Summary and Analysis
Part 1: Incentive:
Chapter 7 - Friday, January 3
While Blomkvist packs for Hedestad, he argues with Berger about his decision to take Vanger up on his offer. The twosome is in Blomkvist's apartment along with the other part-owner of Millennium, art designer Christer Malm. Blomkvist assures Berger that he's accepting Vanger's offer to preserve Millennium's reputation by getting out of the picture, as well as to acquire the information Vanger has on Wennerstrom. Berger sees Blomkvist's decision as giving up on the magazine and leaving her and Malm in the lurch for a year. Finally, Malm interjects his opinion by telling Blomkvist to go and assures him that he and Berger will keep the magazine alive while he's gone. Berger, still unconvinced, expresses her feeling that Blomkvist will never return.
The narrative then cuts back to Salander who is awakened from sleep by a call from Armansky. Armansky informs Salander that Frode, Vanger's lawyer, has called and asked them to drop their investigation of Wennerstrom. Armansky assures Salander she'll get paid for her work thus far, but Salander is still unhappy about the news as she finds the financial affair quite intriguing.
Chapter 7 builds on the theme of trust through Blomkvist and Berger's argument as well as foreshadows a shift in direction for Salander. By deciding to move to Hedestad for a year, Blomkvist has acted on his own without consulting his partner and friend, Berger. In doing so, Blomkvist causes a rift to form between them. How can they continue to trust each other if they fundamentally disagree on Blomkvist's decision? Through this crossroads, the security of Blomkvist and Berger's trust in each other is clearly shaken. Although they trust each other immensely, that trust is nothing compared to the trust each has in his or her self. For instance, Blomkvist is certain that accepting Vanger's offer will allow him to achieve his ultimate goal — exposing Wennerstrom's crimes. Berger, although she shares the same goal, sees Blomkvist's means as counter-productive and feels a straightforward, investigative approach is better. By the end of the scene, Berger and Blomkvist are no longer acting as a team and each must pursue what seems right without the other's help.
Secondly, tension in Chapter 7 is created by Frode's decision to forgo the Wennerstrom investigation, foreshadowing potential problems for Blomkvist and Salander. To begin, the reader must wonder why Frode is quitting this investigation — is it because Blomkvist has agreed to Vanger's offer and there's no longer need to probe more deeply into Wennerstrom's affairs? Additionally, this decision puts Salander at a crossroad. She does not want to quit the investigation, so she's left with the choice to either to pursue it on her own or to let it go. In her reaction to Armansky's news, more of what drives and motivates her becomes apparent. Salander wants to unmask secrets, and she believes every secret can be known with the right work. Salander's unwillingness to conform to the "business-side" of the investigation leaves the reader wondering what role she will play in the novel's second section, which begins with Chapter 8.