Burial Rites Quotes

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???? "an excellent intellect, and strong knowledge and understanding of Christianity." p.33 ???? only the things other men think are important to me
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Character: Agnes (official records)
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???? I was two dead men. I was burning farm. I was a knife. I was blood.'' p. 35 ???? 'Already a dead woman destined for the grave' p. 35 ????'I might as well have been at one place all my life.' (p 71) ???? 'That is how I came to be a pauper. Left to the mercy of others, whether they had any or no.' p.155 ???? they think im too smart, too knowing to get caught in this by accident
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Character: Agnes (retrospectively and introspectively)
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???? 'You will not find proof of innocence in Agnes's stories of her life, Reverend. She is a woman loose with her emotions, and looser with her morals. Like many older servant women she is practised in deception, and I do not doubt that she has manufactured a life story in such a way so as to prick your sympathy. I would not believe a word she says. She lied to my face in this very room.' ???? 'The old man tucked the book back into his coat and shrugged. 'Very well-spoken. Educated, I should think. Surprising, considering her illegitimacy. Well brought up. But when I spoke to the District Officer, he said her behaviour was... Unpredictable. He mentioned hysterics.' p.231 ???? She had an incentive to. More incentives than Fridrik ???? 'And that is because she is reticent, secretive and guilty.' p.172
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Character: Agnes from Blondal's perspective
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???? 'She seems sincere,' Toti said. p.170 ???? She is beautiful ???? She is different from ???? Leprous colours... a new corpse, fresh dug from the grave. ''self contained''
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Character: Agnes from Toti's perspective
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???? 'He liked the fact that I was a bastard, a pauper, a servant. 'You have had to fight for everything,' he said. 'You take life by the teeth, Agnes. You are not like Rosa.' 248 ???? 'And do you think I love you?' Natan shook his head. 'You, Agnes?' He narrowed his eyes and stood up, his breath hot in my face. 'You're a cheap sort of woman. I was wrong about you.'
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Character: Agnes from Natan's perspective
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Dagga: 'Agnes always wanted to get 'above her station' (p. 92). 'Bastard pauper with a conniving spirit like you'd never see in a proper maid.' 92 Karitas: Messenger: ''They pick a mouse to tame a cat'' p.10
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Character: Agnes from others' perspectives
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'landless workmaid raised on a porridge of moss and poverty' (p. 52). I shudder to think of what goes on in that dark head of hers
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Agnes from Margret perspective
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???? Are we just going to yield to this? Like a dog rolling over? ???? old woman ???? coughing and spitting like a crone ???? Is is necessary to keep her bound like a lamb ripe for slaughter? ???? I shudder to think of what goes on in that dark head of hers. ???? "The woman's body was a terrain of abuse. Even Margret, accustomed to wounds, to the inevitable maladies wrought by hard labour and accident, had been shocked" ???? Her acidity, or her forthrightness
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Character: Margret
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???? Please guard my heart against the horror this woman inspires in me. ???? He must not be used to the gnarled family trees that grow in this valley, where the branches rope about one another studded with thorns. he seems too callow for his station
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Character: Toti's inexperience
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???? We must all do our duty.
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Character: Toti's duty
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???? There was something ungainly about her. ???? Thick crescents of dirt ???? Next to Lauga's windrows, Steina's rows looked as crooked as a child's handwriting. ???? "Steina's ungracious reaction to the news delivered by Blondal could affect their social standing." (Lauga) ???? "Steina was trying to avoid thinking about the murderess at all. The crime itself made her feel sick."
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Character: Steina
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???? A beauty ???? Smart as a whip ???? Shes a terrible sulker and reminds me of little Sigga, only smarter. ???? Runs circles around her sister
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Character: Lauga (physical)
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she was sick of Agnes staring at her clothes and belongings. there was an intensity to her revulsion that seemed fired by something more than resentment. p.201 Steina! In heaven's name, must you always talk about Agnes?' What's wrong? Am I the only person who sees her for who she is?' Her voice dropped to a hissed whisper. 'You talk about her as if she's nothing. As if she's a servant.' Now I see that even Mamma is talking to her in a familiar way! No one seems to care that everyone in the valley gives us strange looks now.' Oh, they do, Steina. You don't see it, but we're all marked now... We'll never be married.' Lauga gave a shuddering breath. 'Everyone sees the Reverend gadding about Agnes like some besotted boy, and even Pabbi nods and says good morning to her now, ever since she witched Roslin's baby from her. And you, Steina!' You treat her like a sister more than you do me!'
