Silence by Shusaku Endo
The story of Silence is one that stirs up emotional torment within readers. Although it is not poetically sound at times and may seem choppy due to cross-cultural translation, Silence conveys a message like no other to its readers. Silence in short detail, tracks the missionary trek of Sebastião Rodrigues, an appointed Portuguese Jesuit, and his partner Francisco Garrpe as they embark to guide the Japanese Christians towards an ‘authentic Christian status’. All the meanwhile they attempt to dodge the ever hostile government whose aim is to weed out and eradicate anyone practicing or teaching Christianity by means of persecution. Rodrigues also attempts to locate Father Ferreira, his predecessor whose disappearance have generated wily rumors. The story goes through ebbs and flows of emotional suspense from beginning to end, never knowing whether or not Rodrigues will get captured that is until the climactic end. This essay will systematically analyze the author’s construction of the world within the text and its effectiveness. The story of Silence is conveyed to me as a reader through a multitude of lenses. First and foremost, the author begins the narrative in first person through the eyes of Rodrigues; as the story progresses we shift into a journal entry method in which all the information we receive or gather as the reader is seen through the events Rodrigues experiences through his journal. This is great in that it lures us into the world that Rodrigues sees, feel how he feels and know what he knows, but that’s just it. We only know what he knows and see what he sees. By doing this in the beginning, the author narrows our line of vision and creates a foreshadowing effect. In many respects, this creates a saddle point of accumulating events that builds and builds until it creates enough mystique to be labeled as and leads to the climactic end. This form was quite effective because it allowed me explore the mind of Rodrigues as a well...
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