The Girl Who Played With Fire
by Stieg Larsson
Violence Quotes in The Girl Who Played With Fire
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"This time she interrupted the beating. She went into the kitchen and got a knife and stabbed Zalachenko in the shoulder. She stabbed him five times before he managed to take the knife from her and punch her in the face." (28.115)
Stabbing Zala is not a feat most twelve-year-olds would attempt, or be able to accomplish if they did. Salander has been listening to her mother get beaten for years now, and has had plenty of time to imagine such scenarios. But, this also suggests that there's something inside her that understands violence and how to use it. Nature? Nurture? Both? You decide.
Palmgren to Blomkvist: "She came home just as he was leaving the apartment. He didn't say a word. He just laughed at her. Lisbeth went in and found her mother unconscious on the kitchen floor." (28.128)
This moment drives Salander to the climax of what she calls All The Evil, where she sets Zala on fire inside a car, trying to kill him so he can't kill her mother. He survives, of course, but he doesn't mess with Agneta again either.
Agneta Sofia Salander was unconscious. She had brain damage. The first in a series of small cerebral hemorrhages that had been triggered by the beating. She would never recover. (28.139)
This is Salander thinking about the events Palmgren is telling Blomkvist about, at very nearly the same time. This keeps up the idea that Salander and Blomkvist are living parallel lives, while making sure we don't miss how bad Zala is.