Burial Rites

Inga is Björn’s wife, Kjartan’s mother, and Agnes’s foster mother from the time Agnes’s mother leaves her to when Inga dies in childbirth. Inga is a loving foster mother to Agnes, who even calls her “Mamma.” Inga teaches Agnes to read and write in secret, beginning Agnes’s lifelong love of books. When Inga dies in childbirth during a blizzard, Agnes is absolutely heartbroken.

Inga Quotes in Burial Rites

The Burial Rites quotes below are all either spoken by Inga or refer to Inga. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Back Bay Books edition of Burial Rites published in 2014.
Chapter 6 Quotes

I explained that I had begun to dig a grave for Mamma. Uncle Ragnar frowned and told me I shouldn’t call her Mamma, and wasn’t I ashamed of myself, thinking to bury her near the doorstep where everyone would tread on her, and not in the holy ground of a churchyard.

Related Characters: Agnes Magnúsdottir (speaker), Inga, Uncle Ragnar
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliqui

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Inga Character Timeline in Burial Rites

The timeline below shows where the character Inga appears in Burial Rites. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...great love for and excellent knowledge of the sagas. As a child, Agnes’s foster mother Inga encouraged reading, but her foster father Björn did not, saying books other than the Bible... (full context)
Chapter 5
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...mother had another daughter, Helga. By that time, Agnes was living with her foster family, Inga and Björn, at Kornsá. (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...asks Agnes again about her childhood. She begins to tell him about her foster family, Inga and Björn, who raised her until Inga died in childbirth. Tóti asks Agnes if she... (full context)
Chapter 6
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
The narrative then returns to Agnes’s first-person perspective as she begins to tell Tóti about Inga’s death. It was winter. Agnes had been living at Kornsá for several years with Inga,... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
The next day it began to snow, and Inga, not feeling well, stayed in the badstofa. Björn went to check on her while Agnes... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...room grew colder and colder. Agnes tried her best to keep the baby warm. Meanwhile, Inga’s moans continued in the loft. The children fell asleep, and when they woke Björn was... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...Björn, meanwhile, sat with his head in his hands. Agnes then went up to see Inga’s body, which was lying on the blood-covered bed. Agnes pulled Inga’s dress down to cover... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...to the third person as Tóti asks what happened next. Agnes tells him that after Inga died and the storm ended, the farmhand was sent to fetch Björn’s relatives. Björn told... (full context)
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
After everything was clean, the family stood together around Inga’s body and Björn’s brother passed around a flask. The farmhand fetched a priest, and Aunt... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...a bad mood and she went outside, picked up a shovel, and tried to dig Inga a grave. Uncle Ragnar asked what she was doing. Agnes explained, referring to Inga as... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...begins to tell him about the dream, but Tóti falls back asleep. Agnes thinks of Inga’s death again. Agnes, perhaps dreaming again, imagines her foster mother trapped in the storehouse and... (full context)