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Character: Lauga (personality)
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Agnes) 'Perhaps things would have been different if Natan had let me go to church at Tjorn. I might have made friends there. I might have met a family to turn to when it all became twisted. Other farmers I could have worked for. But he didn't let me go, and there was no other friend, no light to head towards in that wintered landscape.' Daniel warns: 'Don't be fooled. Just because you play at being wife, does not make you a married woman.' 257 The treachery of a friend is worse than that of a foe,"... 'It's from Gisli Sursson's Saga.' ... 'He broke his word to her,' ... 'Natan promised Agnes my position, sir. Only, before she arrived, he decided that Sigga should have it.' ???? 'I left Illugastadir because I couldn't bear Natan any more. He... he toyed with people.' She leant closer still, her lip trembling. 'It was as though he did it to amuse himself. I never knew where I stood with him. He'd tell me one thing and do another. And if I had a mind to ask for leave to church-go, well.' p.175 ???? '...like a woman, he said. The sea is a nag. '' p.36 ???? 'Natan did not believe in sin. He said that it is the flaw in the character that makes a person. Even nature defies her own rules for the sake of beauty, he said. For the sake of creation. To keep her own blood hot. You understand, Agnes.' p.100 ???? 'He was famous for all sorts of things, depending on who you spoke to. p.191 ???? 'He had a lot of enemies. But whether those folks were wronged or just jealous is hard to say.' 191
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Character: Natan's manipulations and infidelity
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(Agnes) 'The famous Natan Ketilsson, a man who could bleed the sap of sickness from the limbs of the ill, who had been with the famous Poet-Rosa, who had heard the bells of Copenhagen, and taught himself Latin - an extraordinary man, a saga man - had chosen me.' 221 'Natan Satan, that was his name. Nothing he did ever came from God.' p.90 gudrún ???? 'He dealt with the Devil' p.93 ???? 'It was then that I saw Natan for the first time. I thought he'd be a big man, a handsome, upright fellow with long hair, like those men servant girls usually go giddy over. But Natan was not handsome. The man I saw talking with Worm was not tall and he was quite thin in the face - he never looked strong. His hair was reddish-brown, and his nose was too big for his face. I thought he looked like a fox with his chestnut hair and beady little eyes,' 192 ???? 'He always knew what to say to people; what would make them feel good. And what would cut the deepest.' 193 ???? 'Natan was a clever man, a doctor, and he knew arithmetic, and he was generous with his money. He healed more than one cough among the Geitaskard workmen that autumn, and were they grateful?' p.217 ???? 'Natan was different. He did not think he had to prove himself to anyone. But superstitious signs troubled him. And, what I admired in him, his way of seeing the world, and yearning for knowledge, and his easy way with those he liked, had a darker underbelly. It was a matter of enjoying the bright skies all the more, so as to endure the sloughs when they came.' p.236 ???? He built his church on wives' tales and the secret language of weather. ???? becomes more of a stranger
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Character: Natan
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???? 'young and sweet to die' 41 ???? 'too pretty for a peasant girl p.225 her clothes were too fine for her to be a servant' p.225 ???? 'She has probably changed. She's probably as pious as they come now. But at Illugastadir she had a saucy little manner when it suited her. She was forever speculating about folks, and Natan would ask her who she thought should marry whom, and what their children would look like and so forth. It was harmless sport for him; he found her simplicity amusing. I didn't even mind it when Sigga kept calling herself the housekeeper, or ordered me to do the tasks she ought to have been doing herself - emptying the chamber pot, mucking out the cowshed, drying the fish Natan caught. She was, like Natan said, only a child, with a child's way of thinking.' 236 ???? 'I'm so sick of living here,' she whispered.' 289
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Character: Sigga
