Burial Rites by Hannah Kent Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Burial Rites


Some men like audiences during sex. Natan purposefully bones Siggi while Agnes, awake, is watching nearby. For some men this is a turn-on that makes the sex more enjoyable.


Don't go to sleep when someone is about to be murdered. When Agnes learns that Fridrik is about to kill Natan, she decides to take a nap, thinking she can stay out of it. That's not a good idea. If you don't want to be called an accessory to murder, you need to warn the victim, get out of there and call the police.


Sex can forgive a lot of problems. Every time Agnes is upset with Natan he calms her down by boning her. When Agnes first learns that Siggi will also be working at the farm in a position senior to her, she is upset but then is ok with it when Natan bones her. When Agnes learns Natan is boning Siggi, she is upset with it but then is ok when Natan also bones her. Good sex can cause women to forgive a lot of things.

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Convicted killers are great companions for small girls. Agnes is a convicted killer and yet is allowed to associate freely with Margret's daughters. That's because in Iceland, no one thinks little girls are in any danger from convicted killers facing the death penalty. How nutty is that?


Rape is hard to figure out sometimes. One of the few shocking moments in the story was when Siggi was asked if Natan had forced himself on her, whether she was a willing participant having sex with him, and Siggi said she didn't know. How can she not know? That's a big problem with the whole accusation of rape. Sometimes it's incredibly subjective and depends on what's in the woman's mind. How do you convict a man beyond reasonable doubt of rape where there's no evidence of violence or force and when some women, like Siggi, can't even decide if they were raped or not?

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