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The Maltese Falcon as a Detective Novel

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Daniel Hammett’s The Maltese Faction novel is one of the texts featuring a story done in the third-person narrative with no description of the internal feelings and thoughts of the characters. The text is indeed a brilliant literary work that can be categorized as both a detective and a love story because of the relationship that the characters have on one another. However, understanding that a detective fiction is majorly entailed with investigating some crimes or mysteries and sometimes murder, it is possible to classify the text as being a detective because of the mission that Sam Spade, the main character, embarks on. However, it might not be too convincing to confidently conclude such due to the various scenes of love encounters that are witnessed in the entire text, something that might classify the text as being a love fiction. Therefore, essay seeks to bring out a conclusive report to the findings that categorize the text as a detective fiction that is focused on bringing out an investigation into some mysteries through a love encroached environment.

The Maltese Falcon has all the standards by which any detective fiction would be judged even with the numerous love storylines. The clear prose and the sharp ear that is intended for dialogue produces a readable novel and one that is too far to be regarded as a love fiction since that is what makes the tough and a more independent detective, Samuel Spade and the police get into clear ways of doing their interrogations. Set in San Francisco, the text heavily features Samuel Spade who is a hired detective, tasked by the mission of finding Miss Wonderly’s sister. Being a private detective, hired by Miss Wonderly, he works along with his partner, Miles Archer in the pursuit of her sister purportedly kidnapped by Floyd Thursby. It is on the same day that Miles Archer, Spade’s partner together with a thug named Thursby gets killed (Dashiell, 9). Spade becoming a suspect in the murder of the two partners creates another process of searching for truth by the police, something that makes him have his office repainted. The major task of Samuel Spade, as the main character gets on course when he vows that even though he disliked Archer, it is part of his personal moral code that dictates that “when a man’s partner is killed he is supposed to do something about it”. Such a statement gets him on the course of doing a risky investigation to the murder together with the disappearance of Miss Wonderly’s sister. The entire series of investigations are what surround the whole text with the police coming in and carrying out some trials on suspects including Spade.

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However, the text brings to light some love encounters and other related stories in the course of carrying out the investigations. First, in the process of Spade carrying out the investigation over Archer’s killing, the police question him over his innocence because he was having an affair with Archer’s wife. Miss Wonderly, who later reveals her real identity to be Brigid O’Shaughnessy, is also arguably in love with Spade through the encounter they have in Spade’s apartment (Dashiell, 10). When she reveals herself as being on an acquisitive adventure in search of the black statuette, she asks for Spade’s protection as the mission is too risky. Once Spade presses her for more details, she kisses him instead of offering the information. The encounter goes ahead as she is seen in Spade’s bed the next morning. This is a proof of a text that is full of romantic affections through the way the characters are relating to each other.

However, even though there are instances of romanticism in the text, the entire storyline lies under the investigations on robbery and unlawful trade being done by almost all characters. It is what keeps them together and makes the entire story going. Spade is fully on the detective mission of finding out all about the search for Falcon, a black statute that seems to be of high value. Although O’Shaughnessy is guilty of the deal and should be captured by the police, Effie is too ignorant to the extent of believing that Spade should help her. Spade’s efforts of getting the truth from Gutman fails as no one is ready, to tell the truth. The shooting of Spade’s partner makes the police to suspect Spade as he was bedding Archer’s wife. Contrary to the police investigations, the District Attorney finally ties the shootings to Dixie Monahan who was a Chicago gambler, Thursby’s bodyguard employer. All the encounters up to the middle part of the novel are on investigations into the shootings and the illegal deal of the illegal falcon, a black statute that is of higher value.

Spade, on his detective mission to have the full idea about the falcon and get the real culprits under it, gets the full information through Gutman. He narrates to him how the falcon looks like and how it finally landed to San Francisco. It is through the investigation when we learn that O’Shaughnessy and Thursby and Gutman were not nice people to work with Spade. The efforts of getting the truth land Spade in a rough time where he meets Wilmer, Gutman, and Cairo in his apartment holding guns at him. This is after he had collected the falcon from the ship’s captain who had been wounded and dead (Dashiell, 114). This makes him understand that whoever he has been dealing could be real culprits of the shootings that had been witnessed recently. This is because he rejects the ten thousand dollars from Gutman for the falcon. Being a detective officer, he assures them that the police must make arrests of the person in charge of the murders that have been done.

Finally, being a detective fiction that must end with some results of what the protagonist has been working on, the novel ends when Spade finally gets the evidence of the shootings. He gets Effie, his secretary to fetch the falcon but once the Gutman realizes its fake, he goes for the real one in Constantinople accompanied by Cairo. In the entire process of excitement, Wilmer escapes making Spade call the police and narrate to them the whole story. He even presents the whole evidence accompanied by Wilmer’s guns. As they await the police, O’Shaughnessy admits her participation in the whole scandal, making Spade know that she killed Archer with Thursby’s gun. Though she pleads and admits she is in love with Spade, Spade admits it the feeling but he has to do the duty for professional and personal reasons. Therefore, the entire storyline and the encounters seen between various characters in the novel fully present the text as a detective fiction even though there are instances of love. Such feelings do not bar the characters and the author from fulfilling the major themes of the text.

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