Silence Essay

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Makala Harris
Mrs. Meeks
English 10
Silence Essay
Silence by Shusaku Endo is a religious historical fiction novel that has been considered a work of Literary Merit for almost 50 years. Endo weaves an all too real tale and poses questions to his readers through three specific characters in his book. Inoue , Father Garrpe, and Kichijiro, who all represent important people in the bible along with the circumstances that surrounded each. Inoue is this books antagonist, what comes to mind when thinking of Inoue is (Luke 8:12, NIV).“The devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved”. Inoue is the one causing all the chaos and problems. He is against Christianity and doesn’t believe that it will be able to take root in Japan and tries with all his might to keep Christianity out of Japan. The person he represents would be the devil because the devil doesn’t want anybody to believe in God, he uses tactics such as physical and mental torment to try to deter Christians away from God, just as Inoue does in this novel. Not only are their tactics the same but descriptions of each in the Bible and Silence are similar as well. When describing Inoue, Vilignano says he is: “Cunning as a serpent so that the Christians until now had not flinched at threats and tortures succumbed one by one to his cunning wiles”. The devil coincidentally is described in the same manner in (Genesis 3:1, NIV). As being: “The serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made”. They each carry out their hatred differently; Inoue does his destroying by physical tortures, among these tortures are; water torture, starvation, and the pit. There are two different types of water torture being told in this novel one being illustrated by Kichijiro as: “Wooden stakes were fixed in the sea at the water’s edge and the Christians were bound to them. When the tide came in, the water would reach up to a certain mark, and then recede. The Christians became utterly exhausted and after a week they died in most terrible agony”. (17)The other is the boiling of Christians if they did not recant or hanging them in a pit upside down with cuts behind their ears until they slowly, excruciatingly bleed out. The devil is also seen physically harming a man in the bible named Job after taking away everything he held dear. “Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head”. (Job 2:7, The books both Silence and the Bible also shows several martyrs but the ones that are most prevalent would have to be Father Garrpe and Jesus. Martyrs throughout the book Silence are not uncommon. There are also many martyrs in the bible; Stephen, John the Baptist, James and most of the 12 apostles were martyrs. But the most famous one of all is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is an innocent man who was killed and gave his life for everyone else. Garrpe can be compared to Jesus from the beginning of the story to his martyrdom. In one instance he was shown three innocent people who were wrapped in mats and told that if he doesn’t apostatize then he will be responsible for those peoples deaths. He was asked multiple times to recant and he never did. He simply shook his head. He becomes more like Jesus when the people are taken out into the ocean and dumped into the water, he leaps in to save them. He essentially risks his life to save those three people and he ends up paying the ultimate price, death. Just like Jesus paid for us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life”. (John 3:16, NIV). Even though those three people died that doesn’t make the sacrifice any less important. Same goes for Jesus’ sacrifice because not every person is a believer so they all can’t be saved.  If compared to someone in the Bible Kichijiro would be Judas, the man who betrayed Jesus....
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