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???? (Blondal) 'A boy raised in a household careless with morality and Christian teaching... slothfulness, greed, and rude, callow inclinations bred in him a weak spirit, and a longing for worldy gain.' 172 ???? '...his was an intransigent character. His appearance excited in me strong suspicions of that order - he is freckle-faced ... red-headed, a sign of a treacherous nature.' 172 ???? 'Fridrik has come to repent of his crime and see the error of his ways. He talks openly and honestly of his misdeeds and acknowledges that his impending execution is right given the horrific nature of the crime committed by his hands. He recognises it as "God's justice".' 172 ???? 'He was always as pink as a skinned lamb when she spoke of him. But Fridrik unsettled me. There was something off-balance in Fridrik. And Natan, too. They both got into moods and the feel of a room would fall from high spirits to a glowering in an instant. It was contagious, too. With them you'd feel every small injustice done against you like a thorn in your side. Fridrik, I thought, was a daring sort of boy, desperate to prove himself a man. He was easily offended. I suppose he thought the world against him, and raged at it. I did not like that in him, the way he looked for a reason to anger. He liked to fight. Liked to keep his knuckles bruised.' 236 ???? 'I thought Fridrik a braggart and a show-off. He talked aimlessly, speaking of how he was going to make his father a rich man, and he'd fought three men in Vesturhop and given them all black eyes and worse. All the dull lies you'd expect to hear from a boy of that age. But I supposed that he was a mentor to Fridrik, as he told me he was trying to be to Sigga.' p.237 ???? 'Fridrik and Natan had a fraught friendship at the best of times. They were always suspicious of each other. And then they had a fight. It was when the whale was beached at Hindisvik, that autumn.' 274 along with sigga : 'PUPPIES' P.285
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Character: Fridrik
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???? (Agnes) 'Blöndal likes only one thing better than religious chastisement, and that is the sound of his own voice.' p.182 ???? 'I am not a cruel man, Assistant Reverend Thorvardur. But I am God-fearing, and it is apparent to me that this District is overrun with criminals of the worst kind. Thieves, thugs, and now murderers. During the years that have passed since my appointment as District Commissioner, I have seen the moral boundaries that have kept the people here safe from depravity and vice disintegrate. It is a political and spiritual embarrassment, and it is my responsibility to see to it that the criminals in this District, who have gone so long unpunished, are given their justice in the eyes of their peers.' p.172
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Character: Blöndal
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???? 'He wasn't hers to love!' p.135 ???? 'Perhaps Rosa and I might have been friends if we'd met in another way. Natan always said we were as alike as a swan to a raven, but he was wrong. We both loved him, for one. And no matter what I tell the Reverend, Rosa's poetry kindled the shavings of my soul, and lit me up from within. Natan never stopped loving her. How could he? Her poetry made lamps out of people.' 248
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Character: Poet Rosa and her poetry
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???? 'I... It's only that I remember her from years ago. And I can't stop thinking that she wasn't always like this. She was our age, once. She has a mother and father, like us.' ???? 'Not like us. She's nothing like us. She's come here and no one even sees how everything has changed. And not for the better, either.' She bent down and picked up the bloody pails and stalked out of the room. - p.209 ???? 'My interference!' Lauga laughed and threw her knitting on her bed. 'How about her interference! She's in our home! Always breathing over my shoulder in the kitchen! Speaking lies in our badstofa!' Lauga turned to her parents. 'Mamma, Pabbi, forgive me, but you told Steina and I to close our ears to this woman. And now you let her spin stories not five feet away from us? "Oh, pity me, I'm a pauper!' p.214
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Steina towards Agnes
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???? You need more than one man to say I do. 240 ???? Just the privilege of giving your life away. 240 ???? Everyone looks to the master for the final word. 240 ???? Bjorn: Books written by man, not God, are faithless friends and not for your kind. 70 ???? Couldn't keep a man, something about her. 92 ???? Has Steina ever had to decide whether to let a farmer up under her skirts and face the wrath of his wife... or to deny him and find herself homeless in the snow and fog with all the doors barred against her? 178 ???? Iron cuffs ... built for a man ???? thinking women cannot be trusted ???? María told me that men might do as they please, and that they are all Adams, naming everything under the sun.'(p 192)
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Theme: Patriarchal society
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???? "Pocket me into the earth like a stone" p. 36 ???? "It seems everyone I love is taken from me and buried in the ground, while I remain alone." p.150 ???? 'I am barren ... I am the dead fish drying in the cold air. I am the dead bird on the shore. I am dry, I am not certain I will bleed when they drag me out to meet the axe.' ???? 'Good thing, then, that there is no one left to love. No one left to bury' (p. 150). ???? DENIED CHRISTIAN BR, she sees death as 'only a constant scattering, a thwarted journey that takes you everywhere without offering you a way home.'
