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. On whose behalf is Cairo acting?

2. Why does Cairo ask Spade to stand?

3. What does Spade want Brigid to tell him a story about?

4. Where does Spade go to next?

5. What does Brigid confirm about Cairo?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does SPade react to hearing his partners death in the second chapter?

3. What does Spade work out about Miss Wonderly in the second chapter?

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

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

6. What is Spade's relationship with the three women he has met so far in the novel?

7. Why is the thirteenth chapter titled Paloma?

8. In what way does Cairo turn the tables on Spade in the fifth chapter?

9. In what way is the novel's attitude towards women demeaning?

10. Describe the game going on between Brigid and Spade?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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