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Hi this is reading assignment/ very mini essay on 21st century literature Example

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The girl with the dragon tattoo: an Analysis

The girl with the dragon tattoo is a very controversial novel, and readers have treated it as such. Whereas many critics view Stieg Larsson, as a misogynist because of his vivid description of horrific rape scenes that make most of the theme in the novel, he is on the contrary, a feminist, whose career as a journalist and life experience had haunted for long (Bronson, 92). He says in his own words that the protagonist in the novel, LisbethSalander, was inspired by his childhood friend called Lisbeth, who was gang- raped as he watched helplessly, an event which haunted him for years to come (Penny, 24). He was also a known member of the far-left political culture, which advocates for equality and equal distribution of wealth among members of the society, regardless of race, gender or political hierarchy.

In addition, as Sven Oven Hansson rights narrates Bronson’s book, (93) Larsson was an activist, not the misogynist that critics portray him to be. The title of his novel, which loosely translates to Men Who Hate Women from its from its original Swedish simply portrays the attitudes of some characters as depicted in the relationship between Salander and Bjurman. Larsson knows that he has to use active and vivid descriptions in order to show his audience the ferocity of rape and sexual abuse. In fact, he uses actual rape scenes to make the reader sympathize with Salander, which will make them justify her vengeful acts against Bjurman.

Moreover, his style is similar to Bennett and Nicholas’s Sexual Difference in an introduction to literature and criticism, in which the two authors give detailed discussion of the formidable topic of sexual differences between men and women. Larsson is not afraid of exposing what all feminist philosophers know but refuse to talk about in public. He is not afraid to describe critical moments, and he is not afraid of being targeted by people who view him as a misogynist. On the contrary, it is the society about which he writes that is misogynistic in nature. His work is just a mirror through which the themes of sexuality, crime, morality, family, violence and justice are portrayed. Judging by this book alone, Larsson is successful in his portrayal of the society as corrupt, unjust and violent.

Towards the end of the novel, Larsson brings in the element of justice when Salander’s case comes before the court of law. Despite having been a victim of rape and abuse from her guardian in the past, she does not have the power to walk away without trial. She has to prove to the court that her actions were justified and that she acted in self-defense, which she finally does by the help of a lawyer.

On the other hand, critics have a valid point in saying that too much portrayal of forced sex in the novel is controversial and non-feminist. This is because Larsson has largely covered the theme of sexual affairs, half of which is forced sex and rape. He further writes about extra marital affairs, such as that between Blomkvist and Erika in chapter 3, and homosexuality, which is evident in Salander’s thoughts in chapter 18 and Martin’s revelations in chapter 24. Nevertheless, whether he wrote too vividly about sex scenes in his novel or not, Larsson was mirroring how the society treats women, and as such, is not guilty of misogyny, but rather, is a feminist warrior who does that which other feminists are afraid to do.

Works cited

Bronson, Eric (Ed.).The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Philosophy: Everything IsFire. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2012. [available as an e-book through Flinders Library’s e-book collection]

Andrew Bennett and Nicholas Royle «Sexual Difference.»Literature, Criticism and Theory (4th Ed.). Harlow: Pearson, 2009. 179-187.

Ross Murfin and Supryla M. Ray «Feminist criticism».The Bedford Glossary of Critical Literary and Terms (3rdEd.)Houndsmill: Palgrave, 2009, !71-177

Jaime Welda «The Dragon Tattoo and the Voyeuristic Reader.» The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Philosophy: Everything is Fire. Ed. Eric Bronson.Hoboken, NJ Wiley, 2012. 128-138

Kim Surkan. «The Girl Who Turned the Tables: A Queer Reading of LisbethSalander.» The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Philosophy: Everything is Fire. Ed. Eric Bronson. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 201. p33-46

Penny, Laurie «Girls, tattoos and men who hate women». New Statesman.5 September 2010.