Reaction Paper #1

“Mr. Joel Cairo was a small-boned dark man of medium height. His hair was black and smooth and very glossy. His features were Levantine. A square-cut ruby, its sides paralleled by four baguette diamonds, gleamed against the deep green of his cravat. His black coat, cut tight to his narrow shoulders, flared a little over slightly plump hips. His trousers fitted his round legs more snugly than was the current fashion.” – p. 42

The paragraph in which Joel Cairo is first introduced to the reader is somewhat strange due to the fact that in merely seven short sentences there are two themes that repeat excessively. The first of these is the repetition of the word dark throughout the passage. The very first sentence even describes Cairo as a dark man with black hair. This motif is furthered in the next sentence when he is described as being Levantine. He also is dressed in all black, and is holding a black hat in his hands. The other interesting part of this passage is the strands of words and phrases that give Cairo an almost feminine look. He is depicted as a “small-boned” man of “medium height” who has “narrow shoulders,” “plump hips,” and “round legs.” The only thing angular in the description of Joel Cairo is the ruby that he wears.  When compared to the portrayal of protagonist Sam Spade, who is depicted as completely angular and being rather large, Cairo clearly shares the aura of the other women in the work instead of the men.

Going back to the darkness motif, it is interesting that Hammett sketches Joel Cairo as such a dark person because, knowing that this work is considered part of the Film Noir movement, the reader immediately makes the connection that Cairo is not one of the “good guys” in the novel. Interestingly, the Film Noir movement also began in a time of great political and national insecurity, so when Hammett writes him as a Levantine Cairo assumes an even greater level of evil in the reader’s eyes. At this point in the plot Joel Cairo is the most despicable character in the work, and not only because he is described as being dark and the ever-feared foreigner. In order to truly comprehend the extent of Cairo’s evil nature his darkness must be examined alongside his femininity.  Hammett absolutely intends for the two to be connected.  Not only are the two ideas presented intertwined in the same passage, but also one of the main themes behind the “macho man” detective novels is that the manly men, and only the manliest of men, always win. Because Cairo is depicted as a dark man who is overly feminine, not only is he automatically declared the “bad guy,” but the belief that men are the heroes also becomes apparent. The repetition of darkness, and the strands referring to femininity are great sources of foreshadowing as to who the enemy will be throughout the remainder of the novel, and what force macho man protagonist Sam Spade will really be in conflict with. By doing some detective work of their own and analyzing Hammett’s words it is clear to the reader that the hero’s true conflict in the story is his internal struggle with masculinity.

Reaction Paper#1

What I found interesting in this book is Chapter four, page 35, the description of conversation between Samuel Spade and Brigid O’Shaughnessy. “I haven’t lived a good life,” she cried. “I’ve been bad – worse than you could know – but I’m not all bad. Look at me, Mr.Spade. You know I’m not all bad, don’t you? You can see that, can’t you? Then can’t you trust me a little?” Here, Brigid used repeating rhetorical questions to ask Spade to believe what she said and keep begging him to help her. The repeat highlights her eagerness and helplessness.  And in the later part, she said “I know this isn’t fair of me. But be generous, Mr. Spade, don’t ask me to be fair. You’re strong, you’re resourceful, you’re brave. You can spare me some of that strength and resourcefulness and courage, surely. Help me, Mr. Spade.” Here, the author creates the strand of Spade’s capability. As the protagonist, Spade has got all features that indicate his masculine identity: callous, resolute, courageous. Meanwhile the characteristic of Brigid is quite sensitive, helpless, self-interested and also mysterious – which is a typical femme fatale in noir film. I think the whole passage aims at building a contrast between powerful male character and timid female character; in that way it can help emphasize the personality of them. A big strong man and a weak beautiful lady, forming an expressive scene, imagine what sparkle they might ignite.

