Greed equals Death
Money is known to be the most essential need of a person in order to have a normal life. Everyone needs money in order to have various types of needs and wants. Therefore, money had become one of the reasons for conflict and destruction of various types of relationships. Many times I the news papers and news channels we often see the vivid examples of variety of issues regarding money. Some even kill and sacrifice their lives in order to get money to provide all the things which are needed. Some may result to selling their bodies, dealing with drugs and convicting varieties of unlawful acts just to have money in their hands.
Moreover, through such actions done by those that are in need of money, the desperation over money had become a cause of having wayward societal issues. In the novel The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet presents one of the many sides of the possible actions that person or group could do in order to get a huge amount of money in a very easy way. The lead character of the novel is Sam Spade whom played to be the strongest detective possible together with Brigid O’ Shaughnessy they fight their evil enemies to bring justice to the atrocities happening in the society.
Similar to a typical detective who is previewed in television or the envisioned detectives written by many authors, Sam Spade is a handsome and appealing man who can attract women easily with his charm and charisma. Not only that he is a handsome man, he also has great skills in trailing down the people who have done injustices towards people. In the start of the novel, Sam Spade was talking to Ms. Wonderly whom needed his protection against a man named Thursby. Later on Ms. Wonderly whom is desperate of the detective’s help managed to admit that her real name was not Ms.
Wonderly but Brigid O’ Shaughnessy. Through the money that is willing to be given by Brigid to Spade, the detective finally agreed in providing protection to the helpless woman. Though Brigid was presented herself as a helpless female at the beginning of the story, she also had a plan to get the jeweled falcon from the Thursby. In assumption, the jeweled falcon could cause a lot of money. Brigid after getting the very expensive jeweled falcon plans to sell it in order to get the profit of it. With such desire of Brigid, it presents that money had become one of the most important factor in her living.
In assumption, Brigid could want the profit from the sold jeweled falcon for her own desires. Unlike other heroes such as Robin Hood that steal from rich people in order to provide for the poor, Brigid needs the falcon to live a lavish life for her own. Through the desire of Brigid to attain the jeweled falcon, she was able to kill people who would contradict her desires. Due to the incident, Brigid runs away while Spade learns the accounts of the falcon statue. However Gutman, who narrated the accounts of the statue drugged him and then he was beat-up by Wilmer.
After being beaten and hurt Spade finally attained his consciousness and discovers that Captain Jacoby of the Ship La Paloma was already dying gave the detective the jeweled falcon which was the main interest of all the characters of the novel. After knowing that the falcon was already owned by Spade, Brigid tried to trap Spade and his partners. However in the later part of the story it was discovered that the falcon give by Captain Jacoby was a fake. After this, Spade was able to do his duties and was able to capture the evil enemies who only wanted the money and power that they could have along side with having the jeweled falcon.
It is known that money is what caused the drama and conflicts within the story but in real life it is truly known that money caused many individuals to cause pain and suffering towards other people. In the current times, there are less of detective issues presented to us. There are James Bonds and the likes but it had glamorized the issues regarding evil doings. The desire for money had obviously lead to various types of violent reactions such that of killings and dishonesty with other people. One good example is the lines stated by Ms. Wonderly, “I don’t know where she met him. I mean I don’t know where in New York.
She is five years younger than I—only seventeen—and we didn’t have the same friends. I don’t supposed we’ve ever been as close as sisters should be” (Hammett, p. 5, 1992). Although Ms. Wonderly presented herself as a beautiful and seducing woman that needed help from the detective, she needed to cover herself and pretend as if she was the victim in all these violence. Brigid needed someone to help her to make her plans happen because she could not make it on her own. Only with the help of a strong and courageous detective like Sam Spade she could possibly do all the things she wanted for her own.
Therefore Brigid could be seen as a liar who needed to make up stories in order to get the falcon or anything she could desire. With the power of acting, pretending, imitating and her clever acts, Brigid was able to lead Sam Spade in believing in her aspiration—which is protection. But later on, it was revealed that she was also one of those people that personally interested in the jeweled falcon. Clearly, Brigid was the liar in the novel however; Sam Spade had known the plans made by the clever woman. Although Brigid was seen as an evil enemy that only wanted the falcon, Sam Spade also desired the falcon.
It was said in the criticism of Richard Edenbaum that it was Brigid who was the victim with all the violence which had happened in the novel. Spade knew all along that Brigid is a liar who is pretending to be someone helpless against all strong and violent people. But in the end, it was Brigid who was the victim of Spade, “although Spade is no murderer, Brigid is his victim, because he alone knows everything, while Brigid does not know that he knows. She is the manipulated, the deceived… finally, in a very real sense, the victim. ” (Marling, 1989).
In addition the character of Spade slowly made Brigid realize her guilt against her desires to get the falcon. Thus, Spade did not reveal it to the audience immediately which led to the downfall of Brigid within the hands of the detective. (Marling, 1989). Another scene in the novel was the death of Archer which was caused by Brigid. In the chapter of the Death in the Fog Archer was killed. “A telephone bell rang in darkness. When it had rung three times bedsprings creaked, fingers fumbled on wood, something small and hard thudded on a carpeted floor, the springs creaked again, and a man’s voice said: “Hello….
