The Buried Giant


Kazuo Ishiguro

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Themes and Colors
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Buried Giant, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Memory, Truth and Justice

Lost memories and the fight to get them back is the most pervasive theme in The Buried Giant. In the novel, only a handful of people know that Merlin cursed the breath of Querig to create a mysterious mist which make everyone forget the past—namely the fact that King Arthur broke his treaty with the Saxons. While this creates peace, it also makes people forget the details of their personal histories. Axl and…

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War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness

In The Buried Giant, Ishiguro takes readers back to England in the years following the death of King Arthur. A mysterious mist created by the breath of Querig, the last dragon, has permeated the land and made nearly everyone forget the past, including the bloody wars King Arthur (a Briton) led against the Saxons. With this forgetfulness comes peace: Saxons and Britons live side by side with no trouble. Axl

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Love and Hatred

At its heart, The Buried Giant is about love and hatred, on both the personal and national levels. Although the breath of the dragon Querig permeates the land, makes everyone forget the past, and establishes peace, old hatreds—which have roots in the time before they began forgetting—still exist. Axl and Beatrice are an old married couple who love each other intensely but can’t remember the history of their marriage and decide to leave their home…

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Denial and Rewriting History

In the years following a bloody civil war between the Britons (led by King Arthur) and the Saxons, peace reigns. However, this peace was achieved by means of a mysterious mist created by the breath of Querig (the last dragon, who had been put under a spell on Arthur’s orders), which makes all who breathe it forget the past. King Arthur did this to make people forget that he broke a promise not…

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