Spade has always reacted as indifferent and ambiguous in the whole case so far. Yet according to Spade’s response: “You won’t need much of anybody’s help. You’re good. You’re very good”, we can see that he already caved in to her feminine charm more or less because this sentence is more than a comfort. I mean who can resist the incessant imploring from such a gorgeous beauty?  Brigid has successfully made the best use of her gender advantage to build a lovingly pathetic image, therefore touching the softest part inside Spade’s heart.  Also we need to notice that it’s the first time that Brigid mentioned she had been worse than we could know but we still don’t have certain idea about what she had done before, where the author leaves us a big suspense. Though Brigid seems to be very weak and incompetent now, I am looking forward to finding out her real characteristic hiding under her innocent surface. From my perspective, this passage may imply the power femme fatale – here refers to Brigid O’Shaughnessy – exerts over the hero – Samuel Spade – in future content.  “a mysterious and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous and deadly situations”, Brigid will “try to achieve her hidden purpose by using feminine wiles such as beauty, charm and sexual allure.”(Wikipedia entry: femme fatale )


“I’ll be damned.” Then he laughed in his throat and said: “Alright. God ahead. I won’t stop you.”

On page 51 in The Maltese Falcon Sam Spades character is thrown a curve ball. Cairo’s pointing the gun at him changes the perspective completely in the book. Earlier, in my other essay, I focused on the “devilish” character that Sam portrays, but at this point in the book everything has been turned around on him. The control is no longer his to command, which is a big deal to him. Cairo points the gun at him and he responds, “I’ll be damned”. This is the main quote I am going to focus on. Samuel Spade is a private investigator, he is alwasy used to being in control of situations. When Joel Cairo pulls a gun on him the whole situation becomes out of Sam’s hands. Why I’m focusing on this is because throughout the novel Sam has been made out to be a very controlling character, always on top of each situation. With this extreme case going on, Sam has become part of a world he isn’t necessarily used to. The significance of this quote is that Sam is confronted with the possibility of extreme danger. In the bigger picture Sam has never faced a situation where he is not in control. Sam is a person of searching, he is used to the ability to look at things in his own way. With this however, already in a case out of his hands, he is faced with the challenge of letting someone else be in control of what’s happening. Sam has been working on a case that has exposed his personal side, whether it be having an affair, or whatever, Sam is thrust into a situation where his professionalism can no longer help him. In cases of extreme danger the true personality of someone comes out. Scary, spontaneous action cannot be planned for, so Sam’s true side really does come out. Sam is a character who tries to hide his physical, and human, desires underneath his facade of calm professionalism, but having affairs says otherwise. I think that his internal struggle is actually the main issue throughout the novel, making the question does the job make the man, or does the man really make the job.

“Uh-huh, I could’ve butchered Miles to get his wife, and then Thursby so I could hang miles killing on him. That’s a hell of a swell system, or will be when I can give somebody else the bump and hang Thursby’s on them. How long am I supposed to keep that up? Are you going to put your hand on my shoulder for all the killings in San Francisco from now on?”

When first reading this passage, I began to see the repetition with the words “butchered, hang, killing, hang”. These are all violent actions describing the killing being placed on Spade. It forces you to listen to what the writer is saying and draws your attention to those specific words. There is also a sense of mocking going on when he say’s “I did this or I did that”, it suggests that their conclusion has no evidentiary support and that they are all just claims of desperation to find the true killer. Spade speaks with sarcasm and anger to show that their accusations are not rational.

Spade is setting up a fake plot for the detectives to prove his innocence. Spade is showing them that their discovery is weak and does not make sense. The two detectives are lost and are turning to Spade for answers which he refuses to give them. In the process they put the blame on him to see what his reaction could be. There also could be a sense of fear in the statement, “Are you going to put your hand on my shoulder for all of the killings in San Francisco from now on?” Spade is angry and scared at the fact that they figured it out that he and Iva had a relationship.

Iva and Spades relationship connects to another part in the story where Iva and Spade are discussing their love affair and Spade seems to have no interest. Could he have feelings for her? Could he have hired someone to kill archer if he didn’t do it himself?  I think that this passage shows that Spade is just as desperate to find the killer as the others. He is trying to solve the case and Tom and Dundy are just roadblocks in the way of his detective work. Spade is bashing the system when he says, “That’s a hell of a swell system” in a way he is saying that it is not right or that it is unjust that he is being blamed when he is trying to help solve this case. What if Spade knew about the bird and in fact did commit the murders? Brigid O’Shaughnessy claims she is the only one who knows the spot but what if he figured it out and used Brigid to get the bird himself. He could become close to her and gain her trust and then she would lead him right to it. He then could pin the murder on someone else, but at the same time it would not make sense for both murders to be his wrong doings. He also seems to have taken a liking to her which would then intervene with this plan.

