In “Down These Mean Streets,” D. Fine describes immigrants how “one carries one’s past into the present, and however successful one is in burying the past for a time, it resurfaces.” In other words, history, in many ways, re-emerges in people’s lives whether they want it or not. When history re-emerges, it can have both positive and negative effects on someone. In Raymond Chandler’s, “The Big Sleep,” the history of LA and the history of the characters drove and developed the plot. In the novel, several characters were immigrants from places like the Midwest and east coast. Although these were minor characters, they still represent the majority of the population in California; thus they play an important role in portraying Raymond Chandler’s L.A. Therefore, by looking into immigrants in “The Big Sleep,” readers can understand how immigrants influenced the history of California and how they transformed California into what it is today.
“The Big Sleep” is a hard boiled detective novel, consisting crimes such as murder and blackmail. Philip Marlowe was hired by General Sternwood to investigate his daughter’s husband, Terrance Regan, due to his disappearance. As Marlowe began his investigation, he found several plots that tied closely to the disappearance of Regan. First it was the Geiger’s blackmailing using naked photos of Carmen. This then led to the appearance of Agnes and Joe because they also tried to use the photos to blackmail Vivian Sternwood. Mona Grant, wife to Eddie Mars, comes into the story for the reason where Marlowe believed that Regan’s with Mona and if Marlowe knew where Mona was, he could potentially find Regan. The twist occurred at the very end of the novel; when Marlowe went to the Sternwood’s to return Carme...
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...,” no matter what reason it is that made an immigrant into one or what the immigrant is trying to avoid will resurface into his/her new life. Because of the vast amount of immigrants in California, when they bring their history and money hungry attitudes, it transforms the whole dynamic of California. It is safe to say that immigrants had the most influence and power to the culture of California. That is the sad truth about immigration and that is what contributed to California as it is today.
Chandler, Raymond. The big sleep. New York: Vintage Books, 1992. Print.
Fine, David M. Imagining Los Angeles. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2000. Print.
Spooner, Denise. "A New Perspective On The Dream". California dreams and realities. By Maasik, Sonia and J. Fisher Solomon. 1st ed. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1995. Print.
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