The Maltese Falcon Essay

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Kelly is an instructor of literature and creative writing at two colleges in Illinois. In this essay, Kelly traces the facts that can be deduced about Sam Spade's true personality from his interactions with characters who are not involved in the Maltese falcon caper.

In The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett has produced a detective novel format that is so compelling that it has been done and redone over and over. It is a pattern that any moviegoer or television watcher is familiar with by now: The detective, Sam Spade, finds himself pulled into a web of intrigue surrounding a mysterious, valuable object that brings three murders to his doorstep. Readers follow the story because they want to know who committed the killings and where the valuable black bird is. Keeping them interested is the work that a mystery story is supposed to do. What elevates this book from...

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This section contains 1,680 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Maltese Falcon Study Guide
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The Maltese Falcon from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.