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The Millenium Trilogy - Stieg Larsson



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  #41  
Old October 13th, 2012, 5:32 pm
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Re: The Millenium Trilogy - Stieg Larsson

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
Without speaking for LyannaS, I'd say that I'd agree that Lisbeth thought that it was okay under her circumstances.
That's entirely why it's unjustifiable even in the circumstances of the novel, Lisbeth is an unreliable witness who goes to great lengths to rationalise all her actions and hypocrisies.


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  #42  
Old October 13th, 2012, 11:44 pm
LyannaS  Female.gif LyannaS is offline
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Re: The Millenium Trilogy - Stieg Larsson

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
So you agree that sexual assault is okay in certain circumstances.
I believe in the principle that the punishment should fit the crime, and that abusers, sexual or otherwise, should be given a taste of their own medicine. As it is, Bjurman got off relatively lightly. He didin't suffer as long or as badly as he made Lisbeth suffer. I'll always regret he wasn't still alive when the dvd was made public. As to Teleborian, he is publicly humiliated and will probably lose his medical practice licence but he's not made to undergo what he put Salander through. That's not justice as far as I'm concerned.

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Of course, these events are shown only from her perspective and given that she is the very definition of a sociopath, her viewpoint is very suspect.
The events are actually shown from the writer's perspective, there's no first-person narrative by Lisbeth Salander, except in her report about Bjurman that she wrote in hospital. Besides, it's not only her viewpoint, it's the dvd showing her enduring hours of torture at Bjurman's hands, and the documentary evidence that, at 13, she was being abused and tortured (sensory deprivation is a form of torture, as we've learned recently in real life) for months by Teleborian. It's a miracle actually that she's turned out as well as she did socially - I mean after all that was over.

I agree with what Goddess Clio said. Lisbeth didn't think she had a choice, and she was right. She knew from bitter experience that no one would stand up for her or even believe her if she went to the authorities. So she took revenge in her own hands. An eye for an eye and all that.

I'm not saying "sexual assault is okay". I'm saying when you're marginalized, helpless and sexually abused, you hit back any way you can. The sexual content of her assault on Bjurman was minimal, and once again nothing compared to what he did to her. Having "I am a sadist, etc." tattooed on his chest is sure have hurt but that's not sexual abuse. He richly deserved it anyway.


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  #43  
Old October 14th, 2012, 1:04 am
Goddess_Clio  Female.gif Goddess_Clio is offline
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Re: The Millenium Trilogy - Stieg Larsson

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
That's entirely why it's unjustifiable even in the circumstances of the novel, Lisbeth is an unreliable witness who goes to great lengths to rationalise all her actions and hypocrisies.
I disagree. Lisbeth's actions are only unjustifiable in terms of the law. I would say that any woman, fictional or not, who was sexually assaulted and sought vengeance on her assailant in the same manner that Lisbeth sought vengeance on Bjurman would feel hugely justified. I wouldn't hold it again any woman to do what Lisbeth did to their assailant. They may be imprisoned for it afterwards but I wouldn't hold it against them.

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Originally Posted by LyannaS View Post
I believe in the principle that the punishment should fit the crime, and that abusers, sexual or otherwise, should be given a taste of their own medicine.
Knowing that we live in a society where this kind of "eye for an eye" retribution can be just as punishable by the law as the initial assault, what Lisbeth did to Bjurman was, in the eyes of the law, wrong. Her actions ultimately didn't stop him from seeking vengeance on her again, it just made her feel better and helped her to achieve her goal of never having to see Bjurman again and finding a way to free herself from remaining a ward of the state.

On an emotional level, though, I absolutely agree with LyannaS. I don't feel bad for Bjurman at all; he got what he deserved. He not only took advantage of a girl he believed to be mentally handicapped, he sexually tortured her for hours and hours. As LyannaS points out, too, he did get off relatively lightly compared to what Lisbeth went through.

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As to Teleborian, he is publicly humiliated and will probably lose his medical practice licence but he's not made to undergo what he put Salander through.
He absolutely would lose his license to practice medicine.

