Burial Rites by Hannah Kent Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Burial Rites

Plot Summary Part 3

  We have already been told that Agnes killed Natan, and now Natan is dreaming of that very thing. Thanks, but we already know what happened! Good foreshadowing would hint about something  that we don't already know about.

That night, while Agnes is in bed but not asleep, she sees Natan going to Siggi's bed, mounting Siggi, and boning her. Agnes watches him moan with pleasure as he bones his other servant. This makes Agnes unhappy because she wanted Natan's rugged p_nis all to herself.

Natan makes up with Agnes and bones her. After the sex, Agnes reveals that she knows that Natan boned Siggi. Natan reveals that he knew that she knew, that he purposefully boned Siggi when Agnes was awake so could watch, heh heh.

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This enrages Agnes. She is not enraged that Natan boned another woman, but that she was made to watch Natan boning another woman. She lashes out at Natan.

Natan got upset with Agnes for talking down to him and told her to leave. So Agnes went to Fridrik's farm. Fridrik had his own issues with Natan. He had gone to Natan and asked for permission to marry Siggi. He had even paid Natan money to marry Siggi. Why Fridrik should have to ask permission or pay Natan to marry his employee is totally, totally unexplained. Natan takes his money but doesn't give his permission.

So one day while Natan is out hunting Fridrik goes to the farm to collect Siggi. Agnes goes back with him. Like many things in the book, this makes no sense. Agnes knows that Natan is an absolute nutjob.  But she is in love with Natan, even after she sees him boning Siggi.

Fridrik finds out that Natan has been boning Siggi. He thinks Siggi was raped. Siggi says she doesn't know if she was raped. What??? How can someone not know if they were raped or not? What Siggi is saying here is she is not sure if she enjoyed the sex.

Fridrik, angry at Natan, kills two of his sheep. He's guilty of sheepicide.

Natan returns. He allows Agnes, who he has told to leave, to sleep in the cow barn that night. Agnes does. She is woken up by Fridrik, who shows her a hammer and a knife and says he intends to kill Natan. Agnes says she is tired and wants to sleep.

So here Agnes very clearly knows that Fridrik is about to kill Natan. She doesn't warn him but wants to stay out of it--in other words, she wants it done, but doesn't want to be involved in it.

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