Burial Rites

Sigrídur Gudmundsdóttir (Sigga) Character Analysis

Sigga is Agnes's coworker at Illugastir, Fridrik's fiancée, and Natan's employee and lover. Sigga is a pretty girl of fifteen. She is not particularly smart. Natan, who hired Sigga as a housekeeper, sleeps with Sigga regularly. When Sigga falls in love with Fridrik, Natan does not want Sigga to marry him. Sigga does not actively participate in the murders of Natan and Pétur, and her sentence gets commuted to imprisonment rather than execution because everyone thinks her youth and beauty must mean that she is innocent.

Sigrídur Gudmundsdóttir (Sigga) Quotes in Burial Rites

The Burial Rites quotes below are all either spoken by Sigrídur Gudmundsdóttir (Sigga) or refer to Sigrídur Gudmundsdóttir (Sigga). 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 5 Quotes

I’ll tell you something, Reverend Tóti. All my life people have thought I was too clever…That’s exactly why they don’t pity me. Because they think I’m too smart… to get caught up in this by accident. But Sigga is dumb and pretty and young, and that is why they don’t want to see her die…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.

Related Characters: Agnes Magnúsdottir (speaker), Assistant Reverend Thorvardur Jónsson (Tóti), Sigrídur Gudmundsdóttir (Sigga)
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7 Quotes

“Why not Sigga?” Tóti asked in a small voice.
Blöndal shook his head. “The maid of sixteen who burst into tears as soon as I summoned her? Sigga didn’t even attempt to lie—she is too simple-minded, too young to know how. She told me everything. How Agnes hated Natan, how Agnes was jealous of his attentions to her. Sigga is not bright, but she saw that much.”

Related Characters: Björn Blöndal (speaker), Assistant Reverend Thorvardur Jónsson (Tóti) (speaker), Agnes Magnúsdottir, Natan Ketilsson, Sigrídur Gudmundsdóttir (Sigga)
Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:

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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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Sigrídur Gudmundsdóttir (Sigga) Character Timeline in Burial Rites

