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. Who has called Spade at his office?

2. Which policeman does Spade regard as his friend?

3. What does Spade say he does not have?

4. Why is this chapter called the Levantine?

5. Why could Spade not of killed Thursby?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is the sixth chapter called the undersized shadow?

2. What is Spade's excuse for Cairo and Brigid's behavior at the beginning of the eighth chapter?

3. What does Gutman's treatment of Rhea say about his character?

4. Why does Gutman want to keep Spade on his good side in the seventeenth chapter?

5. How does Spade react to Iva's apology in the eleventh chapter?

6. How does Spade rid Cairo of his weapon?

7. What is Spade's ulterior motive in helping out Brigid?

8. What has happened to Miss Wonderly's sister?

9. What message does Miss Wonderly leave for Spade in the second chapter?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

Hammett lived in San Francisco and worked in a detective agency, adhering to the rule, writers should always write about what they know. Do you think it is obvious that Hammett knows his subject? What difference do you think it makes to the story? Are there any moments where you think Hammett does not portray a character or setting so well? What affect 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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