This passage could also be anger that he cannot prevent them from digging deeper into his life, without giving them something to work off of. Dundy and Tom won’t stop until they find the killer or killers. Spade knows this and wants to beat them to the answer. It would show that he can control the situation and by not letting them into his house in the first place, he is in control. This quote shows that Spade is taking offense to their words and is unhappy with this whole theory being pinned on him. This passage also is an example of spades true character, he is sarcastic, wont let anyone get in the way of his work, and he is someone who likes to prove he is a step ahead of everyone. Spade rubs this into Tom and Dundy’s face, when he is saying how their supposable conclusion to this murder is ridiculous. Spade is left in the dark for most of the story and is trying to figure out where the bird is, who is killing people and what he can do to find out more information. 

Spade’s Search for Brigid

“His eyes and thick fingers moved without apparent haste, and without ever lingering or fumbling or going back…probing, scrutinizing, testing with expert certainty. Every drawer, cupboard, cubbyhole, box, bag, trunk—locked or unlocked—was opened and its contents subjected to examination by eyes and fingers. Every piece of clothing was tested by hands that felt for telltale bulges and ears that listened for the crinkle of paper between pressing fingers. He stripped the bed of bedclothes…He pulled down blinds to see that nothing had been rolled up in them for concealment…He poked with a fork into powder and cream-jars on the dressing-table…

“He did not find the black bird.” (p. 90)


In this passage, Spade searches Brigid O’Shaughnessy’s rooms for the Maltese Falcon. On the surface, the passage features Spade overturning Brigid’s apartment in his search, and coming up empty-handed at the very end.  However, the language and sentence structure used to describe Spade’s search can indicate another meaning for the passage. One of the most distinctive characteristics of this passage is the extensive use of different types of verbs. Words such as “lingering,” “fumbling,” “probing,” and “scrutinizing” are dominant in the beginning of the passage—all words that convey slow and leisurely movement. However, as the passage progresses, we see verbs that convey more aggressive movement: “stripped,” “opened,” “tested,” “pulled,” and “poked.”

The structure of the sentences in this passage is also significant. The beginning of the passage features long and wordy sentences that are usually in the passive voice. Once the more aggressive verbs emerge, however, the sentences become short and choppy, usually beginning with “he” and featuring the active voice. The language used in this passage reveals a transformation in Spade’s character from apathetic and removed to emotional and involved.

The syntax and sentence structure in this passage indicate that the scene is not only about Spade physically searching Brigid’s rooms; it is also about Spade’s attempts to work out the mystery of Brigid O’Shaughnessy herself. The language used in the passage is very physical and intimate, with verbs such as “stripped,” “pulled,” and “scrutinizing.” Words such as these seem to draw a connection to the physical and emotional intimacy that Spade and Brigid experienced with each other the night before this passage takes place. In the scene before this passage, Spade tries to see through Brigid’s layers of disguise through words, but fails when she continues to lie to him. In the morning, Spade takes a more physical approach to the same problem by searching her rooms, but fails again. At the end of the passage, Hammett says that Spade “did not find the black bird.” To Spade, the black bird signifies the truth about Brigid, one that he has yet to uncover. This passage describes Spade’s efforts to strip away the layers of lies and deceit that Brigid O’Shaughnessy uses to cover herself, in order to see what naked truth lies beneath.

Spade’s Identity Crisis

“Spade stood up, thrust his hands into the pockets of his jacket, and scowled at her. “This is hopeless,” he said savagely, “I can’t do anything for  you. I don’t know what you want done. I don’t even know if you know what you want.” She hung her head and wept. He made a growling animal noise in his throat and went to the table for his hat…..Spade made the growling animal noise in his throat again and sat down on the setee.”(Hammett, 39)

Sam Spade struggles with being in control of his masculinity and how his masculinity controls his identity. Hammett shows Spade’s struggle of masculinity and identity through changing the description of Sam’s “body like a bear”(12) to “grinned wolfishly”(48). A large bear is more powerful and forceful compared to a much smaller vocal canine animal such as a wolf. Hammett continues to describe Spade making a “growling animal noise”(39) or “grin[ing] wolfishly”(70). Sam’s animalistic persona makes an appearance when there is a question of control such as helping Brigid or fighting Cairo. While Sam Spade attempts to be composed, the imagery of a savage animal suggests that Sam Spade is losing with the power over his own identity. A wild animal cannot make thoughtful decisions and instead bases its actions on instinct, just as Sam seems to be doing.

