The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest Analysis

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest is a 2007 mystery-thriller written by Swedish writer Stieg Larrson, the third book in the Millennium series. Originally published in Swedish, the book was translated and published in English in 2010. While the first book is a classic whodunnit with multiple characters, and unique backstories, the third part concentrates mainly on Lisbeth. The main protagonists are Mikael Blomkovist, a socio-political journalist, and Lisbeth Salander, an anti-social investigator. The story picks after the events of the second book and the plot is about trying to prove Lisbeth's innocence in a triple homicide and violation of her rights.

The main themes are oppression of women in a misogynist society, although the book covers a variety of topics including childhood abuse, failure of socio-political journalism, and the human psyche. Lisbeth Salander comes as a protagonist contrastingly different from the regular heroine. She is anti-social, not beautiful in the traditional sense, has no regard for rules and can turn highly violent. She, though violent and anti-social, has a very strong moral compass and believes in punishing the perpetrator rather than make him spend days in jail.

The plot follows Mikado's attempts to prove Lisbeth's innocence in the murder of three people while trying to keep her safe from the 'Section', Swedish secret service. The plot is different from the first book in the context that while Harriett's story was the main plot , the main plot here is the back story of Lisbeth. Sub-plots include Erika Berger's exploitation at her new job where she is harassed by an ex-schoolmate for refusing his advances years ago. A major theme is the failure of judiciary in protecting an innocent. Lisbeth is termed as mentally incompetent for setting his father to fire while no one helped her while she plead.

Morality and ethics of the system are questioned who would protect a murderer and a sex-trafficker at the price of wrongly institutionalizing a girl of fourteen. Another concept that was present in the subtext was of judgement against a person declared mentally unstable. Lisbeth has eidetic memory, and is far more technically proficient than a normal person but is often judged and called as a girl with two brain cells.

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