Free The Falcon And The Key Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Spade, Literature, Novel, Character, Detective, Quest, Hammett, Censorship

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/12/01

Dashiell Hammet, in introducing his detective novel The Maltese Falcon claimed that he capitalized on the criticisms he received from his previous works. While he failed to fully use the woman allure in most of his works, he was able to do so in The Maltese Falcon as he spelled out the classic traits of the woman allure that is beauty, mutability and duplicity, while getting the hero involved with her through-out the story. The Maltese Falcon mainly revolved around Sam Spade as the main character and Miss Wonderly or also Brigid O’Shaughnessy. The conflict started when Brigid asked Spade to do a work for her, Spade agreed despite sensing something that is not right. Miss Wonderly or Brigid who disguised under several name, asked Spade to find an object to which he agreed. Later, a man name Joel Cairo was ushered to him wanting to find the same object, the Maltese Falcon. A meeting with the two was later arranged, but it disturbed Spade that someone is tailing him after the meeting. On one hand Brigid and Spade would have a romantic affair. The conflict increased as another character, Casper Gutman who is also interested in the Maltese Falcon. The center of the story is on greed of the other characters of wanting to possess the falcon. Spade was portrayed as one who understands their illusions.
Hamlet made the story interesting by the use of analytical detection and his fondness of portraying detective works by means of false clues. Then novel is full of deception that started from Brigid’s several identity and ending with the truth that the falcon is a worthless phony. The effort to have the object is an empty quest, only compensated by the fact that it made Spade and Brigid stick together.

Hamlets Black Bird

Hammet did a good job in describing the character of Sam Spade, the hero in his detective novel as a man of uncanny characters. Despite his personality of yielding to human temptations he is one who upholds the very code of his profession. Indeed Hammet did perfectly in portraying the personality of Spade. He effectively illustrated the character in the story, citing that he had real people in mind when he created them. For instance, Sam Spade, the detective in his novel bears his own name Samuel. According to the author, The Maltese Falcon was a piece that was influenced by many factors, including that of the work of Henry James’ The Wings of the Dove. The idea of the falcon itself as the center of quest was based on a fact.
More remarkable in Hammet’s work is the fact that the reader can well anticipate the occurrence of bloody violence, but while he could have done so, he resorted simply by implying that such event transpired while keeping the reader’ interest glued waiting for the suspense. In the end, the falcon that is the object of bloody quest is a worthless fake. The fact however is not a surprise to Spade who never believed in it in the first place. In the end, Spade was safe and free though he is embittered he is depicted as one who can go through it all again.
When Hammet wrote the Falcon in 1929, it was strongly edited for censorship in popular magazines. Some of Brigid’s lines indicating sexuality are dropped as well as lines with foul language. Some of the lines in the novel are changed from the magazine to book, some dealing with censorship while others with clarity. Overall, Hammet has always strived to improve on his works. The Maltese Falcon became a bestseller, as it saw a successful publication with other of Hammett’s other bestsellers.


Hammett, D., The Falcon and the Key. Twayne Publishers, 1983
Hammet, D., Hammet’s Black Bird. McNally & Loftin, 1969

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Free The Falcon And The Key Essay Example. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 01, 2020. Accessed June 27, 2022.

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