Sam’s identity crisis is due to his addiction to women. The more Sam interacts with Brigid O’ Shaughnessy and other women, the greater Sam’s internal struggle becomes. Sam downfall begins when he has sex with a miscellaneous woman: following their intimate encounter, Spade’s body  “was like a shaved bear’s”(12). His loss of identity continues with Brigid.  Because Brigid is a woman, Sam views her as inferior. When he cannot help he feels “hopeless [and] he said savagely. ‘I can’t do anything for you”(39). Sam fumbles with the idea that a woman is in control. Brigid causes Sam to question his own identity by being mysterious, vague and upholding a masculine costume of “incredibly wicked, and an iron-molder by trade”(55). An iron-molder is intended to be a labor-intensive job for men. This imagery also implies Brigid has the ability to mold to the type of personality needed to obtain her needs, almost like magic of a “wicked” witch. The true mystery Hammet creates is Spade addiction to women that lead him to his demise.

Suck It And See – A Maltese Falcon Reaction Paper

“Spade’s thick fingers made a cigarette with deliberate care, sifting a measured quantity of tan flakes down into curved paper, spreading the flakes so that they lay equal at the ends with a slight depression in the middle, thumbs rolling the paper’s inner edge down and up under the outer edge as forefingers pressed it over, thumbs and fingers sliding to the paper cylinder’s ends to hold it even while tongue licked the flap, left forefinger and thumb pinching their end while right forefinger and thumb smoothed the damp seam, right forefinger and thumb twisting their end and lifting the other to Spade’s mouth. He picked up the pigskin and nickel lighter that had fallen to the floor, manipulated it and with the cigarette burning in a corner of his mouth stood up.” – The Maltese Falcon, pages 11 – 12

“Spade’s thick fingers made a cigarette with deliberate care…” is the first line of a paragraph that elevates Sam Spade’s simple task of rolling his cigarette into something that’s descriptive enough to almost be sexual in nature. Removing elements of the sentence show how Hammett’s details create an erotic image of Spade’s cigarette. The sentences, “Spade’s thick fingers… with deliberate care” and “thumbs rolling the… inner edge down and up under the outer edge as forefingers pressed it over” can be created simply by removing references to the cigarette.

This point is important though because it shows Sam in a position of power. Sam Spade is in control, he is the one rolling the cigarette, he is the one “spreading the flakes so that they lay equal at the ends”. It pushes the idea of masculinity that Hammett pins on Spade and seemingly continues with Hammett’s earlier description of Spade being almost the stereotypical image of masculinity. He’s described as long and bony and v shaped in a number of capacities in the first paragraph of the novel and in the cigarette paragraph, that image is shown in a different way.

As he goes through the motions of rolling his cigarette, he does it with practiced ease, with precision, most likely through experience of rolling them rather often. In the first chapter, we’re shown that he smokes a great deal, “On Spade’s desk a limp cigarette smoldered in a brass tray filled with the remains of limp cigarettes.” We can see bits of his personality come into play in this routine, bits of said masculinity that Hammett carefully characterizes him with. He is calculating and precise, he likes things equal, but only if it benefits him.

We can see his calculating, precise nature in how closely he pays attention to the flakes laying equal at the ends. How he carefully measures said flakes. But Sam’s selfish nature is also illustrated at the end of the passage, as the entire process of creating the cigarette, all his effort and time and patience, was all for his own benefit and enjoyment.

Spade’s lighter even has parallels to his character. Made of nickel and pigskin, the nickel would make it hard and cold. The leather, is a warmer feeling to hold suggesting that Spade isn’t completely without feeling, but it isn’t a soft material either. The leather is tough, strong and still with the capacity to be cold (as anyone with leather seats in a car can attest too). Spade picking the lighter off the floor that represents himself is also another aspect of this, suggesting that Spade is a man who will pull himself out of trouble. He doesn’t want help and will pick himself up and light the cigarette he rolled himself, by himself. All these aspects add to Hammett’s image of Spade being the image of masculinity, even if some aspects of this image are rather harsh.

