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Themes

We see The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest from different characters' points of view. These characters are basically divided into two categories: those motivated to uncover the truth and those motivated to cover it. A good amount of this novel is about bringing the truth to light. How the media influences perceptions of reality, and allows for manipulation of reality, are also hot issues related to this theme. Similarly, the novel explores how the various technologies available – from computer and Internet technology, to printing presses, to weapons – influence perceptions of reality.

Questions About Versions of Reality

  1. Does Salander's basic outlook change in this novel, or does she stay pretty much the same?
  2. How does it make you feel to read the passages narrated from Niedermann's perspective? What do you think causes his hallucinations?
  3. In the courtroom scene, we see inside Teleborian's head. Does his point of view provide us with any new information? If you were his psychiatrist, how would you diagnose him?
  4. Is it important that the public read the truth of Salander's story? What implications might the revelation of this truth have for other victims? What implications might it have for patients at St. Stefan's psychiatric clinic? For Swedish democracy?
  5. How might you compare/contrast Blomkvist's point of view with Dragan Armansky's?
  6. How is technology used to manipulate reality? How is it used to uncover the truth?

Chew on This

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