Review of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Themes are a very important part of any story, play, poem, or any writing for that matter. It is important to understand what themes are involved in a story because it helps the reader better understand what is going on throughout it all. This novel has two main characters named Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. In essence, this story is about both of these characters coming together to solve the disappearance of Harriet Vanger that is over forty years in the making. Throughout their journey to solve the mystery, I came across a couple key themes. Regarding The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, there are a few themes I chose to write about including: violence against women, the topic of revenge, and isolation. The first theme that I would like to address regarding The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the violence against women included in it.
Hailing from Sweden, the first installment of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, Män som hatar kvinnor, literally translates to “Men Who Hate Women.” Before making its way to American audiences the overtly misogynistic title was changed to adopt a much more neutral semblance. In 2011 the American film adaptation of Larsson’s bestselling crime novel premiered in theatres as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Although the American title makes an unassuming impression, director David Fincher maintains the original misogynistic essence of the plot. Within the film audiences are presented with a collection of patriarchal messages that perpetuate the ongoing subjugation of women in the workplace and within interpersonal relationships. The film’s protagonist, Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant computer hacker and social outcast, rejects all stereotypical conventions of the female heroine. Throughout the film audiences are captivated by her cunning bravery to seek revenge against those who abuse their power. A supposed vigilante for women’s rights, Lisbeth soon finds herself struggling to maintain her solitude as she develops feelings for her coworker, Mikael Blomkvist. In the American film version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Lisbeth seemingly defies all societal expectations and gender norms; however, upon closer examination it is clear that her character successfully fulfills the objectified female role as prescribed by the male gaze.
The Salander he knew was never unsure or hesitant” (Larsson 42). When analyzing the plot of the novel, it becomes obvious that her prickly personality was probably formed on the basis of constant abasement she experienced when was younger. However, it should be noted that most of victims cannot resist violence and make no attempts to stop offenders. If one divides victims into two categories (those who can resist offenders and those who are ready to suffer), he or she will notice how violence frustrates people’s future. Stronger people will probably start to lead a secluded life, in order to avoid future abuse; the perspectives for those who have been cracked because of violence are of wide range: some victims can ruin themselves with alcohol, drugs, etc.; others can go off their heat. Larsson gives his readers an opportunity to understand how violence changes people’s values, expectations and beliefs. Moreover, he shows the way people’s bright hopes are replaced by certain worthless expectations. The author reflects how violence impacts on the young girls’ worldview; he gives us a chance to compare two personalities of those who have been abused– the so-called personalities before and after: on the one hand, he describes the girls who believe in future, who have a lot of opportunities, who enjoy life; on the other hand, he shows the way sexual abuse transforms people’s desires: he depicts how violence destroys people’s faith, and outlines people’s existence. The society is to take security measures, in order to protect individuals from domestic violence, rape and other sexual assault. Lisbeth Salander as one of the young girls who experienced violence is considered to be a powerful person who shows readers the roots of feminism. “Haunted, resilient, savvy, dark, unpredictable, and endlessly resourceful, she delivers ingeniously planned and colorful acts of vigilante justice to the irredeemable criminals who have the misfortune or poor judgment to cross her path” (Lyubansky and Shpungin 1).
Thus, during her review of Mikael Blomkovist, a journalist, she finds that he is a good journalist and subsequently paints him in a positive light rather than from a negative point of view as she typically does other men whom which she reviews. The novel is both a thrilling read and an interesting take on how the past can have a significant impact on one's attitudes and behaviors throughout their entire life. Larsson's style of writing in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" enables the reader to gain a clear understanding of each character as well as the underlying meaning behind each event that takes place throughout the novel.
“Book Review – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Seattle Pacific University. Web.
Kyzer, Larissa. “Three Percent Review.” Rochester.edu. n.d. Web.
Larsson, Stieg. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, NY: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2008. Print.
Lyubansky, Mikhail and Elaine, Shpungin. “The Cost of Justice.” Illinois.edu. 2011. Web.