The passage ends with the image of who Hammett wants us to imagine Spade to be. The iconic image of a man, perhaps a bit of a badass, with the cigarette he rolled himself “burning in a corner of his mouth”.

The Maltese Falcon: Reaction Post

Page 68: “Exactly what,” Cairo asked in a low voice, “happened to Floyd?” The tip of Brigid O’Shaughnessy’s right forefinger traced a swift G in the air . . . “It might make a world of difference,” he said, and rearranged his hands in his lap so that, intentionally or not, a blunt forefinger point at Spade.


This passage takes place in Spade’s office between Cairo, Brigid, and Spade. They are all communicating and speculating over Miles Archer’s death when the comments above are made. While reading, the first thing I noticed was the repetition of the use of the forefinger and pointing. Each character points and suggests blame for Thursby’s death. Curiously, one character is understood as “good” and one as “bad” and one of the suspects is known and one is not. The contrast that is implied is interesting because it forces the reader to reconsider his or her present views and opinions on Spade and Brigid. Some would agree that Sam Spade is perfectly capable of murder and others might question Bridgid and her alliances. She has already lied about her identity and concealed her involvement with the Maltese Falcon. Perhaps she has gained knowledge of “G” through a past relationship or business partnership.

Naturally, the next thing to wonder is who is “G”? This section of the passage leads me to believe that Brigid may be trying to swindle Sam Spade. Brigid first met Sam as Wonderly, who was trying desperately to find Floyd Thursby. She made him sound dangerous. Now, in this passage, Brigid is showing that she had a relationship with Thursby, and may know of his enemies or other close relationships by insinuating that she knows valuable information about his murder.

Cairo also plays a fascinating role throughout the conversation because not only does he understand Brigid’s reference, he also questions Sam’s innocence in the murder of Thursby. After reading the passage, I think that Brigid and Cairo might be allies; both of them want to find the bird and both have connections to Thursby. However, I think Sam Spade is oblivious to the relationship at this point and all communication between Brigid and Cairo is discrete like the finger pointing at Spade.

The body language in the text is extremely important. Not only is it discrete, it also forces the reader to form an opinion. The text refers to Cairo’s pointing as “intentional or not”. At this point, the reader has to agree or disagree with these assumptions. It also makes you wonder if “G” is an ally or business partner to Spade; someone that Brigid and Cairo don’t want to reveal their alliance to and therefore communicate with body language. Furthermore, I think that although the reader seems to have a detailed description of Sam Spade’s character, Cairo saying, “It might make a world of difference,” seems to reveal that there is more to learn about Spade as the plot continues.

As the novel progresses I predict we will see Cairo and Brigid continue to get information from Sam and continue to play him in order to get what they want. Because Cairo was introduced as a gun-wielding criminal and Brigid has already portrayed several characters or acts, I think Cairo may take on more dangerous situations and do the “dirty work” while Brigid works on Spade and uses him for information and connections in the city.

Quote Analysis

“ (…) Cairo’s face jerked back not far enough: Spade’s right heel on the patent-leathered toes anchored the smaller man in the elbow’s path. The elbow struck him beneath the cheek-bone, staggering him so that he must have fallen had he not been held by Spade’s foot on his foot. Spade’s elbow went on past the astonished dark face and straightened when Spade’s hand struck down at the pistol. Cairo let the pistol go the instant that Spade’s fingers touched it. The pistol was small in Spade’s hand.” (Page 46, First Paragraph)


In this paragraph, “Spade” is repeated five times, “Cairo” is repeated twice, “elbow” is repeated three times, and “pistol” is repeated three times. The emphasis is put on Spade primarily because he is the protagonist in the story, but also because the reader is supposed to focus on the actions he is performing. “Cairo” is repeated twice, both occurring in a sentence describing the physical harm being done to him. The word “elbow” is repeated three times. The repetition accentuates that Spade is the character in control. It also speaks to Spade’s masculinity because to “defeat” the other man, he only had to use his elbow. He was not in need of a variety of techniques to knock Cairo out, but instead only needed the basic move of elbowing him. In addition, it only took Spade a few minutes. Finally, the word “pistol” is repeated three times because it is the object Spade is attempting to gain possession of through physical violence.

