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Themes

The Girl Who Played With Fire offers the best and the worst of sex. Most of the novel's good guys have unconventional sex lives which seem meant to challenge how we feel about things like same-sex relationships, open marriages, multiple sexual partners, and consensual sexual acts that include bondage and other role playing games. These unconventional but consensual sexual relationships stand out in sharp contrast to all the rapes and other violent sexual acts the novel deals with. Fire's plot centers on the sex trade between Eastern Europe and Sweden. It's concerned with the plight of young women who are sold and traded for sex, and it also exposes how these women are ignored by the legal system.

Questions About Sex

  1. Does Salander have a healthy attitude about sex?
  2. Why do the ladies find Blomkvist so irresistible?
  3. What do you make of Blomkvist's affair with Harriet Vanger?
  4. How do you feel about Erika Berger's open marriage?
  5. Does Nils Bjurman get what he deserves from Salander after he rapes her, or should she have handled things in a different way? Did you have a different opinion on this before you read Fire and learned more about Salander's past?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.
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