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. When will the Wonderly's parents be back from Europe?

2. In what city does Miss Wonderly's sister live?

3. How much did Cairo offer Brigid to get the statuette back from a Russian?

4. How is Iva related to Miles?

5. Who does Spade visit after searching Brigid's apartment?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Brigid so distressed in the fourth chapter?

2. How does Spade react to Brigid not being able to afford his services?

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

4. How does Spade react to seeing the young man in the tenth chapter?

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

6. What does Brigid tell Spade about her part in the falcon in the ninth chapter?

7. What does Spade tell Brigid that Cairo wants?

8. In what way do Spade's qualities come out in this chapter?

9. In what way is Spade shown to be a lady killer in the ninth chapter?

10. Describe Joel Cairo and what he wants.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Identify the main themes of the story. Why do you think these themes are so important to the story? How does Hammett use character and setting to express these themes?

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 novel is set in San Francisco.

1) What meaning does San Francisco bring to the novel? What would you automatically presume about a novel that was set in San Francisco?

2) How different do you think today's San Francisco is to the San Francisco in the novel? How do you think the novel's meaning would change if it were set in today's San Francisco?

3) How do you think the interior settings of the novel contribute to the novel's dark atmosphere?

(see the answer keys)

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