The first strand consists of “elbow,” “face,” “heel,” “toes,” “cheek-bone,” “foot,” “fingers,” and “hand.” The series of anatomical parts serves to make the fight more descriptive and allow the reader to clearly see which man is in charge. The second strand further emphasizes the dominance Spade possesses in the situation and compares the masculinity of the two men by employing words and phrases such as, “patent-leathered,” “the smaller man,” “must have fallen had he not been held,” “let the pistol go the instant Spade’s fingers touched it,” and “the pistol was small in Spade’s hands.” The combination of Cairo’s physical build, “smaller,” and his shoes, “patent-leathered,” both lead the reader to believe that Cairo is a feminine character. In general, men are larger and stronger and do not put much effort into their choice of footwear. Additionally, the phrase “must have fallen had he not been held” suggests that Joel Cairo cannot even keep himself upright while in a fight, turning the question of where the dominance lies again to Sam Spade. The second last sentence in the excerpt demonstrates that Cairo is unwilling to fight back, which jests at his masculinity. The final sentence describes the pistol as small in Spade’s hands, highlighting Cairo’s femininity once again because “normal” men do not have small hands.

This passage is not as much about the physical incident as it is the gender and sexual stereotypes that occurred when this book was written. Men were supposed to be manly, strong, and able to fight back when needed. Spade displays this stereotype by attacking Cairo to get the pistol. Cairo, on the other hand, is small and womanly, weak, and he proves that he is unable to defend himself, let alone fight back. The evidence in the text is found in the aforementioned second strand. The adjectives utilized to describe Spade were masculine whereas the adjectives applied to Cairo were feminine.

The passage has related to the novel so far by extracting specific information pertaining to stereotypes. It has accentuated the difference between Spade’s and Cairo’s characters and attempts to prove to the reader that Cairo is to be disapproved of, shown by his inability to “act like a man.” This is important because in “Film Noir,” much of the plot is based on gender stereotypes. By showing the audience that Spade is manly, the audience sees that he is able to solve the mystery and complete the case. His character can be trusted because by physically abusing the other man to obtain what he wants, it exhibits that he is capable.

FYS Further Investigations

Hey everyone, thought I would throw my Analysis in here today (I left it unedited to show how my original thought process went). Hope to see everyone else’s soon! Enjoy 🙂




Second Analysis: Further Investigations


“Cairo coughed a little apologetic cough and smiled nervously with lips that had lost some of their redness. His dark eyes were humid and bashful and very earnest. “I intend to search your offices. Mr. Spade. I warn you that if you attempt to prevent me I shall certainly shoot you.”


–Mr. Cairo, Pg. 45 2nd Paragraph


Within the noir genre, and more specifically The Maltese Falcon, there are heavy hints at what society (at the time) thinks of gender, sexuality, and masculinity. This passage is able to get the point across that the new character, Joel Cairo, is mainly feminine and fragile. Characteristics that represent a character as a man or a women are suddenly blurred together in a way that makes it hard to tell if Mr. Cairo were a man or women if the terms “his” or “him” were omitted entirely.


His persona is distinctly less firm or even confident when it comes to every action as compared to Mr. Spade. As a “man” that is holding another person at gunpoint he coughs apologetically and even smiles in an unsure manner. A man can’t be unsure in a time of pressure or potential combat or reveal some form of weakness like a smile. What kind of tough guy (more like punk) is this? Clearly Hammet doesn’t think he is at all, adding to it that he has bashful and earnest eyes that just bash their eyelashes at the detective. Whereas Spade’s yellow and firm gaze would likely punch the guy out cold then come up with a snarky remark about how he wants to blow the man’s brains out.


The underlying message behind these distinctions within this character is that (at the time) being homosexual, or potentially homosexual, was the exact opposite of being a man and possibly even worse than a women. Someone who doesn’t belong and is a disgrace to what they are trying to do in life, or in this case threaten a man at gunpoint (using a gun he likely hasn’t the foggiest how to use) and get what he wants. The entirety of the situation both in and out of the passage comes and hits Cairo harder than he can possibly comprehend, both physically and mentally, due to his frail and feminine demeanor.


What does this mean for the story overall? Well, if Spade wishes to succeed he must be a strong and confident man (which he more or less already is). This pattern of masculinity plays alongside the gender divide, now placing the separation of characters in a three way split, revealing that this story and other Noir stories like it rely on a man, a “real” man, a character that has to face attacks and deal with the obstacles of silly women and pathetic men.