Burial Rites

Jón Jónsson Character Analysis

Jón is Margrét's husband, Lauga and Steina's father, a District officer in his region of Iceland, and the tenant of Kornsá. Jón accepts Agnes into his household on Blöndal's request, feeling it is his duty to do so as a District Officer. Jón generally does not speak to Agnes, but he is often called to Blöndal's farm to make decisions regarding her case.
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Jón Jónsson Character Timeline in Burial Rites

The timeline below shows where the character Jón Jónsson appears in Burial Rites. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...responding to a prior letter in which the reverend inquired about the burial of Pétur Jónsson, who was murdered along with Natan Ketilsson earlier that month. Blöndal states that, because Pétur... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
In the next letter of the chapter, Björn Blöndal writes to Assistant Reverend Thorvardur Jónsson (Tóti). First, he extends his congratulations to Tóti for completing his studies. Then, Blöndal tells... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
After Blöndal’s letter, the novel begins a third-person narrative, which opens with Tóti’s father, Reverend Jón, walking into their house and telling him that a messenger has arrived. The messenger enters... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Tóti finds Reverend Jón in the communal bedroom (the badstofa), and gives him the letter to read. Once he... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
The third-person narrative jumps to describing Steina Jónsdottir, who is working on her family’s farm, Kornsá. She suddenly hears hooves while she is... (full context)
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Lauga Jónsdóttir, Steina’s sister, is weeding in the garden when Steina comes looking for her. Steina tells... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...for her sister’s behavior and silently hopes that Blöndal has come to offer her father Jón a promotion. She asks Blöndal if he would like some skyr (an Icelandic dairy product)... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...girls. Blöndal asks if they are familiar with the murders of Natan Ketilsson and Pétur Jónsson, and then updates them on the case, which proceeded to the Supreme Court in Copenhagen,... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
The narrative returns to the third-person as Jón Jónsson and Margrét set out for home, three days after Blöndal’s visit to their daughters... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...while she goes to greet their parents. Lauga’s mind races as she prepares broth for Jón and Margrét. She decides to tell them about Blöndal’s visit while they eat together in... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
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When Jón and Margrét arrive, Jon greets Lauga with a kiss. Margrét and Lauga hug. Margrét asks... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
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Once Jón and Margrét are settled in the badstofa, Lauga brings them bowls of broth. Lauga tries... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...with Steina for interrupting her plan to tell her parents, and begins to chastise her. Jón tells them to stop bickering. Lauga recounts the entire visit, and as Lauga finishes her... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
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Several hours later, Jón returns to Kornsá. He confirms that Agnes will be moved to Kornsá. Jón explains that,... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...on his father’s coldness after his mother’s death. When he gets to the house, Reverend Jón is boiling fish. Tóti tells him he is going to Kornsá, where Agnes is scheduled... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Tóti asks his father if he thinks he is ready, and Reverend Jón tells him that only he knows, but that since he has agreed to help Agnes... (full context)
Chapter 3
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Snaebjörn asks where Jón is, and when he hears that he is out, Snaebjörn excuses himself and Páll to... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...Tóti as he completes chores and gets ready to head to Kornsá again. As Reverend Jón sees Tóti herding sheep and doing laundry, he tells Tóti that he doesn’t have to... (full context)
Chapter 4
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...he is too embarrassed, and so does not write for two weeks. One night, Reverend Jón asks him if Agnes has been praying. When Tóti responds equivocally, Reverend Jón tells him... (full context)
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
...door of the homestead where he believes he will find him, a farmer named Haukur Jónsson opens the door. He tells Tóti that the Reverend lives close by. Haukur invites him... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...the third-person as the narrator describes the Kornsá household preparing to cut the hay together. Jón says a prayer and then assigns the groups to cut together, putting Agnes and Kristín... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...wonders how Agnes felt during her trial there. When Tóti arrives at Kornsá, he greets Jón, who is standing on his doorstep. Jón tells Tóti that one man offered to serve... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
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Tóti asks about Agnes’s father, and Agnes tells him that her real father was Jón of Brekkukot, but that since he was married, her mother said it was Magnús to... (full context)
Chapter 5
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
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...on Steina that she allegedly had on Sigga. Lauga, on the other hand, hates Agnes. Jón and Margrét try to keep the girls separate from Agnes, but it is impossible. (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...outside emptying the chamber pot. Steina stays to keep Agnes company, but Agnes worries that Jón and Margrét will be mad at her. Steina asks Agnes what Tóti comes to talk... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...Then Steina tells Margrét that Agnes is by the river and needs help. Steina finds Jón in the badstofa and tells him to go down to the river and help Agnes.... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...perspective changes to Agnes’s first-person narrative. She is sitting on the bed waiting while Margrét, Jón, Lauga, and Steina talk in the other room. Agnes is nervous and keeps thinking about... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...to Tóti, who is at his house and who has just received a letter from Jón asking him to come see Agnes. Tóti leaves for Kornsá over Reverend Jón’s objections. By... (full context)
Chapter 8
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...outside. Agnes watches as Gudmundur skillfully skins the sheep. He reminds her of Fridrik. Together, Jón, the other farmhand Bjarni, and Gudmundur skin all the sheep and gut the carcasses. (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...make sausage. The men come in later to eat the sheep kidneys. When Agnes serves Jón his food, he looks her in the eyes and says “thank you Agnes.” Agnes thinks... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...to talk with Agnes despite the bad weather. As Tóti prepares for his trip, Reverend Jón implies that Tóti is romantically interested in either Lauga or Steina. Tóti tells his father... (full context)
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Jón tells Lauga to let Tóti speak with Agnes without interference. This infuriates Lauga, who says... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...and María told Agnes to be careful, and that she was worried for her. Suddenly Jón interrupts and asks Tóti to speak with Agnes away from his family. Tóti says that,... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
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...asked her to work for him, the other servants were angry. Then Agnes goes silent. Jón suggests that they go to bed, offering Tóti the spare bunk, and they all go... (full context)
Chapter 9
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
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...them with the parish. Tóti introduces the Reverend to Agnes, who identifies herself as “Agnes Jónsdóttir.” Lauga, thinking she is referring to her own father Jón, begins to object, but Tóti... (full context)
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
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...wrote that her character is “mixed”. Reverend Pétur says she is well educated, but that Jón had said she was prone to fits. Reverend Pétur leaves. (full context)
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...perspective as she revels in the fact that she has changed her name to “Agnes Jónsdóttir,” the daughter of Jón of Brekkukot and not Magnús. She feels like the new name... (full context)
Chapter 13
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
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...letter announced Agnes’s execution in six days, and so he must go see her. Reverend Jón objects, saying he is too weak and that it is not worth it to help... (full context)
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...at the door and is surprised by his sickly appearance. Tóti asks to speak with Jón, and Margrét leads him into the kitchen to warm up. Tóti explains his recent illness... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...person as Tóti tries to get through to Agnes, who is staring at the floor. Jón calls for some brandy. Agnes asks how many days until the execution, and Tóti tells... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...pees herself. She apologizes, but Tóti seems unbothered. He tells her he is with her. Jón is riding with them, as are several other men. One of the men brings a... (full context)
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...is so drunk that she has trouble standing and feels she cannot move her legs. Jón comes to help Tóti with Agnes, but Tóti insists on lifting her himself. He holds... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
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...they pray. Agnes hears the burial hymn being sung, and she and Tóti sing along. Jón, meanwhile, says the Lord’s prayer. Agnes, panicked, tells Tóti she is not ready, and asks... (full context)