Especially in hard-boiled fiction, where the detective is your eyes to the unknown world in which the novel is placed.
Dashiell Hammett has constructed Sam Spade in a way so the protagonist has become a feature f the book, rather than merely a medium for the transfer f clue and information in this novel. The reader is given the chance to venture in Spades mind and inner thoughts, Hammett cleverly allows Spade to expression his values, fears and opinions to the respondent and in turn allowing them to associate, trust and relate to him. In bringing the reader closer to the protagonist Hammett has subliminally lured the reader closer to the crime, the suspects and the victims and ultimately dragged them deeper into the noir world in which Sam Spade resides.
In "The Maltese Falcon" Spade is described as the "blond Satan." Whilst his objective and inner good is clear to the readers, other characters struggle to see Spade in his true light, and describe him as a "wild and unpredictable man, and his motives are never quite clear" This could be attributed to the fact that he is continually distancing himself from people and avoiding relationships, except in his relationship with Bridget O'Shannessy in which Hammett subverts the typical genre expectations by implying the chance f a long term relationship between her and Spade. Spade opens up to Bridget with lines such as "Don't worry, I'm scared as well".
Spade is a tarnished hero, not bound by conventional rules and ties placed upon us by society, he shares an uncompromising and fatalistic view f the world, he is the man America needed to bring plausibility back to crime fiction, he would pursue crime through the dark, rain-soaked streets f American cities rather than the well-kept lawns f English country houses.
These few sentences with their sardonic humour, typical f Marlowe throughout the novel, give the reader the impression that this is not the common appearance for Marlowe, or indeed anyone else in the novel. It is significant that Marlowe understands that he must look a certain way because he is "calling on four million dollars" (The Big Sleep 3), as it shows the significance f money in that society, and prepares the reader for the murders and crimes that will be based solely on money.
Chandler's description f the weather also adds to the strong sense f foreboding throughout the novel. The rain is constant throughout The Big Sleep, as if it were an attempt to 'clean' the streets f L.A. and those that walk them. Chandler uses the weather as a representative f human emotion, in a society that is unable to express these emotions themselves. "Thunder was crackling in the foothills now and the sky above them was purple black. It was going to rain hard" (The Big Sleep 16) This description f a storm brewing comes at a time where Marlowe has just left the Sternwood's, and will spend that night protecting a girl "who had gone very, very, wrong, and nobody was doing anything about it" (The Big Sleep 46) . Chandler also uses the rare occasion f a sunny day as a metaphor for the worst being over, or something about to unveil itself. "The next morning was bright, clear and sunny. I woke up with a motorman's glove in my mouth, drank two cups f coffee, and went through the morning papers" (The Big Sleep 31). Even with