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Themes

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo features extremes of friends and enemies. Mikael Blomkvist and Erika Berger's twenty-year friendship is the cornerstone of their lives, yet it isolates others they might also try to befriend. In contrast, Lisbeth Salander and her guardian, Nils Bjurman, begin a hideous showdown that brands them enemies for life. When Salander and Blomkvist finally meet in Chapter 18, both of their lives are dramatically changed. For all the wars waged in the novel, at its heart there are decent people struggling to figure out love, friendship, trust, and all that good messy stuff.

Questions About Friendship

  1. Would you be able to make friends with Salander? How would you do it?
  2. Who does Salander care most about? How does she become close to these people? How does she treat them? How do they feel about her?
  3. How do you feel about Blomkvist and Erika Berger's relationship? Is the most important ingredient in their relationship friendship or sex?
  4. Are Blomkvist and Henrik friends?
  5. How does Salander's friendship with Holger Palmgren change her life? Why does she leave him and not go back when she hears that he probably won't recover from his stroke?
  6. What do you think will happen to Salander's enemy, Nils Bjurman, in the next book?
  7. How would you describe Harriet's friendship with Anita?
  8. Do you think Martin and his girlfriend Eva Hassel had a genuine friendship? Is it possible that he didn't abuse her? Could she have known about what he did to other women?

Chew on This

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