Re: RARA-AVIS: Sam Spade's morals

Date: 03 Sep 2005

From: Michael Robison <>

> I agree, Kerry. Sam Spade appears to have some morals
> in THE MALTESE FALCON, but at the end he reveals that
> he has none. In my opinion, it only takes a rereading

If we accept that Sam is amoral, then aren't we left to wonder at what a startling coincidence it is that his pragmatic solution is also the moral one?

Another question, which is perhaps neither noir nor hard boiled, isn't love a moral quality? And if so what are to make of Sam's love for Brigid?

Of course, if he hadn't loved her, he wouldn't have been screwed, hence noir. And if he hadn't thrown her over to the police, he would not have been tough, hence hard boiled.


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