Money In Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon

597 Words3 Pages
Many individuals are motivated by a variety of concepts that give them a strong desire for their goals. Dashiell Hammett, author of The Maltese Falcon, shows how the characters of his novel, including Sam Spade, are motivated by money. Although each character denies this pecuniary greed, Spade reveals multiple situations where he is influenced by money. Spade is depicted to have no trust for any of the characters in the novel, other than Effie. Spade keeps his circle small even from his own partner in crime, showing a sense of maturity and self reliance. In order to gain Spade’s trust, the subject of money would always have to be brought up. “"We believed your two hundred dollars." "You mean –?" She seemed to not know what he meant. "I mean…show more content…
Spade’s love for money continues to blossom throughout the novel and when he did not have money, he grew frustrated and his dark side begins to array. The contents of the envelope were thousand-dollar bills, smooth and stiff and new. Spade took them out and counted them. There were ten of them. Spade looked up smiling. He said mildly: "We were talking about more money than this." (Hammett, 100). Spade seems to be disappointed in Gutman for deluding him and not keeping his word. Only getting thousand dollar bills made Spade a little frustrated and shows why he has so little trust for people. Although he did not receive the full amount of money he had been expecting, Spade had exposed his inner ego by asking Gutman for more money. this is a sign of gluttony and now that we have proven that money motivates spade and is his satisfaction. Greed, being one of the main themes of the novel, tends to infest the lives of others, making everyone greedy instead of being supportive towards one another. If characters in the book attempted to help each other find the falcon and split the profit evenly among the group, then they would have found the falcon sooner. This did not happen because each character allowed themselves to be influenced by greed and made each characters act independent. This shows that money is the root of all
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