Walter Huff Vs Sam Spade

The writing techniques of Walter Huff exhibit creativity and critical thinking. Considering the presentation of his work, Walter Huff show relative similarity to the protagonists of Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon in character development. Insightful analysis of the two works explores contemporary writing skills that reflect actual societal experiences as derived from the characters highlighted.


The characters in the Insurance salesman and the Maltese falcon seem to possess similar qualities. A critical comparative analysis of the Maltese falcon text against character of insurance salesman Walter Huff, Cain’s construction of character can be analyzed.  Both books are even considered as popular examples of the genre noir fiction. This implies that the main protagonists are not detectives, but are victims, perpetrators or suspects. The main protagonists from Maltese falcon therefore possess similar characteristics that exhibit Walter huff’s character.

Both characters from both works are easily seduced by femme fatales. Walter Huff in his own words narrates “I knew what I had done. I had killed a man to get a woman. I had to put myself in her power, so there was one person in the world that could point a finger at me, and I would have to die”pg.4. This implies that Phyllis’s seduction bore fruits and he killed her husband due to his infatuation. It was evident from Brigid’s first entrance that Sam Spader could not have able to resist. From the authors own description, It is evident that Brigid was a really attractive lady. From the authors words “her body was erect and high breasted, her legs long, her hands and feet narrow.”pg.8. This implies features of a very attractive person.

Phyllis is a  protagonists who is not afraid of bending the rules to achieve their goals. Walter huff is described as a person “who has pondered a long time on how beat the system”pg.11. This implied that he had always thought on the concept of defrauding the company he works for. When he tricks his way into entering the clients’ home, he is not blind by the fact that Phyllis asks him about accident insurance policies intended for her husband. He knows the she has the intention of setting up an accident in order to collect the insurance policy. Sam Spader is described as a person who could practically do anything. Bending the rules comes naturally to him. In the novel, he had the capability to outgunning Wilmer who is considered as a trigger happy maniac. He also outwitted the big crime boss Casper Guttmann and outsmarted Brigid who is a known schemer.

Both the characters from both books are highly cautious and exude qualities that make them smarter than normal men. In this respect, Walter huff and Phyllis form the strategic plan to kill Neidlinger which take several months. The plan involved killing and dumping the body. This generally would be a simple task but Walter huff takes no chances and is able to form a strategic plan that will enable them get off scotch his own words he narrates “.. You start on something like this, and if you don’t wake up plenty of times in the middle of the night dreaming that they got you for something that you forgot, then you got better nerves than I got”. Sam Spader on the other hand is an individual who expects anything. In his own words he narrates “the way of learning is to have a wild and unpredictable monkey wrench into the machinery” this implies that he is always ready for the unexpected (Cain 34).

Method of character presentation in the case of Maltese of Falcon and Walter Huff shows that both of the characters are sticklers for detail. Walter huff catches Phyllis on the act of disposing Nirdlingers cigar and halts her because he knows that the cigar was light in front of witnesses who could corroborate their story when he impersonates Nirdlinger. During the murder he jumps off the train and is able to identify that it would take the train exactly six minutes to arrive at his spot and it would also take a drive of exactly eleven minutes for Phyllis to arrive at his destination (rwin 24). He is even able to plan the murder of Phyllis when things don’t go his way and manipulate evidence to frame Sachetti who posed a threat on his relationship with Lola. Sam Spader in his career as a private detective had the ability to finding clues from the smallest of places. He was able to achieve this goal by thoroughly searching rooms and being one-step ahead of his adversaries. He played the game their way which enabled him to catch them off guard.

Both characters are portrayed as anti-heroes. Walter huff takes minimal time in accepting Phyllis’ proposal of killing her husband because he knows he will benefit from the plan. Sam Spader on the other hand, despite having a strict professional code of ethics knows that it’s bad for business to let a killer get away therefore turns in his former partners’ wife the police despite already having feelings for her.

From my own analysis it is evident that Walter huff is a very hard working citizen. He is an ordinary huckster with a minor celebrity status. A self-important person who is never shy of proving how smarter he is than everyone (Hammett 41). He is self-confident since he is able to emphasize this stylishly by being direct and blunt. He definitely emanates the image of an individual who is a shade clever than most people. It’s this self-misconception that eventually leads to his downfall.

The authors of the two books therefore have a lot in common in as far as both their characters are concerned. In any discussion involving hard-boiled fiction, Hammet and Walter Huff would definitely be associated. The popularity of their books and their protagonists made them feature in highly successful adaptations in the box office. Since they influenced other characters from many detective adaptations, the two characters would go in history to become a pop culture phenomenon that portrays the traits of Walter Huff’s character.



Get a 10 % discount on an order above $ 100
Use the following coupon code :