the story is told from the point of view of Spade and makes us empathize with him and at the same time leaves us in the dark as to what Spade has planned. We never know whether or not he is lying, corrupt, in love, a jerk, or just a nice guy. The reader also has to piece things together throughout the story by the dialogue and Spades facial expressions. .
The Hard-Boiled Hero.
In Hard boiled fiction, the hero (protagonist) begins a quest of discovery in order to reach a goal or regain something lost. (In Spades case, the falcon). In the novel, Spade faces dangers, challenges, and temptations that consist of physical, moral, material and sexual. He wonders if he should be with Brigid and be loyal to her or if he should turn her in; As we know he goes with the latter. He also is in this search for the falcon clearly for the money that he is promised by Gutman in returning it safetly to him. It is also important to point out that Spade sees things from the perspective of an average citizen, rather than from an educated one. We see this further pointed out in the article, "The Simple Art of Murder" by Raymond Chandler. Chandler says, "The detective is a common man or he could not go among the common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not do his job." Spade also has a sense of physical toughness. He does well in one on one competitions such as fistfights (We see this when he punches Wilmer and wins) Also the only times in the novel when Spade was in a vulnerable position is when everyone else lured him in as a group, or he was drugged. It is said that in hard boiled novels, the protagonist usually passes out from a beating or drugs. We see Spade passing out from drugs that Gutman gave him. The symbolic meaning of this is said to be his passage into the underworld. This is probably due to the fact that during the time he was unconscious he was enlightened and awoke with a greater ability to solve the case.