The Maltese Falcon, published in 1930, is probably the greatest American detective novel. It was recognized as the greatest when it was published and still has critics affirming to the novel’s importance. It defines the conception of Sam Spade, the American private investigator, Brigid O’Shaughnessy, the femme fatale and of a hard boiled style. The novel is written during the Depression, and its famous objective point of view being the forced technique (Hammet 1). In the novel, Sam Spade acts like a jerk when he is tough with women, hits his clients, and shows that he doesn't care about anyone. This results in negative consequences for him and others. For example, he sleeps with Brigid but sells her out, hits his client making Cairo an enemy who pulls a gun on him. As a result, he doesn't get paid. He doesn't care about anyone - Iva, Brigid, Archer, whoever you choose, nor does he care what happens as a result of his actions.
Sam Spade was immediately seen as an icon. “His character evokes a genuine presence of the myth and it is not the tawdry gumshoeing of the magazine”(Kim Kang). He is modern, masculine and sexy. Spade differing his from Hammet’s Continental Op. Spade is a loner and in a business for himself to look into the death of Archer, therefore, removing himself from any feelings lingering on mixed feelings of brotherhood such as the feelings the Op felt about his fellow agent. This is shown in the police man’s reaction to Sam Spade “Dundy withdrew the tapping fingers, but there was no change in his voice: "Tom says you were in too much of a hurry to even stop for a look at your partner” (Hammett 20).
His speech might be ironic but never comical. He gets involved in much less violence and gunplay which Hammet never ...
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...ap for you. I won't walk in Thursby's and Christ knows who else's footsteps.You killed Miles and you're going over for it. I could have helped you by letting the others go and standing off the police the best way I could. It's too late for that now. I can't help you now. And I wouldn't if I could"( Hammett 213).
Of course, Spade did this because he did not want to be Brigid’s sap, however, nothing is clear, which is the author’s intention.
Austen, Jane, and Vivien Jones. Pride and Prejudice. London: Penguin Books, 2003.
Greene & Low. “Public Integrity Hypocrisy, and the Moral Licensing Effect.” Nursing Ethics. 2014, 42(3), 391-400
Hammett, Dashiell. The Maltese Falcon. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1966.
Kim, YS, SW Kang, and JA Ahn. "Moral Sensitivity Relating to the Application of the Code of Ethics." Nursing Ethics. 20.4 (2013): 470-8.
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