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The events are actually shown from the writer's perspective, there's no first-person narrative by Lisbeth Salander, except in her report about Bjurman that she wrote in hospital.
Lisbeth does hold a third person limited POV in the first book, though. We, the readers, see what she sees, hear what she hears, experience what she experiences, etc. just with third-person pronouns instead of first-person ones just as most of the books are written from Blomkvist's 3PL perspective. In the dinner scene with Martin Vanger in GWTDT you don't suddenly split off from Blomvist and follow Martin into his study or over to the kitchen or away to the bathroom or whatever, you stay with Blomkvist and experience Martin's absences as Blomvist would experience them.

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It's a miracle actually that she's turned out as well as she did socially - I mean after all that was over.
She's still pretty socially messed up. I think the miracle is that her friendship with Blomkvist began to heal her general mistrust of everyone in the world; he was able to show her that there are people in the world who are actually willing to help her no matter the consequences. Her learning to trust people in even a very small way is the miracle of her character, IMO.


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Last edited by Goddess_Clio; October 14th, 2012 at 1:16 am.
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  #44  
Old October 14th, 2012, 8:58 am
LyannaS  Female.gif LyannaS is offline
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Re: The Millenium Trilogy - Stieg Larsson

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
That's entirely why it's unjustifiable even in the circumstances of the novel, Lisbeth is an unreliable witness who goes to great lengths to rationalise all her actions and hypocrisies.
One can accuse Lisbeth of a lot of things, but hypocrisy is not one of them, IMO. When was she ever a hypocrite?

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
She's still pretty socially messed up. I think the miracle is that her friendship with Blomkvist began to heal her general mistrust of everyone in the world; he was able to show her that there are people in the world who are actually willing to help her no matter the consequences. Her learning to trust people in even a very small way is the miracle of her character, IMO.
You're right about friendship and support helping Lisbeth to trust people again. It's mainly Mikael, but not only him. His sister Annika, the doctor at the hospital who kept Teleborian away from her and helped her get a computer in her room, even some of the cops, and let's not forget her first guardian, were in her corner. It was a revelation to her.

Up till then, it had been her misfortune to encounter only corrupt officials, distrustful cops, prejudiced schoolteachers, etc. Every time she tried to explain herself, she found herself institutionalized, and abused while being locked up. She fought back the only way she thought she could, and I for one don't blame her for that. I'm not saying what she did was right, but it was totally understandable and forgivable. What's unforgivable is what was done to her.


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  #45  
Old October 25th, 2012, 11:55 pm
LyannaS  Female.gif LyannaS is offline
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Re: The Millenium Trilogy - Stieg Larsson

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
Lisbeth is an unreliable witness who goes to great lengths to rationalise all her actions and hypocrisies.
Leafing through the second book (TGW Played with Fire), I came across this internal monologue by Palmgren, thinking about Lisbeth. It's on p. 150 of the trade paperback edition. He thinks that what Lisbeth does may not be in accordance with the law, but that it doesn't go against God's law. He also thinks that she's actually a very moral person - her sense of right and wrong just doesn't always mesh with that of the judiciary system.

It goes back to my "let the punishment fit the crime" notion. Of course, in our society, it doesn't do to take the law in one's own hands. That would lead to anarchy and chaos. But in Salander's case, since the authorities dismiss her, never believe her, lock her up when what she needs is help for her and for her family, she feels she has no other recourse than act for herself.

It's only in Book 3 that she submits herself to society's mores (she doesn't have any choice at that point) and, for the first time, she is treated well and fairly. Though that didn't come easy. It took all of Giannini's skill as a lawyer, Palmgren's, Armansky's and Blomkvist's friendship, and the support of the few enlightened cops, plus her irrefutable piece of evidence, for her to get a fair trial.

She's the least hypocritical person of them all. She never hides what she thinks and feels.


