The Maltese Falcon Irony

The Maltese Falcon Irony

Not so unwilling

When Wonderly goes to Spade for help, she lets it be understood that her sister was in trouble. In reality however, Spade found that Wonderly’s sister was not in danger or kidnaped but that she left willingly with the man she got pregnant with. The problem was that the man Corrine got involved with was a married man who would do anything to cover up his indiscretions.

Proud man

The reader is left with the impression that Archer is a proud man who is not afraid of anything. His sole purpose in life is getting rich and thus he accepts the job offered by Wonderly when he sees the amount of money she is willing to pay. Archer left the impression that he was sure nothing was going to happen to them and that Wonderly was just being overdramatic when she claimed that Thursby was a dangerous man. Ironically, only after a few days of accepting the job, Thursby turns out dead in the middle of the street after she followed a lead concerning Thursby.

Without a gun

After Archer is killed, the two detectives investigating his death turn out at Spade’s house, questioning him about his partner. When Archer is asked about whether he owns a gun or not, he denies owning one, claiming that he does not need a gun to protect himself. This remark is ironical for the officers who can’t understand why a man like Spade, involved in dangerous business, would not want to carry a gun to protect himself. In their opinion, this makes Spade appear vulnerable and week.

Good partner

Another ironic element in the novel is the fact that Archer’s wife, Iva, was cheating on her husband with Spade. The information is ironic because the person who is described as being a macho man and someone who is willing to play a person is not Iva but her husband. In the short time he appears, it is even hinted that he may have cheated on his wife numerous times. This is ironic because in the time when the novel was set, women did not have much power and it was expected of them to be submissive.

Not so helpless

In the beginning, the reader is left with the impression that Wonderly is a week woman who needs to be protected and who is just a damsel in distress. In reality, this is far from being the truth and the other characters soon discover that she is a dangerous woman who they need to be careful about. However, their initial way of dealing with her is ironic because it represents the way men tend to treat women as weaker and more vulnerable than them.

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