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Theme: Death
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???? "I can turn to that day as though it were a page in a book." p.138 ???? 'Sometimes, after talking to the Reverend, my mouth aches. My tongue feels so tired; it slumps in my mouth like a dead bird, all damp feathers, in between the stones of my teeth.' p.218 ???? 'Stories have a way of boiling over, and Natan himself liked to keep people guessing.' 191 ???? Bjorn: vulgar for a girl
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Theme: Storytelling
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???? "They will say "Agnes" and see the spider. The witch caught in the webbing of her own fateful weaving. They might see the lamb circled by ravens, bleating for a lost mother, but they will not see me." p.29 ???? "Criminal. The word hangs in the air. Heavy, unmoved by the bluster of the wind...That word does not belong to me, I want to say. It doesn't fit me or who I am. It's another word, and it belongs to another person. But what is the use of protesting against language." p.62 ???? "Agnes Jonsdottir. She sounds like the woman I should have been. A housekeeper in a croft that overlooks the valley, with a husband by her side, and a kip of children to help sing home the sheep at twilight. To teach and frighten with stories of ghosts. To love. She could even be the sister of Sigurlaug and Steinvor Jonsdottir. Margret's daughter. Born blessed under a marriage. Born into a family that would not be ripped apart by poverty." she had a reputation for a sharp tongue and lose skirts
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Theme: Names, identity
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???? "Agnes Jonsdottir would not have been so foolish as to love a man who spent his life opening veins, mouths, legs. A man who was paid to draw blood. She would have been a grandmother. She would have had a host of faces to gather round her bed as she lay dying. She would have been assured of a place in heaven. She would have believed in heaven." p.232
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Theme: Retrospection
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???? 'Over a month has passed at Kornsa and already I have forgotten what will become of me. The days of work have soothed me, have given my body cause for rest, so that I've slept deeply, below the surface of dreams stricken with portent.' p.120 ???? 'Sigga! Illugastadir! They anchor me to a memory that snatches the breath out of me. They are the magic words, the curse that turns me into a monster, and now I am Agnes of Illugastadir, Agnes of the fire, Agnes of the dead bodies with the blood, not burnt, still clinging to the clothes I made for him. They will free Sigga but they will not free me because I am Agnes - bloody, knowing Agnes. And I am so scared, I thought it could work, I thought I could pretend, but I see it will not, I will never, I cannot escape this, I cannot escape.' ???? 'I thought I could pretend' (p 128) ???? 'This is my life as it used to be: up in my elbows in the guts of things, working towards a kind of survival' 204 ???? Since the hay harvest, I have slipped into something pf my old life here, and I have forgotten to be angry. The dream reminded me of what will happen, of how fast these days are passing me by. ???? i am quite alone.