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  #46  
Old November 23rd, 2012, 7:25 am
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Re: The Millenium Trilogy - Stieg Larsson

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Originally Posted by LyannaS View Post
She's the least hypocritical person of them all. She never hides what she thinks and feels.
This in fact is what makes her unlikable. She's too uncompromising. She never bends. One can feel for her, but one cannot like her. Even if one feels sorry for the way she's hurt because she falls in love with Blomkvist. But she goes overboard cutting him out of her life after that, though he goes all out to help her. She can't bring herself to thank Giannini for a superb defence. She's so asocial she's practically autistic. She may be admirable, but in no way likeable.


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  #47  
Old November 24th, 2012, 4:47 am
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Re: The Millenium Trilogy - Stieg Larsson

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
I disagree. Lisbeth's actions are only unjustifiable in terms of the law.
That reminds me of what Blomkvist tells Dr. Jonasson when he asks the doctor to smuggle a Palm computer in to Salander: "What I'm going to ask you is unethical and probably illegal, but it's the morally right thing to do."

Salander is in a bind, with the deck stacked against her. To defend herself, she has to fight dirty, and break the law. It's the same thing with the Bjurman rape. She wouldn't have gotten real "justice" if she'd gone to the authorities. Bjurman would have gone to prison, not having had to suffer what Lisbeth suffered at his hands for 5 or 6 hours, Lisbeth would still be under guardianship. We know now that it's "the Section" who picks the guardian, so she'd end up as before, even if the new guardian wasn't a sadist like Bjurman. At the risk of repeating myself, she was perfectly justified in her revenge. Same thing when she (literally) nailed Niedermann to the floor. In this case, since Niedermann can't feel pain, he doesn't suffer. But he does get killed (by someone else than Salander, but at her instigation), and that's justice. IMO.


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  #48  
Old November 26th, 2012, 1:45 am
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Re: The Millenium Trilogy - Stieg Larsson

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
I disagree. Lisbeth's actions are only unjustifiable in terms of the law.
No, sexual assault is always unjustifiable. Or do you honestly believe that some people deserve it?

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I would say that any woman, fictional or not, who was sexually assaulted and sought vengeance on her assailant in the same manner that Lisbeth sought vengeance on Bjurman would feel hugely justified. I wouldn't hold it again any woman to do what Lisbeth did to their assailant. They may be imprisoned for it afterwards but I wouldn't hold it against them.
And if a man sought revenge against a woman in the same way would you defend his actions?


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  #49  
Old November 26th, 2012, 4:41 pm
Goddess_Clio  Female.gif Goddess_Clio is offline
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Re: The Millenium Trilogy - Stieg Larsson

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
No, sexual assault is always unjustifiable. Or do you honestly believe that some people deserve it?
Wow, thanks for that loaded question...

I believe that Lisbeth felt 100% justified in her actions. Do I believe she should have done what she did to Bjurman? In a perfect world, no. In a perfect world Bjurman wouldn't have raped Lisbeth to begin with. In a perfect world, SAPO wouldn't have been there to coerce the authorities in to ignoring Zalanchenko's abuses of Lisbeth's mother. In a perfect world Lisbeth wouldn't have to take things into her own hands because the governmental bodies in place to protect its citizens' rights would have been there to protect hers, too.

But Lisbeth didn't live in a perfect world, she lived in one where she was the perfect victim and she did the only things she could do to protect herself.

I would also like to direct you to my response to LyannaS in the same post you quoted me in:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
Knowing that we live in a society where this kind of "eye for an eye" retribution can be just as punishable by the law as the initial assault, what Lisbeth did to Bjurman was, in the eyes of the law, wrong. Her actions ultimately didn't stop him from seeking vengeance on her again, it just made her feel better and helped her to achieve her goal of never having to see Bjurman again and finding a way to free herself from remaining a ward of the state.

On an emotional level, though, I absolutely agree with LyannaS. I don't feel bad for Bjurman at all; he got what he deserved. He not only took advantage of a girl he believed to be mentally handicapped, he sexually tortured her for hours and hours. As LyannaS points out, too, he did get off relatively lightly compared to what Lisbeth went through.
And this quote in response to you, Wab:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
In real life I, personally, say going to the authorities rather than seeking vengeance by giving what you got is not the way to go. Bjurman's assault on Lisbeth was so totally brutal that I find it hard to believe that any person in a position of authority would believe that it was anything other than a sexual assault. In the Millenium Trilogy, though, it's not that simple for Lisbeth. If she had gone to the authorities all that whole have happened was that she'd go back on SAPO's radar and they'd swoop in and hush the whole incident up or spin it so she's the bad guy so that the illegal arrangement set up to protect Zalanchenko doesn't collapse and SAPO arent' exposed to an investigation themselves.

