I’ve often wondered why Larsson did not have Lisbeth exact the (almost) ultimate revenge on Bjurmann by simply applying a “rubber band” and letting him lie on the floor for a few weeks while letting nature take its course. In addition to the tattooed chest and stomach the rubber band would certainly have removed any future urges or acts of sexual transgression across women (in addition to raising his voice a few octaves). Heck, farmers and ranchers use this method all the time. Any thoughts?

Posted by SHC in Illinois, USA , 21 January 2012

By Editor

7 thoughts on “Why not rubber band?”
  1. That would have definitely been a fitting punishment. I think the revenge tattoo was part of the fact that every time Lisbeth experiences something major – good or bad – she gets a tattoo to commemorate or acknowledge its effect on her life. In a way, it seemed like a mirror to her own tattoo ritual, like she was forcing him to never forget in the same way that she would never be able to forget. In addition to the tattoo being a means to curtail his sexual activity from that point on, of course.

    I will say that in my experience some men are squeamish about things like castration because they tend to consider how it would affect themselves and would rather avoid thinking about it altogether. Stieg may have been similar, or it could have just never occurred to him.

    Posted by Jean in Seattle , 28 January 2012

  2. I certainly think Bjurmann was deserving of the “rubber band” treatment. However, perhaps leaving him tattooed served her purpose, but also left the possibility for him to eventually come back into the saga. At that point, I’m sure Lisbeth would finish him off.

    Posted by Nancy in Sebring, FL ,

  3. Once Bjurmann had reached Adulthood his voice would not change with Castration. His libido would be greatly reduced, and he would have frequent hotflashes for several years. The tattoo would permanently remind him of his castration.

    Posted by KR in Dothan, AL ,

  4. It would make it harderfor Bjurmann to stick to the rules Lisbeth set if she does not rubber band him. Leaving him “able” is a severer form of punishment. This is apparent in the total wreck he becomes the first year or so after the “incident”

    Posted by Zaph in London ,

  5. If he had been castrated, that would have taken away his desire for sex, so that makes the tattoo even more agonizing for him…

    Posted by MelindaLu in Seattle ,

  6. Perhaps she is not the same as these inhuman men, and not psychopathic. She may have been punished with jail and loss of freedom if she had done something like this. She is not like them, didn’t let them turn her into a copy of them.

    Posted by Amber ,

  7. The logistics involved in keeping Bjurmann tied up such that he could not remove the rubber band would mean too much effort than he was worth.

    It occurs to me that the depression Bjurmann goes thru is the same one that any other victim of rape experiences and that for Lisbeth it was the way she avoided a similar overpowering sense of vulnerability and its resultant compulsive immobility. She refused to be a victim.

    It may be that this little sequence will become a part of the feminist discussion of rape. Meaning the whole process of the second book begins with Bjurmann’s consultation with Zalachenko whose name he got from the file he procured through Bjork.

    Posted by turtle in California ,

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