Salander’s Norm

A theme that is brought up over and over again in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is that the financial circumstances-be it success or shortcomings- play a large role in the motive in which characters operate under. However, one particular faction represents the common financial status that justifies her modus operandi only to not realize that what she desires is not what she really wanted.


Representing the “norm” of the financial status we have Lisabeth Salander, classified as mentally ill and thus has no authority over her assets while such control is delegated to another individual in which he or she will inherit complete control of such aspects of her life. Due to the death of her previous guardian she is assigned Bjurman, a sadistic pervert. On paper, Salander is a financially stable citizen who works for Milton Security. However, because of the classification that is forcefully attached to her records, she is under Guardianship, a type of control that easily falls victim to malevolent individuals such as Bjurman. Knowingly so, Bjurman takes advantage of the Guardianship system by eliciting sexual favors from Salander in exchange for granting Salander allowance. As a result, Salander retaliates by raping Bjurman. This type of reaction is abnormal to say the least. A “normal’ person would remain shocked for a period of time and likely be afraid of the individual who has taken advantage of them. However, Salander is far from normal. She is unshaken by the rape and rapes Bjurman. So why does she do so? Simply put, she needs the money.


However, her reason to acquire more money contradicts the style in which she works under. Salander is a freelance agent at Milton Security and as such she accepts jobs only as needed as said jobs are enough to cover her expenses. But things just do not add up if we juxtapose this with the reason she desired money from Bjurman and the frequency she works. Salander wants the money for the new computer that she desires but  her personal savings does not cover the cost of the new computer. This predicament brings into question why Salander only accepts the jobs that she wants to if she needs money. Examining this from a liberty standpoint, the answer frees itself from the darkness that is surrounding this behavior. Salander works the jobs she wants to so that she is able to control how she wants to spend her time, working only when she wants to work. All her life, people have tried and failed to understand her. But in the process of doing so, she was institutionalized for psychiatric evaluations, a type of deprivation of freedom that has deeply affected her current life. She likes freedom and no one is going to take it away from her. Part of the reason why she “got along so well” with her previous guardian was thanks to the ability for her to roam and live how she wanted to live. In essence, Salander thought that she needed money but what she really wanted was freedom; with freedom, money is no longer an issue.