The Big Sleep

Captain Cronjager – Character Analysis

An inept and possibly corrupt L.A. police captain, Cronjager dislikes private detective Philip Marlowe’s involvement in the Arthur Gwynn Geiger murder case. Marlowe tells Cronjager to his face that the police are neglecting their duties by “allowing” illegal pornography stores like Geiger’s to operate in plain sight. However, the newspapers portray Cronjager as the hero captain who solved the case, highlighting the multiple layers of corruption in the city.
Get the entire The Big Sleep LitChart as a printable PDF.
The big sleep.pdf.medium

Captain Cronjager – Character Timeline in The Big Sleep

The timeline below shows where the character Captain Cronjager – appears in The Big Sleep. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 18
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
...to a study. Inside, Wilde is smoking a cigar and drinking coffee as “cold-eyed” Captain Cronjager looks at the group. Ohls introduces the captain and Marlowe. (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Ohls asks Cronjager how he’s progressing on finding Joe Brody’s murderer. The police have picked up Agnes, and... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Ohls tells Cronjager he has the suspect in his car right outside, and puts the gun on the... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Helping Cronjager catch up on the situation, Ohls explains the dead man was a driver for a... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Cronjager accuses Marlowe of allowing Joe Brody’s murder to take place by not telling the police... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Cronjager asks why Lundgren would have hidden the body. Marlowe suggests it would have given the... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...his client, and expects the Sternwoods’ names to be left out of the write up. Cronjager cries “Hah!” and Wilde asks Marlowe why. (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...sight, which would be embarrassing for the police if the whole story came to light. Cronjager takes that moment to leave, and Ohls follows him to hand over Lundgren. (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Wilde offers soothing words to Marlowe, excusing Cronjager’s anger. The district attorney tells Marlowe he’ll need to write statements, and asks why the... (full context)
Chapter 19
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
...of the stories as agreed. Owen’s death is not connected to the other murders. Captain Cronjager supposedly solved the other cases—Brody supposedly shot Geiger and Lundgren shot Brody in revenge. Marlowe... (full context)