More than Ink

One may never understand the reason Stieg Larsson, decided to include the tattoo part to the title of the book. Whats the significance of a tattoo? Whats so important about it? Ink embedded in someones skin normally wouldn’t come to any questioning to a person unless it was a strange and a not normal tattoo of course. The ones who usually get tattoos usually get them because 1. they have been waiting years to get them and now are finally legal too ( young teenagers) 2. they want to be cool, or think its a cool idea or another reason which is more common, 3. a purpose or a certain reason to get one. Tattoos through the book are not brought up very much and this is where a reader could miss the importance of a simple tattoo in this book.

Although a tattoo can come in different sizes, the importance of tattoos in this book cant be adjusted because it is just so big. If one were to focus on Lisbeth and her journey throughout the book, they would focus on the more important things rather than a tattoo initially. A tattoo is just a personal statement so another person wouldn’t really care about it because its not on them or it doesn’t have to do with them. Lisbeth and her tattoos are probably the most over looked in the book, even though the title has the word tattoo in it. In the book, what people may not recognize is that the tattoos indicate both non conformity and a persons assertion of power over the body. Tattoos indicate both nonconformity and the individual’s assertion of power over the body

Lisbeth is important to close read because here tattoos mark her immediately as an unorthodox figure and always draw the attention of others. While in contrast they mark her as a nonconformist as well. They addition to drawing the attention of others, they indicate her control over her own body and her fierce self-possession. A part of the book which shows the importance of the tattoo is after she gets raped by Bjurman. After she is raped she immediately goes and gets a slim band around her ankle. This act functions as an assertion of her control over her own body. In another scene, Bjurman gets a tattoo from Lisbeth. The tattoo that she gives Bjurman indicated her control over this time, his body. It signifies her newfound power over him this time, “ If you ever touch me again I will kill you. And that’s a promise…“ You’re going to get a present from me so you’ll always remember our agreement”.(Page 209)  This is an important quote because it is right before she starts to embed “ I AM A SADISTIC PIG, A PERVERT, AND A RAPIST” above his gentiles. Consequently, Bjurman too becomes marked as a social outsider, since the tattoo and the nature of the words essentially cut him off from social interactions and reminds him consistently of Lisbeth’s power over him.

A small but yet extremely important detail to the book and to Lisbeth’s role throughout the story, it symbolizes both corruption and self empowerment. Due to events that Lisbeth goes through, she decides to get tattoos to signify the pain and the newly self empowerment she gains from them.

Lonely Girl Saves The World

Through the Veronica Mars episode ” Pilot” , Veronica Mars, exemplifies how being alone in  high school world, works into her detective ways. Being an outsider within Neptune High School gives Veronica Mars a perspective that enables her to be a good detective. Due to past events in her life, she is more guarded and has obtained more knowledge in the world around her.

With a past of a parent divorce, a break up with a long time boyfriend and rape, Veronica Mars has become more independent and keeps to her self. At Neptune High, the common theme of ” cliques” comes into play. In the opening scene at the high school during lunch, you see how different people are sitting at different tables. She explains to the audience that the table across from her is the table where her ex boyfriend and the ego central Logan Echolls sit. She says that she used to be one of those people at the table. Although now she is alone at her own table. Veronica has no interest anymore in being that group although she claims that she misses the life she had with her Ex Boyfriend. Veronica is alone in the world and is perfectly acceptable of it.

Being alone for Veronica Mars, gives her a detective advantage which helps her vastly throughout the episode. Having been through traumatic events and experiencing teen age loneliness, gives Veronica more insight on the things around her. She does not have a main group of friends. In a way this helps her because, being an detective requires extreme amount of observation. In this scene, VeronicaMarsS01E01ExtendedPilota-47 , it shows how the detective  eye really works into her favor. Because she is alone at the moment, she able to observe more. Although surrounded by groups of people who are friends, this doesn’t cross her mind at all. She is more involved in observing the people around her.

