Burial Rites

Lauga Jónsdóttir Character Analysis

Lauga is Jón and Margrét's daughter and Steina's younger sister. Lauga, with her blonde hair and blue eyes, is considered to be very beautiful and charming. Lauga does not like Agnes from the beginning, and she continues to loathe her even after the rest of the family warms to Agnes. Lauga thinks that Steina treats Agnes better than Steina treats her and worries that Agnes is ruining the family's reputation in the valley.

Lauga Jónsdóttir Quotes in Burial Rites

The Burial Rites quotes below are all either spoken by Lauga Jónsdóttir or refer to Lauga Jónsdóttir. 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 13 Quotes

“Will they drown me?” I ask, and someone shakes her head. It is Lauga. “Agnes,” she says, and I say, “That is the first time you have called me by my name,” and that is it, she collapses as though I have stabbed her in the stomach.

Related Characters: Agnes Magnúsdottir (speaker), Lauga Jónsdóttir (speaker)
Page Number: 307-308
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lauga Jónsdóttir Character Timeline in Burial Rites

The timeline below shows where the character Lauga Jónsdóttir appears in Burial Rites. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Lauga Jónsdóttir, Steina’s sister, is weeding in the garden when Steina comes looking for her. Steina... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Lauga trots back to the house, tidies herself, and goes into the parlor to greet Blöndal.... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Lauga returns to the parlor. To her annoyance, Steina (instead of Kristín) emerges from the kitchen... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...proceeded to the Supreme Court in Copenhagen, where the King agreed with Blöndal’s execution sentence. Lauga asks if the murderers are being sent to Denmark for execution, and Blöndal tells her... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...place the criminals on the farms of government officials until they are to be killed. Lauga asks why they cannot be held in Reykjavík, and Blöndal tells her the cost is... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...Margrét set out for home, three days after Blöndal’s visit to their daughters Steina and Lauga. Margrét coughs violently as they ride back. As they pass a neighbor’s house, Margrét notices... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Meanwhile, at Kornsá, Lauga and Steina are silently collecting water from the stream, having ignored each other since Blöndal’s... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
When Jón and Margrét arrive, Jon greets Lauga with a kiss. Margrét and Lauga hug. Margrét asks where Steina is, and Lauga says... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Once Jón and Margrét are settled in the badstofa, Lauga brings them bowls of broth. Lauga tries to tell them the news as Jón changes... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Steina’s news horrifies Margrét, as they all know that Agnes was convicted of murder. Lauga is angry with Steina for interrupting her plan to tell her parents, and begins to... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...presence in Hvammur that night to discuss who the executioner will be. Margrét, Steina, and Lauga are dismayed. (full context)
Chapter 2
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...the doorway with Margrét, watching the group of riders arrive with Agnes. Tóti asks if Lauga and Steina will join them. Margrét reiterates how much she does not want to host... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
The narrative returns to the third-person as Margrét cleans up from dinner while Lauga and Steina sleep. The house at Kornsá has begun to decay, causing dangerous mold that... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...of her former servants, imagining them killing her like Agnes killed Natan. She thinks of Lauga’s belief that murderers have outward marks of evil (harelips, snaggleteeth, etc.). She also thinks of... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...her wash the previous night. Despite herself, Margrét had looked for marks like the one Lauga insisted would be present. Margrét was shocked by how badly Agnes had been abused. When... (full context)
Chapter 3
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
...she, having been sent back to the badstofa by Margrét, sees that the sleeping officer, Lauga, and Steina are now gone. She realizes with exhilaration she is unguarded for the first... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...brooch hidden under the bed across from her. She picks it up, and then, suddenly, Lauga appears beside her and tells her to put it down. Agnes drops the brooch and... (full context)
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
...Agnes to go fetch her daughters in the house. When Agnes goes to get them, Lauga immediately leaves to go help her mother, but Steina lingers behind. (full context)
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...thinks they met once before, while they were both travelling. She remembers that Agnes plaited Lauga’s hair and gave them each an egg. Agnes begins to vaguely remember the day Steina... (full context)
Chapter 4
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...contains the ministerial records. Reverend Pétur asks about the family at Kornsá and comments that Lauga is very beautiful and smart, and “runs circles around” Steina. Reverend Pétur heaves the record... (full context)
Chapter 5
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Ingibjörg then asks about Lauga and Steina. Margrét tells Ingibjörg that Steina thinks she has met Agnes before, and she... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...go down to the river and help Agnes. Jón leaves to go find her. When Lauga comes in and says something snarky about Steina trying to be friends with Agnes, Steina... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...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 Sigga’s... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Margrét, Lauga, Steina, and Kristín enter the badstofa to talk amongst themselves while Tóti and Agnes converse.... (full context)
Chapter 7
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...first person narrative as she helps Margrét prepare food for the harvest celebration. Steina and Lauga are away picking berries and moss. Agnes thinks of how Steina told her that they... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...farm dying. It was just after she left that farm that she met Steina and Lauga on the road and gave them eggs, as Steina remembers. Lauga reminds Agnes of Sigga. (full context)
Chapter 8
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...the sheep and the baby’s birth. The next day, Margrét spoke Agnes more than usual. Lauga had come in and complained about Agnes staring at her possessions, despite the fact that... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
...talk with her. Then they sit silently before Margrét says they should go see what Lauga and Steina are doing. Margrét holds out her hand to Agnes, who takes it. They... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
The narrative switches to third-person as Lauga and Steina work together in the kitchen to finish making the sausage. Steina mentions how... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Steina realizes that Lauga is very upset and asks her what is wrong. Lauga tells her that she thought... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...Tóti prepares for his trip, Reverend Jón implies that Tóti is romantically interested in either Lauga or Steina. Tóti tells his father not to wait up for him, and his father... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...that Natan also told her some of the strange dreams he’d had. Across the room, Lauga pipes up, saying that Róslín told her about Natan’s dreams. (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Jón tells Lauga to let Tóti speak with Agnes without interference. This infuriates Lauga, who says that it... (full context)
Chapter 9
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Suddenly, there is a knock at the door. Lauga answers it and returns to the badstofa with Reverend Pétur Bjarnason, who has come to... (full context)
Chapter 10
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
The perspective jumps to Steina and Lauga, who are talking as they clean the badstofa. The sisters are bickering when Margrét comes... (full context)
Chapter 13
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
...asleep. Margrét is still awake and knitting. She looks around the badstofa and notices that Lauga is missing from her bed. Margrét gets up and eventually finds Lauga in the pantry.... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...skirt and a white embroidered shirt and apron and give them to Agnes. Margrét asks Lauga to hand her the silver brooch. Lauga hesitates, teary, and then hands it to Margrét... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...goodbye to Steina, who hugs her and sobs. Agnes apologizes, though she isn’t sure why. Lauga says Agnes’s name, and Agnes notes aloud that it is the first time she has... (full context)