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Theme: Evading painful past, identity
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???? 'Maria took me by the hand then, and told me to be careful.' p.216 ???? 'I told her that I was a grown woman, with a head of my own. Maria said that that was what worried her.' 216 ???? 'The truth is that Natan and I became friends because we were fond of speaking with one another. He came to Geitaskard every few weeks, and we would talk.' She glared at Lauga. 'He offered me friendship, and I was pleased to have it, for I had precious few friends about me. Maria soon ignored me, and the more Natan saw of me, the less inclined everyone else was to be friendly. But they were just servants.' p.217
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Theme: Friendship
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???? 'It's true that I'm not one of them.' p.120 ???? 'I never had many friends.' p.187 ???? 'For the first time in my life, someone saw me, and I loved him because he made me feel I was enough.' p.221 ???? 'Margret wondered at how, even for an hour, Agnes had seemed part of the family.' 201
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Theme: Belonging
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???? 'I have been in the killing pen for months.' 203 ???? 'It must be Blondal. He means to cripple me with waiting before stretching my neck out. He wants me to break; he takes away the only comfort I have left in this world because he is a barbarian. He takes Toti, and makes me watch time pass. A cruel gift, to give me so much time to farewell everything. Why won't they tell me when I have to die? It could be tomorrow - and the Reverend is not here to help. Why won't he come?' ???? 'I am sick with finality. It is like a punch in the heart, the fact of my sentence alongside the ordinariness of days at the farm.' 247
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Theme: Waiting
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???? 'I cannot remember not knowing Natan. I cannot think of what it was not to love him. To look at him and realise I had found what I had not known I was hungering for. A hunger so deep, so capable of driving me into the night, that it terrified me.' (p 194) ???? I did not lie to the Reverend. That night of stars and stories, and the warm pressure of his hand on mine, happened as I told him. But I did not tell Toti what followed when the servants went to bed. 194 ???? 'Do you know what it means, to have a hollow palm? It means there is something secretive about us. This empty space can be filled with bad luck if we're not careful. If we expose the hollow to the world and all its darkness, all its misfortune.' 'But how can one help the shape of one's hand?' I was laughing. 'By covering it with another's, Agnes.' ???? 'No one could understand what it was like to know Natan. In those early visits it was as though we were building something sacred. We'd place words carefully together, piling them upon one another, leaving no spaces. We each created towers, two beacons, the like of which are built along roads to guide the way when the weather comes down. We saw one another through the fog, the suffocating repetition of life.' p.218 ???? 'Natan broke the very yolk of my soul.' 221 ???? I opened my arms to him, laughing, feeling like I might die from love... ???? 'He would haul me out of the valley, out of the husk of my miserable, loveless life, and everything would be new. He would give me springtime.' 222 ???? 'I craved his weight, then. I craved the breath of him: the quickening inhalation and the warm pressure of his mouth.' p.220 ???? 'Natan's accusations seemed comical to me. Couldn't he see how much I missed him? How different he was from any other man I had known?' 255 ???? 'He is falling out of love with you, I told myself. And I began to wonder whether he ever loved me.' 255 ???? 'But there were still hours when he found me alone by the shore, collecting eiderdown. He would take me beside the birds' nests, his hands in my hair, his look as desperate as a drowning man's. He needed me like he needed air. I felt it in his gaze, in the way he grappled for my body like a buoy in the water.' 255 ???? In those early visits it was as though we were building something sacred. ???? I am worst to the one I loved best.
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Theme: LOVE (Natan and Agnes)
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???? "Natan is dead. I wake up every morning with a blow of grief to my heart.'' p.59 ???? "The only person who would understand how I feel is Natan. He knew me as one knows the seasons, knows the tide. Knew me like the smell of smoke, knew what I was, and what I wanted. And now he is dead." p.83 ???? "Oh, my foster-mother is dead and my own mother is gone. And I sit on the floor, my legs buckled with the pure, ripe grief of an orphan, and the wind cries for me because my tongue cannot. It screams and screams and I sit on the packed earth floor, hard with cold, and smell the fish-heads, sickening, lacing the bland scent of winter with its stench of salt and dried bone." p.157
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Theme: GRIEF
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???? I had convinced myself I no longer loved them. ???? My girl.
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Theme: LOVE (family)
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???? "I haven't eaten or had a sip of water all day; my lips are as split as firewood. I feel the same as when I was little and hungry, as though bones are growing larger in my body, as if my skeleton is about to shiver out of me.'' p.42 ???? 'But talking to him only reminds me of how everything in my life has worked against me, and how unloved I have been...' p.20 ???? 'if no one will say your name, you are forgotten. I am forgotten.' (p 320) ???? 'There was nowhere else to go.' (p 265) ???? "So lonely I make friends with the ravens that prey on lambs." p.157 ???? 'Natan was not often home. Loneliness...' She struggled for words. 'Loneliness threatened to bite you at every turn. I took what company presented itself.' 274 ???? "with a final audience to her life's lonely narrative"
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Theme: Neglect, isolation
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???? Victory for justice ???? I mean to deliver God's justice here on earth - Blondal ???? It is a political and spiritual embarrassment ???? They said I must die. They said that I stole the breath from men, and now they must steal mine." p.1 ???? 'It's not right...It wasn't her fault'
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Theme: Justice
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???? "I pronounced it like a prayer. I hope I die. Did I author my own fate, then?" p.150 ???? 84 'God has had His chance to free me, and for reasons known to him alone, He has pinned me to ill fortune, and although I have struggled, I am run through and through with disaster; I am knifed to the hilt with fate.' Reinforced of impending fate of Agnes ???? 134 'Do you think it's my fate to be here?' ... 'We author our own fates.' 'So it has nothing to do with God then?' 'It is beyond my knowing.' ???? 148 'I want to die too!' 'Maybe you will.'