Yes, speaking…. Dead? ” (Hammett, p. 8, 1992). The death of Archer had merely devastated him due to the reason that he was his partner. Death is known to be an extreme situation that could be held upon a person. Any body who faces unexpected death is often the ones who do not deserve such acts but murder was needed to be done by Brigid in order to accomplish all her goals in attaining the falcon. In analysis, both of the most main characters in the novel have desires something could provide them monetary advantages.
Through the knowledge of Sam Spade regarding the falcon and the desire of Brigid to get the falcon presents that both of them needed each other to get the aspired piece of jewel. Separately, both of the characters are in need to have it for them selves but through their various advantages they both worked and utilized each other to attain what they want. However, it is the pursuance of power and money became the main goal they similarly wanted. In the analysis of Julian Symons, he presented his analysis regarding the symbolisms of the novel. Presenting that the falcon was a symbol for something much deeper that it should be.
Thus as said by Symons, “a jewel bird proves to be no more than black enamel coating lead it is a suitable symbol for illusory of wealth in a novel about destructive power of greed” as he quotes another author named Richard Layman. In addition, Symon also noted the seven deady sins which are mostly discussed in crime novels or movies. In the situation of Spade, he is confused on what he wanted to do or desire. In the first chapters of the book, he was very willing to help Ms. Wonderly with her dilemma but later on as he discovered some emotional attachment to her it had become a conflict whether to follow the law or his own feelings.
Therefore, Symon stated that he does not have a culture that he follows in order to create a decision(1985). Moreover, the confusion experienced by the main character lead to his dilemma with regards to the falcon, his duties as well as his emotions. This explains his personality of being in the middle of being just and righteous to being a liar. One example is the lines he have used while speaking with Cairo. Cairo states, “You have always, I must say, a smooth explanation ready,” Spade replies, “What do you want me to do? Learn to stutter? (Hammett, p. 100, 1992).
In conclusion, it is true that money could kill a person. Greed is known to be one of the most deadly sins. Moreover, being greedy cannot really be stopped by a person. It is a natural process that every one goes through. It could be explained that being an individual does not have contentment in life. He or she always desires for the best things compared to other people in the society. Thus, people are often trying to push themselves to attain what is needed in order to surpass the expectations of people. In addition, having more means being unique and different in a positive manner.
Given that not all types of people are privileged to have various types of things—most especially money, it is assumed that having more financial capabilities could truly give power and authority over others. Through having the falcon, being a normal person would certainly be out of context thus making a person egoistically strong and powerful. Truly, being greedy could bring death not only to the body but to the soul. Knowing that morality is present in any person, it must be noted that the consequences of being greedy could bring various types of dilemmas in an individuals being.
Given that a person is greedy, it is the people who will think of extreme ways of attaining whatever that he or she wanted. Moreover, it is know that there are extreme actions which will bring a person to act without morality—therefore killing a person with out conscience or continuously lie to a person in order to attain a personal desire. (Warling, 1983) In the case of Maltese Falcon, the author presented how extreme measures could be utilized to have money and a treasured possession in a person’s hands.
Although the lead character Sam Spade was very heroic because he fought until the end, he still had his own interest in participating with the crime made by Brigid. Even though he was a detective who must work to provide justice to the people, it is also him who deceived Brigid and also attains what he wants. Seemingly, Spade was able to catch the people who were involved in getting the falcon but the situation also caused him death. He did not die physically in the story but he was also lured by the fact that he could get what he wanted—the falcon and Brigid. Brigid on the other hand was a murderer, a greedy woman and a certified liar.
Noticeably, she is a woman who lived through by lying and pretending. She is dead due to the fact that she have lost herself in greed and lying to all the people whom she has known similar to what she have done with Spade and other characters she interacted with. In the end, both the characters were morally dead due to the desires they had. Both Brigid and Spade have died and lost their moralities against the greed that they both wanted. References Hammett, D. (1992). The Maltese Falcon. New York: Vintage Books. Marling, W. , (1989). “Major Works: The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett. ” DetNovel.
com Retrieved February 16, 2009 from http://www. detnovel. com/MalteseFalcon. html. Marling, W. (1989). “The Style and Ideology of The Maltese Falcon,” Proteus. Retrieved February 16, 2009 from http://www. novelguide. com/a/discover/nfs_0000_0021_0/nfs_0000_0021_0_00019. html. Symons, J. (1985). “The Maltese Fiction,” Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. Retrieved February 17, 2009 from http://www. novelguide. com/a/discover/nfs_0000_0021_0/nfs_0000_0021_0_00019. html. Marling, W. (1983). “The Falcon and the Key,” Twayne Publishers Retrieved February 17, 2009 from http://www. novelguide. com/a/discover/nfs_0000_0021_0/nfs_0000_0021_0_00019. html.Sample Essay of BuyEssay.org