The Maltese Falcon Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What building does Miss Wonderly want Spade to meet her at?

2. What does Spade do immediately after the call?

3. What is Sam doing when his phone rings?

4. Who do the police take to the station?

5. What does the caller reveal?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Spade tell Polhaus and Dundy at the end of the seventh chapter?

2. What do the police see when they enter Spade's apartment in the eighth chapter?

3. How does Hammett use visual images in the novel?

4. What does Spade say Brigid, Cairo and Gutman do aboard the La Paloma?

5. How are Spade suspicions about Cairo's sexual orientation confirmed by Brigid?

6. What are the district attorney's theories about who the killer is?

7. Why is the fifth chapter call ed the Levantine?

8. How does Hammett use characters names to symbolize their function?

9. Why does Spade usher Iva out of his office?

10. What problems has Gutman had trying to get the falcon?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Examine Hammett's writing style. How would you describe Hammett's prose style? What kind of vocabulary does he use? Does he use any specific writing techniques? What meaning does Hammett's style give to the story?

Essay Topic 2

Look at the structure of the novel.

1) How does Hammett use character and dialogue to drive the narrative.

2) Discuss elements of the narrative structure; Exposition, conflict, complication, climax, resolution and conclusion. Do all the elements make for a logical and linear story? How does the story's structure express the novel's themes?

3) Away from the main character Spade Spade examine the way Hammett uses the other characters in the story. Does she use him or her for dramatic effect or comic aside? When does she introduce and take them away from the story? What effect does it have on the story?

Essay Topic 3

The Maltese is a famous book which has greatly influenced popular culture. Choose a film or book written after The Maltese Falcon that you think was influenced by the novel and discuss there similarities in terms of:

a) Plot

b) Character

c) Themes

(see the answer keys)

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