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Theme: Fate
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???? "You, Agnes Magnúsdóttir, have been found guilty of accessory to murder. You, Agnes Magnúsdóttir have been found guilty of arson, and conspiracy to murder. You, Agnes Magnúsdóttir, have been sentenced to death. You, Agnes. Agnes.'' p.29 ???? 'His voice suddenly low and dangerous. 'Your father's title comes with responsibility. I'm sure he would not question me.' (17) ???? "As a criminal condemned by the court of this land, you have forfeited the right to freedom." p.38 ???? "The Reverend at Stora-Borg spoke like he was the Bishop himself. He expected me to weep at his feet. He wouldn't listen." p.98 ???? Some people never stood a chance in the beginning. 107 ???? Blondal wants to set an example. ???? corruption and ungodliness... grave misdemeanours ???? The stern voice of a priest delivering the threat of brimstone.
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Theme: Bureaucracy
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???? 'Every time I said something they would change my words and throw it back to me like an insult, or an accusation.' p.98 ???? 'You might have seen their names in that book of yours, Reverend, but I may as well have been listed as an orphan.' p.99 ???? I thought they might believe me. When they beat the drum in that tiny room and Blondal announced 'Guilty', the only thing I could think of was, if you move, you will crumble. If you breathe, you will collapse. They want to disappear you. p.100 ???? 'That's what happened to my mother, Reverend,' Agnes continued. 'Who was she really? Probably not as people say she was, but she made mistakes and others made up their minds about her. People around here don't let you forget your misdeeds. They think them the only things worth writing down.' 108 ???? 'If you spoke to certain people about these parts you might get a different story.'...'I suppose it doesn't matter if I'm honest with you or not,' she said coldly. 'I could say anything to you.' p.109 ???? 'No such thing as truth,' p.110 'Shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Yes, I know. I know,' ... 'Not in my case, Reverend Thorvardur,' ... 'I've told the truth and you can see for yourself how it has served me.' p.110 ???? 'But they see I've got a head on my shoulders, and believe a thinking woman cannot be trusted. Believe there's no room for innocence. And like it or not, Reverend, that is the truth of it.' p.132 ???? 'Everything I said was taken from me and altered until the story wasn't my own' (p. 100) ????''Dreadful birds, dressed in red with breasts of silver buttons," ???? I've told the truth and you can see for yourself how it has served me.
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Theme: Truth
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???? 29 '...the sagas i know by heart' ???? 51 'What sort of woman kills men? The only women Margret had known were the women in the sagas, and even then, it was with words that they had killed men...' ???? 175 'The treachery of a friend is worse than that of a foe...It's from the Gisli Sursson's Saga.' [Karitas] ???? 142 'She taught me the sagas... she'd make me recite the stories back to her.' ???? 293 Excerpt from the Laxdaela Saga - also, the quote that introduces the novel 'I was the worst to the one I loved best.'
