Study Guide

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest Lies and Deceit

By Stieg Larsson

Lies and Deceit

As we discuss in the related theme of "Versions of Reality," the Section and Teleborian build an elaborate castle of lies and deceit in order to silence and discredit Salander. To keep their castle standing, they have to keep adding more lies and creating more deceptions. For example, they don't just want to murder Blomkvist, but also to make him look like a drug dealer. This gets pretty outrageous and keeps the novel fun. There's constant Spy vs Spy action as the Security Police, Blomkvist, and Milton Security spy on the Section as the Section spies on Blomkvist, and as Salander and the Hacker Republic spy on everybody else. It's interesting that some members of Team Salander use what could be considered lies and deceit to bring the truth to light.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. Is Salander being deceptive when she snoops in people's computers? Does she need to do it to continue her role as avenger, or is she just a nosy snoop?
  2. Did Teleborian deceive himself about Salander? Does he know that he's lying to the public when he claims that she is mentally ill and dangerous, or does he believe his own lies?
  3. Can lies and deceit be used for good? Are there times when this is necessary, or is honesty always the way to go?
  4. The Section goes to great lengths to cover government secrets. They certainly go way too far, but what level of cover-up (if any) do you think is acceptable?

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