Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon

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The Novel, The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett clearly portrays Sam Spade as the hero of the story but he is painted as being amoral, cynical, greedy, and, as hardened by the streets, as the bad guys he?s after. When Sam learns of his partner?s death he shows little sign of shock or remorse. The day after Archer?s murder Sam tells, his secretary, Effie to remove Archer?s name from the door. This single action lets us know that the events that follow, have nothing to with avenging Archer?s untimely death, but are about upholding his ethical code. In his heart be believes that: When a man's partner is killed, he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it. And it happens we're in the business. Well, when one of your organization gets killed it's bad business to let the killer get away with it.

Bad all around. Bad for every detective, everywhere. (Hammett 213) Spade's heroic efforts are not due to his appeal to uphold justice, or a feeling of revenge, but rather are due to this code of loyalty, loyalty to his profession and to his partner. No matter what kind of a ?son of a bitch? Sam thinks he is. It is this very code that makes Sam the hero.

Sam really shows forth his dedication in his search for the truth. This quest took him down many dark alleys and took long hours. How many detectives are willing to do that today? Sam hungers for the truth, and although his dealings are a bit unethical and possibly immoral, you must admire the zeal in which he pursues that statue and ultimately the truth. Yet some would say...