hammet revision

hammet revision - 1 CALL Jennifer Call Professor Davis FWS...

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Jennifer Call Professor Davis FWS: The Mystery in the Story 10 December 2010 2. Brigid, Misogyny, and the Femme Fatale Sex and gender roles are a significant component in noir plots, specifically in The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. This novel expresses how the intertwining of sex and the social and behavioral norms of gender, lead detective Sam Spade, into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations to solve a mystery. The plot and genre of The Maltese Falcon involves sex and gender issues which include the unreliable but much needed and ultimately sacrificed femme fatale Brigid O’ Shaughnessy, the additional women whose character and morals puts them into a “good” or “bad” category, and the other sexual deviant members within the gallery of rogues. Finally, the odd assortments of characters come together for an ending that feels both believable and appropriate. Brigid O’ Shaughnessy’s untruthfulness begins to show after she hires Spade’s detective agency under a fake name. She eventually proves herself to be an evil woman who uses her looks and sexuality to get what she wants. Brigid’s appearance of beauty and innocence deceptively hides her wicked side. The narrator describes Brigid’s misleading personality by expressing, “She looked at Spade with cobalt eyes that were both shy and probing. She was tall and pliantly slender, 1
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without angularity anywhere…White teeth glistened in the crescent her timid smile made” (Hammett 4). Brigid consistently frustrates the detective as he tries to move forward with the case and yet has to circumvent her constant use of sex and lies to control him. She even uses lust as a monetary value and a tool of persuasion when she offers to sell her body to Spade. Brigid constantly gets away with avoiding the detective’s questions and hiding valuable information by distracting him. She tries to keep Sam Spade loyal by using her womanly stereotype, which is weak and tired, to make Sam distracted and feel sorry for her and flaunts her body to shift Sam’s mind off of the matter. She complains, “‘Oh I’m so tired’…She put her hands up to Spade’s cheeks put her open mouth hard against his mouth her body flat against his body…His eyes burned yellowishly” (89).
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hammet revision - 1 CALL Jennifer Call Professor Davis FWS...

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