-reciprocal love, broken hearts, jealously, frustration and disappointment run through the whole story. Chandler also uses some of these themes in his novel “The Big Sleep.”

“The Big Sleep” plot revolves around the protagonist of the story, Philip Marlowe who is hired by a wealthy tycoon to spy on the blackmailer who was extorting money from him. Marlowe finds himself involved in a more serious case than he had planned because he encounters extortion, murder, kidnappings and sexual perversions. By the end of the novel, the reader is left questioning how successful Marlowe is in his profession as a private detective and in his strong sense of morality considering the fact that he denied himself a lot and stood against the enticing offers.

One of the major themes shared by the two novels is the theme of cynicism. “The Big Sleep” novel’s main theme is the dissolution of the US with the prevailing economic conditions in the 1930s. This time, there was the great depression that made people to predict gloom in the future and have much cynicism about the future economic prospects. Chandler mentions the concept of money numerous times throughout the novel, which is the main motivation that lies behind the ills such as bribery, corruption and people killing. Money is constantly mentioned as something that is enjoyed and coveted by everyone in the story.

Given the fact the economy at that time was in turmoil, the author manages to mirror the desperation that gripped the American nation and the disillusionment and cynicism it had for the future. In contrast, the theme of cynicism in Austen’s “Persuasion” revolves around the prospects of love reunion. In the story, Anne Elliot is influenced by her parents not to marry her suitor Frederick because he was not reputable enough for her social class. However, after some time and change of fate, the tables are turned and this time her suitor returns as a rich young man, while Anne Elliot’s family runs bankrupt. Anne Eliot is caught in state of verification of the reasons that made her reject her lover once and the irony of the fate.

In comparison, the plot of “The Big Sleep” is more complicated and problematic than the plot of “Persuasion” novel. From the very beginning of “The Big Sleep,” the narrative spins into several complicated directions characterized by crime, corruption, extortion and seduction. The author manages to split the novel into a myriad of elements that break into many loose ends and improbabilities. These become clear only at the end of the story. On the contrary, Austen’s novel revolved around the loss and love reunion of Frederick and Anne.

The unique writing style of “The Big Sleep” and the aspects that were covered in the novel such as murder, sexual perversion and coolness of people who were pursuing their way no matter what make Chandler’s novel more thrilling than “Persuasion” by Austen. “The Big Sleep” possesses a bigger power and impact on a reader. Its story realistically depicts the world where corruption and deceit rule.

One theme that is present in the novel “The Big Sleep” but does not feature in the plot of “Persuasion” is the theme of corruption. The main character in “The Big Sleep” Marlowe is incorruptible despite the odds. No matter how big the bribe he was offered, he would not sell out his beliefs and commitments for money. Marlowe is a man of unexpected integrity that wins readers’ respect.

Both books share the element of throwing many surprises in the stories. In “The Big Sleep” one can see it at different stages. The author’s style of self-censorship makes the novel turn even the nastiest of the situations to appear normal in the crazy world characterized by murder, hatred and corruption. For example, Marlowe states “Against a scribbled wall a pouch of ringed rubber had fallen and not been disturbed to refer to a used condom” (Chandler 345). This style is very different from that used in “Persuasion” where the author’s style indicates of a dull and harsh attitude through which Austen presents some of the characters.

The main theme that runs in the novel “Persuasion” is persuasion. Austen believes that persuasion is a very important aspect of human communication. Austen points out the dangers of just and unjust persuasion. The plot of the novel runs through many events where characters try to sway and control the other characters. This theme is not present in “The Big Sleep.”

Unlike “The Big Sleep” the novel “Persuasion” uses a more romantic language because the theme of romance and love rekindled runs throughout its story. The two novels share the features of having a rich, unique and well developed plot having many twists and turns that throw pleasant surprises to the readers. The two books are great works of literature and are worth reading.

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