The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
by Stieg Larsson
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
When Millennium reporter Henry Cortez asks the question, "why are apartments so fucking expensive?" (11.109), he learns that one answer is "toilets." A Swedish company is using child labor in Vietnam to manufacture toilets cheaply. They then sell the toilets at exorbitant prices to construction companies, driving up the cost of apartments. Toilets, here, are symbol of how investigating something as seemingly small and insignificant as the price of a toilet can reveal pockets of corruption in society that directly impact the ordinary person trying to find a reasonably-priced place to live.