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Theme: Sagas
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???? 'Then Blondal and the rest are going against God. They're hypocrites. They say they're carrying out God's law, but they're only doing the will of men!'...'I try to love God, Reverend. I do. But I cannot love these men. I... I hate them.' p.132 ???? 'What else is God good for other than a distraction from the mire we're all stranded in? ... When was the last time I even attended church?' ???? Return to God's word. Forget Agnes's. She has nothing that you need to hear, unless it is a confession.' p.173 ???? 'It's a lie. Man has created God out of fear of dying.' p.219 ???? Blondal wants Agnes to be ingratiate herself with 'upright Christians' p.17 ???? 79 "We want you to return to god" ???? 219 'It's a lie. Man has created God out of a fear of dying.' ???? 87 'You're a servant of the Lord. Don't disgrace yourself, boy.' ???? 127 'If you continue this way you'll be as wicked as her... I'll pray for you.' ???? 134 'I am quite alone,' 'God is with you. I am here. Your parents are alive.' ???? 165 'It's become apparent to me that the condemned requires means other than religious rebuke to acquaint herself with death and prepare for her meeting with the Lord.' ???? 178 'She must meet her God, and in an ugly way.' ???? 184 'But we have God, Agnes, and more than that, we have His love, and He takes our fear away...I can't feel sure about anything like that.' ???? 236 'She's probably as pious as they come now.' ???? 248 "What else is God good for other than a distraction from the mire we're all stranded in?' ???? 248 'Escaping to church to feel part of something. Pure.' ???? 314 'And what of the Son of God. Did he die only for the righteous?' 'It's suicide. It is against God.'
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Theme: Religion and piety
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???? "God has had His chance to free me, and for reasons known to Him alone, He has pinned me to ill fortune, and although I have struggled, I am run through and through with disaster; I am knifed to the hilt with fate." p.84 ???? "Her mother's mistakes: I've been told she made many, Reverend. But at least one of those mistakes was me. She was unlucky." 108
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Theme: Misfortune
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???? 'It was snowing a little,' Steina said, after they had heard about Roslin's childbirth. She glanced over at Agnes. 'It must have been a good sign.' 200 ???? 176 "I have heard very little to trust from anyone besides superstitious talk of him being named for the Devil'' [Toti to Karitas] ???? 258 "'Natan thinks we were hit with death waves,' he said. Salt clung to his beard. He said that he hadn't pegged Natan for being such a superstitious bastard...they were hit by three large waves...He said that Natan had got into his head that he was doomed, and that we should let him come to his sense in his own good time." ???? 259 "...death waves were an old wives' tale." ???? 91 Natan "dealt with devil." ???? 184 (Rosa, Agnes, Sigga) "Even Natan believed that everything comes in threes." ???? 157" Was it a ghost who woke me - how can I explain these lights appearing in the murk before me?" ???? 200 "Margret had thought it strange - the way agnes would not cradle the newborn. what is it she had said? 'it ought to live.'As though it would die if Agnes took it into her arms." ???? 201 "It was snowing a little, Steina said, after they had heard about Roslin's childbirth/ She glanced over at Agnes. 'It must have been a good sign.'" ???? 271 "My mother would never let the hearth die in her home...She believed that as long as a light burned in the house, the Devil couldn't get in. Not even during the witching hour."
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Theme: Superstition
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???? "They said I must die. They said that I stole the breath from men, and now they must steal mine." p.1 ???? Somedays, i think that I haven't really slept since the fire, and that maybe sleeplessness is punishment from God. Or Blondal even: my dreams taken with my belongings to pay for my custody.'' p.58
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Theme: Revenge, retribution
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???? "It won't be any good for the Reverend to read ministerial books, or any book for that matter - what will he learn of me there? Only the things other men think important about me. p.110 ???? "When the Reverend saw my name and birth in the church book, did he see only the writing and understand only the date? Or did he see the fog of that day, and hear the ravens cawing at the smell of blood? Did he imagine it as I have imagined it?" p.111 ???? 'It's not fair. People claim to know you through the things you've done, and not by sitting down and listening to you speak for yourself. No matter how much you try to live a godly life, if you make a mistake in this valley, it's never forgotten. No matter if you tried to do what was best. No matter if your innermost self whispers, "I am not as you say!"—how other people think of you determines who you are' (p. 108). ???? 'Folks here have blacked her name.' p.175
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Theme: Who you are vs. who people think you are
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???? 'I have few clear memories of her... It's a silent memory, and one, like the others, I can't quite trust. Memories shift like loose snow in a wind, or are a chorale of ghosts all talking over one another. There is only ever a sense that what is real to me is not real to others, and to share a memory with someone is to risk sullying my belief in what has truly happened. Is the Reverend the person of my memory, or is he another altogether? Did I do that, or was it another? Magnus or Jon? It's the glaze of ice over the water, too fragile to trust.' p.111
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Themes: Memories
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???? 'I am determined to close myself to the world, to tighten my heart and hold onto what has not yet been stolen from me. I cannot let myself slip away.' p 29 ???? That dress was my last possession. There is nothing in the world I now own; even the heat my body gives out is taken away by the summer breeze. p.76
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Theme: Possessions
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???? "Cruel birds, ravens, but wise." p.37 ???? "And creatures should be loved for wisdom if they can't be loved for kindness." p.37 ???? "Three ravens flying in a line. A good omen." p.77 ???? They looked like ashes, whorling in the sky. ???? Do you know that right name for a flock of ravens?' Toti shook his head. "A conspiracy... I thought they were called an unkindness. ???? I tried to follow her. I screamed. i didn't want to be left behind. But as I ran I tripped and fell. When I got back on my feet my mother and brother had vanished, and all I could see were two ravens, their black feathers poisonous against the snow. For a long time I thought those two birds were my mother and brother.