In addition, her separation to others works in her favor because she is able to meet different people. When she arrives to school one morning, she is greeted by a guy taped on the flag poll. Everyone else is standing around the guy taking pictures and videos. Veronica Mars decides to help take the guy down. This results into a new friendship with the guy from when he sits with her at her lunch table the next day. There she finds out how he ended up on the flag poll and then hears about the Biker Gang which she meets at another point of the story, who she ends showing up to save her when Logan starts hitting her car at the beach.

Through series of encounters with different people she is able to  have a better detective outlook. This helps prove the point that being an outsider helps Veronica in ways that help a detective better their observational and encountering approach to the surroundings around them.


Putting the Pow in Powerful

Gillian Horn


Friday, October 4, 2013

A particular character in the Sherlock Holmes BBC series that interests me the most is Irene. From the intro of the 2nd season series, she comes across as the rich, pulled together and luxurious female villain. When she initially finds out about Sherlock coming  to her house, she starts to get in her “war” zone. Irene is sitting at her vanity putting on red lipstick and make up and talking about her  “ war” outfit she is planning to wear. Next she is shown in her bedroom closet in her green lace cover up, staring in her closet. She picks out a sparkly black one shoulder dress and looks at her self in the mirror. At this point Irene is ready to face Sherlock and is prepared for “war”. Soon after this scene, Sherlock shows up to her house and is told to wait in the living room for Irene. She comes out not wearing the dress anymore and is now naked instead. To me this seems like she is trying to lure Sherlock in by her nudity to be distracted and not question what she wants from him. Sherlock tells Irene to put something on but Irene questions it but in the end puts on a coat to cover up. About 5 minutes later of discussion between Irene and Sherlock, men come into her house and hold both of them hostage. Irene is sat down on the couch with a gun against her and Sherlock is brought over to the mural in the living room. Underneath that is a safe which the men see and tell Sherlock to open. Sherlock or Irene do not know the code, but Sherlock manages to open it after the countdown the man holding him was giving before he was going to shoot them. The safe opens and before any of the men can see, a gun being powered by a string starts to shoot at the men. This indicates that Irene must have known that this was going to happen so had decided to put the gun in the safe. This interested me because one moment the two of them arguing and being enemies, but they become partners trying to fight off these men. The characteristic that I would give to Irene after watching these scenes, is a powerful woman. She is powerful because she is clever. The gun in the safe is an example of this power and in a sense you can get from her initial imagery that she is a confident woman who isn’t afraid to fight. She not only is just a woman, but she is also a luxurious and sophisticated woman. The opening scenes help piggy back this statement because it shows her doing things that woman with class and money would do. She is provocative but she is also classy at the same time which makes her unique. A video from youtube,, highlights the moments of Irene Alder from the series and helps show every aspect of her “ powerful woman” personality. The song playing in the background, “  The Ballad of Mona Lisa” by Panic! At The Disco,  also helps support the statement of her powerful figure as well. Important lines in the song like, “She paints her fingers with a close precision” and “ Whoa, Mona Lisa, You’re guaranteed to run this town” are important to take note of because Irene puts lipstick on slowly in the begging and although Mona Lisa was married to a King and Irene is not, Irene has the motivation to be powerful like Mona Lisa. From analyzing these scenes, I can fully support the statement that Irene is a powerful woman and displays it throughout the story.

