Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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"It was a dark and stormy night."� This typical phrase is often used in scary stories or most especially, detective stories. Most of these stories have a certain plot that is involving someone being killed and the reader must figure out "Whodunnit"�? However, Hammett uses something as common as a bird and turns the story, The Maltese Falcon, into a suspense tale leaving the reader off the edge of their seat. Hammett uses a man named Flitcraft that is widely discussed because of it's placing in the book, and because of it's purpose. The Flitcraft story describes a turn around in a man's life, and descretly tells about the direct coalition between him and Sam Spade, the man detective in the story.

Out of the many books that Hammett has written, he has been such a precise writer in that what he writes is so fluent and gets straight to the point without one wasted word.

Another unique technique is that he tends to take an outward look at the characters in putting them in situations that define them and their personality by their actions. This tends to leave out a viewpoint in what the character is thinking and thus not exhibiting what their thoughts are and how they are feeling. In some ways this style is well in that it causes the reader to think and somehow creates different viewpoints and how this character could really be. However, it can become very frustrating because there are so many assumptions and outlooks that can occur due to a lack of thoroughly describing what is going on in the character's head. Perhaps that is why Hammett uses Flitcraft to receive a general glimpse of what is going on in Spade's heart and life.

In this particular story, Sam Spade, the primary...

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