In terms of the information revealed in books 2 and 3 regarding Lisbeth's backstory, Lisbeth's action against Bjurman was the only action she could have taken. That's why I accept her assault on Bjurman even though I don't agree that that would have been the right action to take if this had happened in the real world rather than a fictional one. It was the only action for her that would guarantee Bjurman would no longer be a part of her life.
And this quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
the comments in [brackets] I have added in this post:
Quote:
I'm not saying her assault against Bjurman was justifiable in terms of the real world but to her [after learning about her backstory in books 2 and 3 and the crimes committed against her] it was the only thing she [felt she] could do to guarantee her independance from him. As said on page, I believe, who would have believed her had she gone to the authorities? [They (SAPO) had laid the groundwork for her being untrustworthy, a liar, insane, unstable, etc. They turned her into a victim who wouldn't have been believed even when she told the truth.] The only time she would have had a case against him was the night it happened and it's very realistic that she would not have reported it. [Not only do assault victims often not report their assaults, Lisbeth herself has a justifiable mistrust of authorities herself; she spent her childhood trying to convince someone, anyone, that her father was beating her mother (to the point where she was hospitalized and suffered sever brain damage) but they completely ignored her and then locked her up in a mental institution for trying to tell the truth. Her experience is that no authority figure, be it the police or the government, is willing to help her or believe her in any way so she has to take things into her own hands, and even when she does that she's punished.] After that it was her word against his [Bjurman's] and he's an apparently upstanding lawyer just trying to help her while she's a girl who spent four years in a mental institution for, as far as is publically know, attempting to murder her father for no good reason [when in reality she had a very good, noble reason] and has a criminal record including drug related arrests, drunkenness and assault.

In terms of reality her assault [on Bjurman] was criminal retaliation and assult, I agree. In terms of fiction, her assault against Bjurman is poetic justice. The Millenium trilogy is fiction, not reality.
Keep in mind, please, that we're not discussing the real world, we're discussing the world accord to the Millenium Trilogy and that world is pretty ****ed up. In that world, every deck was stacked against Lisbeth. Every hand she played she was going to lose; SAPO was there to make sure of that. The only options she had were to continue to allow SAPO to victimize her or to fight fire with fire. She chose to later. If she had chosen the former our discussions would be along the lines of "Why did she continue to let herself be victimized like that? Why didn't she stand up for herself? Why isn't she reporting Bjurman? Why wasn't she trying to expose the injustices perpetrated against her?"

The thing is, she couldn't report Bjurman. She was the "socially handicapped, retarded former mental patient" who tried to kill her father when she was twelve years old (for beating her mother so badly he gave her a permanent mental damage herself, and all because Zalanchenko was a political asset and too valuable to prosecute - he had carte blanche to do anything he wanted and SAPO would sweep it under the rug). If she had reported Bjurman's assault it was her word against his that he was the perpetrator and SAPO was on Bjurman's side to garauntee that he would get away with it every time.

Keep in mind, also, that Lisbeth's initial plan didn't involve getting raped or retaliating in kind; her initial plan was to film a repeat performance of his inital assault on her (the one in his office) and use that as blackmail against him. She didn't begin this course of action with the plan to assault Bjurman in the same way he assaulted her; her inital plan involved no violent retaliation on her part.

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
And if a man sought revenge against a woman in the same way would you defend his actions?
I believe that, like Lisbeth, that man would feel justified in his actions.

If you want to discuss my real world (i.e. not a situation out of a piece of fiction) views on this subject, owl me. It'll be a short discussion.

My defense of Lisbeth's actions has always been within in the framework of whether she feels justified or not and has been within the framework of this fictional world. When I have been discussing my real world opinions or views I have stated so.


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