The Big Sleep

“The Blonde” / Agnes Lozelle Character Analysis

Referred to as “the blonde,” Agnes works for Arthur Gwynn Geiger’s illegal pornography outlet. She also works with Joe Brody to steal the racket from under Geiger. Agnes helps Brody to blackmail Mrs. Regan, as they have Geiger’s pornographic photos of her younger sister, Carmen Sternwood, but the plans backfire when Geiger is murdered. Agnes then teams up with another grifter, Harry Jones. She tells Jones she has seen the missing Mona Mars on Foothill Boulevard. The two sell the information to Philip Marlowe in exchange for $200. Jones dies by drinking the cyanide-laced whiskey Lash Canino serves him, as Canino’s employer Eddie Mars, Mona’s husband, “don’t like” Jones getting involved. Agnes then takes Marlowe’s money and drives off, “not a mark on her,” drawing Marlowe’s scorn.

“The Blonde” / Agnes Lozelle Quotes in The Big Sleep

The The Big Sleep quotes below are all either spoken by “The Blonde” / Agnes Lozelle or refer to “The Blonde” / Agnes Lozelle. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Big Sleep published in 1939.
Chapter 14 Quotes

“What?” the blonde yelped. “You sit there and try to tell us Mr. Geiger ran that kind of business right down on the main drag? You’re nuts!” I leered at her politely. “Sure I do. Everybody knows the racket exists. Hollywood's made to order for it. If a thing like that has to exist, then right out on the street is where all practical coppers want it to exist. For the same reason they favor red light districts. They know where to flush the game when they want to.”

Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 25 Quotes

She’s a grifter, shamus. I’m a grifter. We’re all grifters. So we sell each other out for a nickel.

Related Symbols: Money
Page Number: 168
Explanation and Analysis:
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“The Blonde” / Agnes Lozelle Character Timeline in The Big Sleep

The timeline below shows where the character “The Blonde” / Agnes Lozelle appears in The Big Sleep. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
...door in the middle of the room. A beautiful blonde assistant (later revealed to be Agnes Lozelle) walks over to see what he wants. (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Marlowe asks if they have certain rare book editions, a question Agnes is unsure how to answer. She suggests Mr. Geiger might be able to help him,... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
After five minutes a customer walks in carrying a package and shows “the blonde” (Agnes) something in his wallet. She presses a button on her desk and the customer walks... (full context)
Chapter 10
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
After eating lunch, Marlowe goes to Geiger’s store and asks the unnamed blonde assistant (Agnes) if Geiger is in. Her smile is forced. Marlowe attempts to appear effeminate to throw... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...of impatience and says he’ll just go up to the house if Geiger is ill. Agnes panics, her forced smile disappearing from her face, but she recovers her composure. She says... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...that the store’s supply of books is being hauled out. Marlowe takes his leave of Agnes. (full context)
Chapter 13
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...doesn’t think the book thief is also the murderer, but likely knows what’s going on. The jumpy blonde at the store is probably involved too, he thinks. Marlowe says he won’t give any... (full context)
Chapter 14
Masculinity Theme Icon
Without looking away from Marlowe, Brody calls Agnes—the blonde from Geiger’s store—out from behind the curtain. She tells Marlowe she knew he was... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...is coded; with hundreds of names, the racket must be profitable—enough to kill Geiger over. Agnes is “outraged,” or at least pretends to be. Brody tells her to shut up and... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Brody reminds Agnes to shut up and tells Marlowe to keep talking. The detective says that Brody shot... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...at least got the camera’s plate holder afterward from someone. The detective then says that Agnes must have called Mrs. Regan to threaten the police angle. As such, Brody and Agnes... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...the night Geiger was shot. Marlowe refuses. Brody asks how the detective found him and Agnes. The detective explains he was tailing Geiger for a client and heard the shots from... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Marlowe asks Brody and Agnes if they’ve ever been to Geiger’s house, which they deny, insisting they weren’t there the... (full context)
Chapter 15
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...too, as he doesn’t want to get involved with the police, or with Eddie Mars. Agnes is also tense. Brody gives Agnes a gun to point at Marlowe. He then goes... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...Carmen is on the other side and is pointing a gun at his face. As Agnes moves to point her own gun at Carmen, Marlowe uses the opportunity to overpower Agnes. (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Carmen and Brody ignore Agnes and Marlowe’s fight, and Carmen demands her photos from Brody. She says she saw him... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...floor, tripping Carmen and causing her to lose her grip on the gun. Marlowe hits Agnes harder than before and she gives up. The detective picks up Carmen’s gun and points... (full context)
Chapter 16
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...asks Brody how he came by the photos. Brody tries to avoid the question, to Agnes’s exasperation. The detective says they all need to agree on a story, firstly that Carmen... (full context)
Chapter 18
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...asks Cronjager how he’s progressing on finding Joe Brody’s murderer. The police have picked up Agnes, and the two unfired guns in the apartment, but nothing else. When Ohls pushes, Cronjager... (full context)
Chapter 25
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
Jones says he’s in contact with Agnes, and has information that he wants to sell to Marlowe for $200. Marlowe scoffs that... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...ran off with Rusty, but is “being kept” just outside the city. He explains that Agnes had seen Mona herself, and will tell Marlowe where when she has the money, after... (full context)
Chapter 26
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Jones gives Canino a weak excuse for why Agnes wants to talk to Marlowe, which doesn’t go down well with Canino. Canino asks where... (full context)
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...who answers believes Marlowe’s pretense that he is a cop, and confirms there is no Agnes at the address—Jones had lied to protect her. (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Marlowe begins to leave the office when the phone rings. It’s Agnes. Marlowe tells her that Jones ran off when Canino started looking for him, though Agnes... (full context)
Chapter 27
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Agnes is in the gray Plymouth, demanding the money from Marlowe with an outstretched hand. She... (full context)
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Agnes recounts seeing Mona Mars driving with Canino in the car a couple weeks ago. Agnes... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Marlowe gives Agnes the money. Agnes says to wish her luck, as she’s had a hard time, but... (full context)