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Course Hero. "Millennium (Series) Study Guide." September 20, 2017. Accessed November 15, 2018.


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Millennium (Series) | Quotes


Everyone has secrets ... It's just a matter of finding out what they are.

Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander suggests no one's appearance should be taken at face value. Her line refers to Mikael Blomkvist, but just as easily could refer to Hans-Erik Wennerström, Nils Bjurman, or Martin Vanger—just three examples of men who hate women in their secret lives.


My motive is the simplest imaginable: revenge.

Henrik Vanger, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Henrik Vanger wants to know what happened to his beloved niece 40 years ago and punish whoever was responsible for her disappearance. He exploits Mikael Blomkvist's personal desire for revenge against Hans-Erik Wennerström to convince him to take the job.


If you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you.

Nils Bjurman, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This quote showcases how Nils Bjurman uses his position of power to abuse Lisbeth Salander. Because he has control over her money, she must do as he says, including performing oral sex against her will, to gain access to it.


A bastard is always a bastard.

Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander relies on her own skills to exact revenge on people who have wronged her. She doesn't believe in forgiveness, nor does she believe evil people can change.


It's just a common or garden bastard who hates women.

Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This quote references the original Swedish title of Book 1: Men Who Hate Women. To Lisbeth Salander, childhood experiences—including a mother's negligent or abusive behavior or other negative interactions with women—do not excuse misogyny in adulthood. Nor is there any excuse for the Swedish government's passive attitude toward the systematic abuse of women; poor law enforcement and lack of victim support simply encourage more of the same abuse.


Which is worse: that Martin Vanger raped her ... or that you're going to do it in print?

Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander convinces Mikael Blomkvist not to print the true story of what happened to Harriet Vanger, thus burying the serial killings. Blomkvist feels ethically torn between his journalistic integrity and protecting Harriet Vanger.


She detested this helplessness.

Narrator, The Girl Who Played with Fire

After suffering years of abuse in the psychiatric ward, Lisbeth Salander vows to never be helpless again. She becomes a world-class computer hacker who takes down evil men like Dr. Peter Teleborian.


I keep squandering my friends.

Lisbeth Salander, The Girl Who Played with Fire

After returning from the Caribbean, Lisbeth Salander realizes she needs friends in her life. This realization comes just in time for her friends to band together and save her from false criminal charges.


Girls—victims; boys—perpetrators.

Mia Johansson, The Girl Who Played with Fire

Mia Johansson is discussing her research on human trafficking in Sweden, but her statement might well refer to society as the novels present it.


Files are one thing. People are something else.

Dragan Armansky, The Girl Who Played with Fire

Dragan Armansky tries to tell the police Lisbeth Salander's files are false. The files suggest she is psychopathic and severely mentally handicapped; Armansky knows the truth and joins the fight to bring Salander's true character to light.


Zalachenko was more important than Agneta Salander. He could not be identified or exposed.

Narrator, The Girl Who Played with Fire

This statement explains why Säpo, the secret police, is willing to bury Alexander Zalachenko's crimes: Säpo believes protecting Zala's (Zalachenko's) identity is a matter of national security. In this way, Zalachenko becomes more important than Lisbeth Salander's mother, whose death Salander avenges on her own.


They'll twist what I say and use it against me.

Lisbeth Salander, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Lisbeth Salander explains to her lawyer, Annika Giannini, why she can't speak to authorities. In the past the police used her statements as ammunition to institutionalize her. She knows she can only trust and rely on herself for justice.


Your job description as a journalist is to question and scrutinize critically.

Erika Berger, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Erika Berger chastises one of her writers for publishing an unsubstantiated piece about Lisbeth Salander. Her quote gives readers insight into Stieg Larsson's views on journalistic integrity and the importance of free press.


What I'm thinking of asking you is unethical ... but morally it's the right thing to do.

Mikael Blomkvist, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Mikael Blomkvist convinces Dr. Anders Jonasson to smuggle Lisbeth Salander her computer because it's the moral thing to do. Many characters follow their own moral codes, regardless of the law, often risking their jobs or personal safety to do what they believe is "right."


He reminded himself that she was a lesbian and consequently not a real woman.

Hans Faste, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Hans Faste's thoughts about Lisbeth Salander are typical of the misogyny pervading the police department and Swedish society as a whole, leading to systematic abuse and maltreatment of women. Faste is contemptuous of women in general and threatened by strong women; he hates Salander in particular.

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