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Symbol: Ravens
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???? The stone Mamma gave me before she left. It will bring you good luck, Agnes. It is a magic stone. Put it under your tongue and you will be able to talk to the birds. That stone sat in my mouth for days. If the birds understood my questions, they never cared to answer them. ???? 'But talking to him only reminds me of how everything in my life has worked against me, and how unloved I have been... I may as well be talking to him with a stone in my mouth, trying to find a language that we both understand.' p.120 ???? The elder girl hesitates. what is her nickname? Steina. Stone. ???? "I expected him to understand me from the start. I want him to understand me, but I'm a fool to think we speak the same tongue. I may as well be talking to him with a stone in my mouth, trying to find a language that we both understand." ???? 126 "Steina noticed that Agnes gripped the rock so hard her knuckles were white...Agnes didn't respond. She watched the drops hit the fast-flowing river, breaking the surface so that the mountains' reflection became wildly distorted. She still held the rock in her hand." ???? 135 "'She gave me a stone...To put under my tongue...It's a superstitious...Blöndal's clerks took it." ???? 324 "I am crying and my mouth is open and filled with something, it is choking me and I spit it out. On the ground is a stone, and I look back at Margret, and see that she did not notice. 'The stone was in my mouth,' I say, and her face creases because she does not understand.'"
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Symbol: Stones
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???? 193 - signals love springing for agnes and natan "it was a fine delicate sort of twilight, and all the servants sat outside to watch the night fall down."
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Weather: when halcyon
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???? 123 "A mass of low grey clouds was surging in from the north." then ultimate events - Agnes finds about repeal for Sigga - omen for the maelstrom of emotions and cataclysm of feelings that follow. ???? 142 "This means there will be a storm. the northern lights always herald bad weather." ???? 144 "It was an evil sight. Dark clouds bore down upon the mountain range and under their smoky-blackness, a grey swarm of snow swirled as far as you could see." ???? the northern lights herald bad weather. ???? Brilliant blue sky as she arrives at Kornsa. ???? As though the spirit had finally entered and closed the door behind it.
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Weather: when unpleasant, severe
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At that moment the dark clouds opened up, and the two women were engulfed in a sudden, freezing downpour.
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Pathetic fallacy
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inculcate (teach) values into the young generation Deception carry out/commit suppose something is true w/o evidence to confirm it dull work
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Inculcate Dissimulation Perpetrate surmise 'drudgery of her days'
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moving from place to place
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itinerant
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Brooch ???? Changes from being a source of contention that highlights family's resentment to her ???? Becomes a gift offered to her before her execution to show family's regard and it will be buried with her - akin (similar) to unlocking her soul Ravens ???? The harbinger of death Scythe ???? A symbol of death and mortality 'I watch you says the scythe' suggests that her death is imminent and besets her, plaguing her life Stone ???? The stone is given to her by her mother Ingveldur ???? Could be interpreted either as Ingeldur's faith in the protective power of magic ???? Could be interpreted as a hopeful distraction for a lonely child ???? Becomes part of Agnes' personal armoury ???? Represent access to language that in turn, enables meaningful communication ???? Without this, she had little linguistic protection ???? Blondal clerks take it physically as well as metaphorically when they twist her words and thus she is robbed of her ability to communicate ???? Steina is stone and is the first to strike proper conversation with Agnes whilst offering friendship.
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Symbols
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