Patriarchy In Burial Rites

Decent Essays
Hannah Kent's novel, Burial Rites follows the events leading up to the central character, Agnes Magnusdottir's inevitable death in northern Iceland in 1829. Kent, has used the characters, setting and circumstances of the novel to explore the inequality grounded in gender and the hypocrisy of religion. She has used a range of techniques to highlight female oppression and to explore how a strict patriarchy affects women. Kent also wants the reader to consider how religion can frame the ethical construct of a society and allow immoral behaviour to be hidden by lies.

Kent explores the societal struggles women are faced with throughout Burial Rites. Women had the struggle of biological complications such as childbirth, but they also had to struggle against a general culture of misogyny and prejudice based on social class and education. Many women in the novel are subservient to men who batter them into sexual exploitation. Agnes is used by Kent in a symbolic way to highlight to readers the essential handicap that women were forced to suffer in Iceland and perhaps in a wider,
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Kent uses Blöndal, in a symbolic way, to show the inhumanity that lies within the justice system. Blöndal uses his supposed obligation to the bible to justify his authoritarian actions. "I mean to deliver God's justice here on earth," Blöndal said, frowning. "I mean to honour the authorities who have appointed me by fulfilling my duty as a law keeper." He believed he could use Thorvardur Jónsson, son of Reverend Jón and an assistant reverend with little experience, to reconnect Agnes with Christianity, although she was described as having "an excellent intellect, and strong knowledge and understanding of Christianity." In truth, Kent used Blöndal to symbolise the 'blind' nature of

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