Burial Rites

Steina is Jón and Margrét’s daughter and Lauga's older sister. Blonde and brown eyed, Steina is not as beautiful as Lauga, nor as socially adept. Steina's family often criticizes her for failing to complete domestic tasks correctly. Steina is somewhat headstrong and does not hesitate to express her opinions. When Agnes first arrives at Kornsá, Steina recognizes Agnes from a time they met on the road. Steina, empathizing with Agnes, tried to strike up a friendship with her, causing tension between her and Lauga.
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Steina Jónsdóttir Character Timeline in Burial Rites

The timeline below shows where the character Steina 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
The third-person narrative jumps to describing Steina Jónsdottir, who is working on her family’s farm, Kornsá. She suddenly hears hooves while she... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Blöndal asks to come inside. Steina shows Blöndal where to tie his horse and leads him in. As Blöndal walks through... (full context)
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Lauga Jónsdóttir, Steina’s sister, is weeding in the garden when Steina comes looking for her. Steina tells Lauga... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...Icelandic dairy product) and then goes to fetch it and some coffee. In the kitchen, Steina tells Lauga they have no more coffee because she drank it all. Lauga chastises Steina,... (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 carrying the food for Blöndal. Blöndal asks which... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
Steina grows angry as she realizes that Blöndal means to lodge one of the criminals in... (full context)
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...Jónsson and 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,... (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 visit. Lauga... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
...Margrét arrive, Jon greets Lauga with a kiss. Margrét and Lauga hug. Margrét asks where Steina is, and Lauga says she is fetching water. Margrét expresses surprise that she is not... (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... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...requested Jón’s 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
...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 Agnes. When... (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 gives the... (full context)
Chapter 3
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
...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 time in... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...and tells her to put it down. Agnes drops the brooch and Lauga calls for Steina, who comes running in. They both yell for Margrét. When Margrét appears in the doorway,... (full context)
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
...When Agnes goes to get them, Lauga immediately leaves to go help her mother, but Steina lingers behind. (full context)
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Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Steina tells Agnes that she thinks they met once before, while they were both travelling. She... (full context)
Chapter 4
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...at Kornsá and comments that Lauga is very beautiful and smart, and “runs circles around” Steina. Reverend Pétur heaves the record book onto the altar. He asks how old Agnes is,... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
Class, Colonization, and Hierarchies of Power Theme Icon
...asks about her family history. Agnes bristles, tells him that she has no family. Then Steina appears and tells Tóti that Margrét wants Agnes back at work. Agnes invites Tóti to... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...go of the tool so that Agnes stumbles backwards, nicking her ankle. Everyone laughs except Steina, who asks if Agnes is hurt. (full context)
Chapter 5
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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 worries that... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
The narrative switches back to the third person as Steina, now awake, finds Agnes outside emptying the chamber pot. Steina stays to keep Agnes company,... (full context)
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Steina wants to make a petition or an appeal to help Agnes, and tells her that... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
When Steina enters the house, Margrét asks where she has been, thinking, at first, that Agnes has... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...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 appeal. She... (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. Margrét... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...Agnes quietly asks Tóti to talk to Blöndal about creating a petition for her, as Steina suggested. Tóti hesitantly agrees and asks Agnes again about her childhood. She begins to tell... (full context)
Chapter 7
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
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...to Agnes’s 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... (full context)
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
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When Agnes was Steina’s age, she remembers trying to avoid the man who raped her several times and deciding... (full context)
Chapter 8
Women, Violence, and Innocence Theme Icon
...remembers Natan talking to her as she made blood sausage the year before. Agnes shows Steina how to salt the meat, and Steina asks her why they’re salting it and where... (full context)
Truth and Liberation Theme Icon
...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 go inside. (full context)
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The narrative switches to third-person as Lauga and Steina work together in the kitchen to finish making the sausage. Steina mentions how quickly Agnes... (full context)
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Steina realizes that Lauga is very upset and asks her what is wrong. Lauga tells her... (full context)
Names, Superstition, and Christianity Theme Icon
...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 hands him... (full context)
Chapter 9
Literacy, Language, and the Icelandic Landscape Theme Icon
...last meeting. Tóti is still at Kornsá because the weather is not good. While fixing Steina’s knitting, Agnes tells Tóti about Natan’s farm, which was far from everything. She describes her... (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... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Agnes says goodbye to Steina, who hugs her and sobs. Agnes apologizes, though she isn’t sure why. Lauga says Agnes’s... (full context)