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Social Pouption In Burial Rites

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The characters in ‘Burial Rites’ by Hannah Kent do not feel powerless - regardless of their social position. Shown by the way that the Jonnsons act in front of Bjorn Blöndal and other higher-class guests, they value their social position highly, believing that the higher the position, the more power they will have. Consequently, social position can make one feel impotent. Another reason that social power is not unimportant is the idea that Bjorn Blöndal feels as though he is akin to God in his social position, therefore he feels all powerful by virtue of his social position, in juxtaposition to the characters with a low social position who feel powerless. Social position affects all the characters and in some ways contributed to Agnes’ execution, nonetheless,…show more content…
The way that Lauga presents herself and acts especially in front of district commissioner Bjorn Blöndal displays her attitude to her superiors and the value she places on appearance, social status, and dignity. Lauga acted extremely differently compared to Steina’s total awe and impertinence towards Blöndal, much like they both act differently to Agnes. Saying to Steina ‘He’ll think us peasants!’, Lauga is more concerned with herself and her families social appearance than Steina because Steina does not care about the stigma surrounding Agnes. Lauga believes with her obeisance towards Blöndal, Blöndal will respect her father more, bringing their whole family up a step in the social ladder – with the power, influence and control that comes along with a political high position. The Jonnsons only feel powerless because of their social position – being beneath Blöndal, Therefore, social position is an important part of the characters ideas of how much power and influence they really
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