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 does Spade tell the police about his relationship with Iva?

2. Where has Cairo spent the night?

3. Who does Iva suggest killed Miles?

4. What does Spade drink when he is back at his apartment?

5. What does Spade lie about in this chapter?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In what way does Brigid show her desperation for Spade services in the sixth chapter?

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

4. Why is the thirteenth chapter titled Paloma?

5. Describe Cairo's appearance in the hotel lobby in the tenth chapter.

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

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

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

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

10. How does Spade react to Iva's presence in the second chapter?

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

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

Examine the novel's chronological setting.

1) What were the main concerns during the 1920s. How does Hammett express these concerns?

2) In what ways do you think the novels meaning would change if it was set in today's society?

(see the answer keys)

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