Summary Of Hannah Kent's Burial Rites

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Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites explores the life of the last person to be executed in the tough terrain of Iceland during the 1800’s. The narrative based on true historical events tells the story of Agnus Magnusdottir, a convicted murderess who has endured nothing but hardship throughout her life. Agnus is treated as an animal as a result of her condemning actions, however it is discovered that a person’s past does not define the person they are, however their past does influence how they are perceived by others. Kent makes it know how the characters perceive each other and how, as the plot develops, their perceptions change. She also uses the characters emotions and reactions to convey their own reasons behind previous actions, as well as personalising their life journey. Kent does this to position the reader to establish their own view of the characters and allows …show more content…
The act of murder is often thought of to be a malice act, however when the event was recounted by Agnus the family of Kornsa and Reverend Toti were able to see that there was no intent to harm Natan, but it was an act of love. By allowing Agnus to compare herself to “an animal” or a “lamb for slaughter” she is conveying her vulnerability to the audience, and showing them that she, is not being treated as a human should be treated. Agnus believes that her impending death is because when she was a child she said she “wanted to die”, this was before she found love in Natan, and acceptance in the Jonsson family who eventually accept that Agnus is “not a monster.” The Characters are able to tell of their past from their own perspective, adding to it a level of emotion an outsider telling the story couldn’t possibly understand, this allows the actions of the past to be justified and accepted in the eyes of