The Buried Giant


Kazuo Ishiguro

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Old Woman Character Analysis

Axl and Beatrice meet the old woman while taking shelter from a storm in the beginning of their journey. The old woman is preparing to slaughter a rabbit to irritate the boatman, who is also taking shelter there. The woman does this because the boatman was supposed to take her and her husband across the water to the island together, but only took her husband. Although she waited, he has never taken her, and now the woman makes a point of harassing the boatman whenever he returns to his childhood home after weeks of hard work.
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Old Woman Character Timeline in The Buried Giant

The timeline below shows where the character Old Woman appears in The Buried Giant. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...Axl and Beatrice arrive in a safe shelter, but they notice a “small, bird-like old woman” holding a rabbit and a tall man standing as far away from the woman as... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Once the rain “settle[s] to a steady fall,” the old woman greets Axl and Beatrice and asks where they’re going. Axl tells her they’re going to... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Watching the woman stroke the rabbit, Beatrice asks her not to cut open the animal and to instead... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...never run into another person. The boatman says he had been willing to bring the woman, but she no longer wanted to go once she heard that she wouldn’t be with... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Although the old woman is invited to argue against this point, she remains silent. Axl tells the woman she... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...shouldn’t have. Still, he agrees to answer her question because they helped get the old woman to leave him alone. (full context)