The timeline below shows where the character Sigrídur Gudmundsdóttir (Sigga) appears in Burial Rites. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
...were found on Natan’s farm. Eventually, one man and two women Fridrik Sigurdsson, Sigrídur Gudmundsdóttir (Sigga), and Agnes Magnúsdottir, were charged with the murders and sentenced to death. (full context)
Chapter 2
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...a farm where a boy later drowned. Agnes also remembers hearing a raven shriek with Sigga one night. She wonders where Sigga is now, and why they keep Sigga away from... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...it. Tóti asks where Agnes is, and the rider points to her before adding that Sigga, the other convicted woman, has had her case appealed because people think that, unlike Agnes,... (full context)
Chapter 3
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...trials of Agnes’s case in 1829. The document states the allegation that Fridrik, Agnes, and Sigga entered Natan’s house with the intention of robbing him. According to the District Commissioner, they... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...Margrét milk sheep together and then burn Agnes’s old dress, which she had sewed with Sigga. Memories of this trigger Agnes’s regret as she watches the dress smolder. The dress was... (full context)
Chapter 4
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...at a nearby farm and Natan took the body home to dissect it. Agnes and Sigga did not eat the meat out superstition that it was tainted by the devil. Agnes... (full context)
Chapter 5
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...that Agnes might have the same bad influence on Steina that she allegedly had on Sigga. Lauga, on the other hand, hates Agnes. Jón and Margrét try to keep the girls... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...an appeal to help Agnes, and tells her that Blöndal made an appeal to commute Sigga’s sentence. Agnes, shocked and upset, walks away from Steina toward the river and drops to... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...Lauga, and Steina talk in the other room. Agnes is nervous and keeps thinking about Sigga’s appeal. She believes that, while Sigga will get off, she herself will never be freed. (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...Agnes handcuffed and in bed. He asks Agnes what happened and Agnes tells him about Sigga’s appeal, saying that everyone pities Sigga because she is pretty and dumb, but no one... (full context)
Chapter 6
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Chapter Six begins with a clerical record of Agnes and Sigga’s possessions at the time of their imprisonment. The list includes clothing, books, knitting tools, odds... (full context)
Chapter 7
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...thinks Agnes is the one who stabbed him in the belly. Tóti asks Blöndal why Sigga could not have wielded the knife, and Blöndal tells him that Sigga, sixteen, had burst... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...Natan had told Agnes she could be his housekeeper, but then gave the position to Sigga. She explains that Natan was virulently anti-Christian and when she was working for him, she... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...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
...Finally, Agnes and Natan decided Agnes would go live with him. However, Natan also had Sigga the whole time. (full context)
Chapter 9
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
...She describes her long journey along the coast to get there. When Agnes finally arrived, Sigga came out to greet her. (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Sigga led her to the house and asked about her journey. Sigga let Agnes get settled... (full context)
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Agnes then describes Sigga showing her the farm. Agnes tells Tóti that the farm was next to the mountain... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Sigga told Agnes a little about her personal history, and then said that she had never... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
The day after she arrived, Agnes saw Natan walking along the shore. Sigga told her that he’d arrived the night before. Agnes did not think to ask where... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...was the “only decent thing to do.” Natan showed Agnes his books, telling her that Sigga did not like reading. Agnes tried to read Natan’s papers, but they were full of... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Natan and Agnes then had sex in the workshop. Agnes thinks Sigga must have known that she and Natan were sleeping together, though they waited until she... (full context)
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
...Natan’s farm. Natan had been happy that she was there. Agnes worked and talked with Sigga all day long. Sigga said Natan usually did not spend so much time at home.... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
It was an isolated life, but Agnes loved Natan and tolerated Sigga. Agnes asks Tóti if Sigga had been granted her appeal. Tóti is unsure. Agnes says... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...him, Natan was furious with Agnes for talking to him like that in front of Sigga. Agnes found Natan’s temper somewhat disturbing. (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Tóti prompts Agnes to tell him about Sigga. Agnes tells Tóti how Sigga clearly hoped to marry Fridrik, but she worried that Fridrik... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
During lambing season, Natan was away traveling. Neither Agnes nor Sigga could deliver the lambs themselves because they were not strong enough, so Sigga went to... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Sigga adored Fridrik, who soon forgot about Thórunn. When Natan returned to the farm, Sigga told... (full context)
Chapter 10
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...Daníel talked to Agnes about Natan. Daníel mentioned that he had noticed that she and Sigga both received special presents from Natan. He then expressed his romantic interest in Agnes and... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Agnes went to talk to Natan. She found him yelling at Sigga, and Agnes told Sigga, who seemed upset, to leave, saying she would help him undress.... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
...hoped Natan would come sleep in her bed. Instead, though, he went and crawled into Sigga’s. Agnes, hearing them having sex, finally understood that Natan had been sleeping with both of... (full context)
Chapter 11
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...she was a child. Margrét says all mothers think of their children—including Agnes’s, Fridrik’s, and Sigga’s. Agnes tells Margrét that Sigga’s mother is dead and Fridrik’s mother, Thórbjörg, is going to... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...that Fridrik is not her friend, but says that he did have a romance with Sigga. (full context)
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...at home. When he was home, Natan was very critical and suspicious of Agnes and Sigga. (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Later, Natan and Fridrik got into another fight. Afterward, Natan took his anger out on Sigga, yelling at her and threatening to throw her out in the snow. Natan then old... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...to Agnes’s first person perspective as she remembers the events that followed Fridrik’s proposal to Sigga. That night it snowed so hard that Fridrik had to stay at Natan’s farm. Agnes... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Agnes went into the badstofa and found Fridrik and Sigga sitting together. Sigga looked upset. Agnes told them that two sheep were missing. Sigga said... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...going to kill Natan, and when Agnes asked why, since Fridrik was going to marry Sigga anyway, Fridrik told Agnes that “a woman like [her]” would not understand. He then said... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...after Fridrik had left, Natan returned to the farm. Natan was angry about Fridrik and Sigga’s engagement and he accused Agnes of being happy about them getting together. Natan then apologized... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...kitchen and asks Agnes to continue her story. Agnes tells Margrét that Natan apologized to Sigga for being unreasonable and said she could marry whoever she wanted. Christmas came and went... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...to first person. One night, Agnes told Natan she knew he had been sleeping with Sigga. She said that she forgave him. Natan thought for a second and then told Agnes... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Agnes sought shelter in the cowshed to keep from freezing. Eventually, Sigga brought Agnes clothes and shoes. Sigga told Agnes that Natan wouldn’t let Agnes inside, and... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...saw Agnes, he asked what Natan had done, and if Natan had decided to marry Sigga. Agnes told him that she had been thrown out. (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Thórbjörg then told Fridrik that Natan was trying to steal Sigga from him. Thórbjörg said that, as long as Natan was alive, Sigga would never be... (full context)
Chapter 12
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...back to Agnes’s voice. She describes how she and Fridrik arrived at Natan’s farm together. Sigga answered the door and let them in, though Natan had told her not to. Sigga... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Fridrik, Sigga, and Agnes spent the next few days together preparing to leave. Sigga planned to go... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...she went back to sleep. When she woke again, she entered the house and found Sigga cowering with Thóranna. Sigga told Agnes to go look in the badstofa. (full context)
Chapter 13
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...several documents to Blöndal, including the court’s ruling on Agnes’s case, the King’s letter granting Sigga’s appeal, the document confirming that the sentence should be carried out in Iceland, and the... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...reminds them that local farmers must attend. After this letter, there is a letter from Sigga’s priest to Blöndal thanking him for obtaining Sigga’s pardon and saying Sigga is praying to... (full context)