Crimes In Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon

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Novelist Dashiell Hammett wrote The Maltese Falcon partially based on his experiences with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and published it in 1930, introducing a new type of hero: the hard-boiled detective, who didn't operate by the rules of chivalry previously seen and admired by readers. The book and its detective took an unemotional view of crime, and the criminals were not seen as glamorous people who defy the law. Rather, they were flawed, and the reader knew that their actions were wrong, sympathizing not with the criminal but with the detective. Brigid O'Shaughnessy, Joel Cairo, and Casper Gutman all commit crimes in The Maltese Falcon, searching for the Maltese falcon, a statue supposedly worth massive amounts of money. The search for…show more content…
He gives the money he received as an advance of the profits for the falcon to the police; Spade also lists several reasons to explain why he is turning Brigid over, none of which involve money. Dashiell Hammett shows through this that Sam Spade is less concerned with money than he is with sending criminals to prison and maintaining his reputation as a detective. It is no coincidence that the characters not chasing money did not go to jail. Effie Perine, Sam's secretary, though inconvenienced multiple times over the course of the novel, did not suffer because of the actions of Bridget O'Shaughnessy, Joel Cairo, and Casper Gutman. She was never associated with them past hearing of their actions from Sam and meeting O’Shaughnessy

The Great Gatsby, a contemporary to The Maltese Falcon, also features a relentless search for something just beyond reach, though Gatsby was not looking for money. Jay Gatsby’s pursuit of Daisy Buchanan ends in his death, and like the characters of The Maltese Falcon, his associates and supposed friends are troubled little by his heartbreak or the end of his life. Blinded by their own ambitions, characters in both novels looked out only for themselves, and both Dashiell Hammett and F. Scott Fitzgerald showed that this pursuit was
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