The Maltese Falcon Questions and Answers
by Dashiell Hammett

Start Your Free Trial

What are examples of greed and selfishness in The Maltese Falcon?

Expert Answers info

Dolly Doyle eNotes educator | Certified Educator


calendarEducator since 2018

write1,378 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

Greed is the chief flaw of many of the characters in The Maltese Falcon. Brigid O'Shaugnessy is okay with tricking or double-crossing others to get what she wants—and what she wants is usually money or other material items. Gutman's greed for the falcon inspires him to waste years of his life chasing after it, committing crimes along the way in his quest. Gutman knows no loyalty and is even willing to make his bodyguard Wilmer Cook the fall guy so the police will be off his scent as he continues to chase the falcon.

To a degree, Sam Spade might be seen as selfish. While not murderous, he has no problem having an affair with his partner Miles Archer's wife, Iva. However, he does have some nobility of character, allowing Brigid to be arrested even though he may or may not have developed feelings for her...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 441 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write5,416 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial