Throughout Burial Rites, Hannah Kent describes characters’ dreams, which often reflect their desires or anxieties. The characters themselves also place a lot of importance on dreaming. Natan’s mother was rumored to have prophetic dreams, including one in which she spoke to the Devil. Agnes, meanwhile, believes that she met Tóti for the first time in a dream where Tóti helped her across a snowy lava field. Natan has dreams of his own death and Agnes’s role in it even before Fridrik murders him. Clearly, dreams represent more than just imagination for the characters, who believe that dreams can predict the future and provide a connection to the adjacent spiritual world.
The timeline below shows where the symbol Dreams appears in Burial Rites. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...narrative then resumes Agnes’s first person perspective as she describes how at Kornsá, she has dreamed for the first time since her imprisonment. In Agnes’s dream, she and Natan were brewing... (full context)