Writing #2

Gillian Horn

Seminar Writing

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


On page 53, I chose the passage that is after Spade finds Cairo at the Theater when he wonders off, and is telling him about the guy following him. Spade asks Cairo if he knows who this guy whose following and Cairo responds that he swears he has no idea. Cairo “ Wet’s his lower lip with his tongue” and asks if it was wise if the guy had seen them together. Spade questions Cairo, but then he responses again with “ I give you my word I do not know him, Mr. Spade. I give you my word I have nothing to do with him. I have asked nobody’s assistance except yours. on my word of honor”. Instead of being in the normal state we have seen Cairo and Spade mostly in the begging of the book which is argumentative, Cairo is somewhat praising of Spade at this current moment. He is showing Spade how much his view has changed on Spade and how loyal he wants to be towards him. I primarily chose this passage, because although it isn’t written that Cairo is “ gay”, this passage kind of gives a clear image that he could be towards Spade. The way he licks his lips, how kind he is towards Spade now, and his attitude. Although before in the begging where Spade first meets Cairo, the altercation they have doesn’t show much of Cairo’s love towards Spade because he tries to pull a gun on Spade, but I believe over the time of the book Cairo begins to realize how in the end Spade will win more things over him and how just being close to him would make things better.

I think that the fact Cairo may be gay plays a big part to the book because during this period of the book, gay isn’t a word that most people know quite yet and thoughts of homosexuality to people is a gross thought. Cairo in fear of embarrassment doesn’t come out to the town or to Spade, but he tries to show it in ways that only Spade can catch on to. In this example that I chose, he licks his lips which to most people is a sign of affection or like attraction, a clear sign that Cairo could be attracted to Spade. As mentioned before, in the begging of the book Cairo clearly has something against Spade because he believes he’s hiding something very important which causes fighting between them and him to get knocked out. I think that Cairo learns something important from that fight that if he wants any chance with Spade, he needs to get on his good side and realize that Spade is clearly the one with more power. Spade knows that he has a more powerful mind than Cairo, it is just that Cairo has to realize that. I think he finally does when Spade is able to track him down at the theater. That is why he says he gives Spade his “ word of honor”.

From taking the advice from Writing Analytically about observing text and making inferences, I believe that by observing the way Cairo acts, is able to allow me to make clear inferences on his interactions with other characters in the books, primarily with Spade. I think Cairo, although not a big part to the book, is a character that deserves a ton of observation. He does certain things that allow you to make judgements on his overall characteristics. When he is brought up with Spade in parts of the story, you see him in many different lights. While in the begging in the story you see him fighting with Spade almost facing near death by being knocked out to the middle of the story where he is telling Spade he gives his “ full honor” to him. This can give the reader many different thoughts to think about Spade and Cairo’s relationship throughout the book and helps the reader pin point certain actions that lay out in events between them.

Maltese Writing

Gillian Horn


For the Extended Close Reading, I chose the passage on page 47, “Spade emptied the unconscious man’s pockets one by one, working methodically, moving the lax body when necessary, making a pile of the pockets’ contents on the desk…..” This passage is written after Cairo is knocked out by Spade. Cairo is lying on the ground unconscious, and Spade brings him up to a chair and sits him down. He goes straight to the pockets and starts to investigate. After he goes through the wallet, he takes what he finds and he goes to his desk and lights a cigarette and examines what he finds. He is very casual about what happens. I believe he seems very casual about this because it says he began to examine his spoils and he examined them with unhurried thoroughness. Rather than being worried about the unconscious man, he simply ignores him and makes his way right to his desk to get comfortable and smoke while he examines the things in the man’s pocket that he casually takes out.

Spade throughout the book shows this kind of action of being so laid back when it comes to comes across with other people. Clearly here it may not be so laid back to begin with, but he approaches things professionally with Cairo and he knows how to handle his suspects and his subjects while getting what he needs. Cairo is clearly frightened now about how much Spade can do and the threat that he may have on him now after beating him up.

One could say from the book so far, that spade would be described as a clever, BI polar, genius detective. He has methods of discovering things that will often help him but also hurt him. Most things for him are easy to work out, but he needs to put in the patience and it will be solved. he does lack patience, but he has many other qualities that take the place for that. He shows how aware and how simple he makes things when they are complicated through his encounter with Cairo. Clearly Cairo could’ve been very dangerous towards Spade, but Spade knew how to control the situation before it could get any more violent.