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Analysis Of Burial Rites By Hannah Kent

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The text Burial Rites written by Hannah Kent focuses on the true story of the last woman to be executed in Iceland, her punishment for playing part in the murder of two men. She is sent to wait out her days on the farm of a district officer, Jón Jónsson with his two daughters and wife. Naturally, the family are horrified to have a convicted murderer in their midst. Borne from this, the family refuse to talk to her. A young man, Toti is appointed as her spiritual guardian in the last days of her life, throughout the text, he attempts to redeem her soul by asking her to recount her life. The effect that the landscape has on the characters is very significant. Through the use of figurative language, Kent is able to covey the landscape and how it emphasizes many of the emotions felt by the characters. In the text characters live in Icelandic society where long distance communication is hard and fast communication is even harder. With the weather being the way it is; bitterly cold and oppressive, it reflects on each character and their emotions felt through the book. Particularly the oppressive snowfall throughout the text leaves the characters feeling claustrophobic and confined. In turn this allows each character to express these feelings in their own individual way. Margaret, the mother is trapped in her own house in a repetitive cycle of her own making. Agnes is caught in her own inner turmoil, and Margaret’s daughters are also trapped in a cycle, fated to live a
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