Novel & Adaptation: Elements and Essential Questions Author: Dashiell Hammet 18941961 Teen Years Quick to fight Loved to read…spent lots of time at the library Dropped out of school at 14 (1908) to work because his family was broke Had a number of health issues, including tuberculosis Employment At 21 (1915) became a detective in Baltimore First published in 1921 (27 years old) Wrote more than 80 short stories in the 1920s and 1930s Street level realism, born of vivid slang and crisp language , registered with strongly with the public Stopped writing in 1934…he was all “written out” Novel Why it matters [The Maltese Falcon] [d]efines the American conception of the private eye, Sam Spade, of the femme fatale, Brigid O’Shaughnessy, and of the hard boiled style….It shows the personal and professional toughness necessary [to survive] in the Depression and after. (Marling n.pag.) Novel: Genre American Detective Fiction Began in pulps (Pulp magazines) ○ Born out of disillusionment with the increasing corruption of American social life enhanced by the unhappy effects of prohibition in the big cities. Objective ○ Challenges the reader to solve the puzzle before the detective explains it at the end. Common elements in The Maltese Falcon ○ Hardboiled Detective (often an antihero) ○ Femme fatal Novel: Style Objective point of view Meiosis (minimalist approach) Use of dialogue Hardboiled Fiction Major Characters Sam Spade Miles Archer Brigid O’Shaughnessy Effie Perine Joel Cairo Casper Gutman Wilmer Adaptation Film Noir Developed during and after WWII Central figure is a cynical and hardened male that encounters a femme fatale; femme fatale often destroyed after a double cross or betrayal Emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivation Low key black and white visual style Dark downbeat looks and theme Happy or optimistic endings are rare Still very much alive and referred to as Hollywood Noir. Watch the brief clip from L.A Confidential and identify elements of film noir. Themes Loyalty/ Trust Greed Human Adaptability As you read, note character interactions, dilemmas, and significant events that establish a specific message about the theme. Consider what the author is trying to express about greed. Is he saying something about the root of greed, or the consequences of greed, etc.? Works Cited “Film Noir.” AMC Filmsite. AMC Networks, 2012. Web. 28 Aug. 2012. Prof. Ratigan Reviews, “The Maltese Falcon.” World Press, 17 Aug. 2012. Web. 28 Aug. 2012. “The Maltese Falcon.” The Big Read. National Endowment for the Arts, n.d. Web. 28 Aug. 2012. “The Maltese Falcon.” enotes, n.d. Web. 28 Aug. 2012.