The Buried Giant

by

Kazuo Ishiguro

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Axl and Beatrice’s Son Character Analysis

Axl and Beatrice know that they have a son who is an adult and may be married and have children, but they do not know where he lives. Axl and Beatrice leave their warren with the intention of going to their son’s village, and they hope he will invite them to live with him and his family. Although they do not remember his name or his face, Axl and Beatrice are sure he is waiting for them. As their memories gradually return, Axl and Beatrice remember that their son had decided to run away from home because he wanted to escape the bitterness that existed between them after Beatrice was caught having an affair with another man. After leaving home, Axl and Beatrice’s son caught the plague and died. Out of pettiness and anger, Axl had refused to let Beatrice go to visit their son’s grave when he first died. Both Axl and Beatrice believe that their son is on the mysterious island and that the boatman will be able to bring them there so they can be reunited with him.

Axl and Beatrice’s Son Quotes in The Buried Giant

The The Buried Giant quotes below are all either spoken by Axl and Beatrice’s Son or refer to Axl and Beatrice’s Son. 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:
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Buried Giant published in 2015.
Chapter 2 Quotes

“But Axl, we can’t remember those days. Or any of the years between. We don’t remember our fierce quarrels or the small moments we enjoyed and treasured. We don’t remember our son or why he’s away from us.”

“We can make all those memories come back, princess. Besides, the feeling in my heart for you will be there just the same, no matter what I remember or forget. Don’t you feel the same, princess?”

“I do, Axl. But then again I wonder if what we feel in our hearts today isn’t like these raindrops still falling on us from the soaked leaves above, even though the sky itself long stopped raining. I’m wondering if without our memories, there’s nothing for it but for our love to fade and die.”

Related Characters: Axl (speaker), Beatrice (speaker), Axl and Beatrice’s Son, The Narrator / The Boatman
Related Symbols: The Island
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

“What did you hope to gain, sir, preventing not just your wife but even yourself grieving at your son’s resting place?”

“Gain? There was nothing to gain, boatman. It was just foolishness and pride. And whatever else lurks in the depths of a man’s heart. Perhaps it was a craving to punish, sir. I spoke and acted forgiveness, yet kept locked through long years some small chamber in my heart that yearned for vengeance. A petty and black thing I did her, and my son also.”

Related Characters: Axl (speaker), The Narrator / The Boatman (speaker), Beatrice, Axl and Beatrice’s Son
Page Number: 312-313
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Buried Giant LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Buried Giant PDF

Axl and Beatrice’s Son Character Timeline in The Buried Giant

The timeline below shows where the character Axl and Beatrice’s Son appears in The Buried Giant. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...against it, she though it was time for them to take a journey to their son’s village. Axl wondered why Beatrice thought he was the one against it, but she said... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...scene of the incident, Beatrice told Axl that all she could think about was their son and how Axl had refused to let her go to him. Axl was astonished, believing... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...tells her that he thinks it’s time for them to start their journey to their son’s village. Beatrice is happy, although she admits that sometimes she struggles to remember their son... (full context)
Chapter 2
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...Great Plain, Axl and Beatrice rest in a safe corner and talk about meeting their son again. Beatrice dreamed of their son the night before and tries to describe his face,... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...Axl and Beatrice and asks where they’re going. Axl tells her they’re going to their son’s village but will seek shelter at a nearby Saxon village for the night. Suddenly, the... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...somewhere on account of this wretched mist” and they’ll remember everything when they find their son. Beatrice says she hopes that’s true and they prepare to continue their journey. (full context)
Chapter 3
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...asks where they are traveling and Axl tells him about their plan to find their son’s village and to take a detour to meet Father Jonus. Ivor observes that the path... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...and Axl says they’ll be happy to help and can bring the boy to their son’s village. Axl and Wistan decide they should leave soon. (full context)
Chapter 5
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...they can cross the bridge, assuring them that they are “simple farmers” going to their son’s village. One of the soldiers asks Axl who the two boys traveling with them are... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...The grey-haired soldier’s look softens as Beatrice tells him they are going to visit their son. He tells her that he hasn’t seen his own parents in a long time before... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...knight asks where they are going, so Beatrice tells him about going to find their son’s village and their intention to stop at the monastery. The knight tells them he’s sure... (full context)
Chapter 11
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...inside, Axl tells him that he and Beatrice want to go downstream to visit their son. Noticing Beatrice shivering, the man asks if she’s alright. Axl says Beatrice is fine but... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...dream, but Beatrice says she knows that Axl left her that night and that their son had left a day or two before. Axl tells her it was just a dream... (full context)
Chapter 15
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...Axl and Beatrice, and asks why they are on the mountain instead of with their son. Beatrice explains that they want to see Querig slain and that they brought a poisoned... (full context)
Chapter 17
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
The narrator listens as the old woman tells Axl that she remembers their son lives on an island and it is nearby. Axl wonders how that is possible, but... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...if the island they see is the same she heard of in stories where a person can walk alone forever without running into another person. The narrator says that it may... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...no longer being formally questioned. Axl shares the story of the abrupt departure of their son and says he shares the blame, having created a toxic home life after discovering his... (full context)