The Silence

Topics: God, Shusaku Endo, Christianity in Japan Pages: 4 (1497 words) Published: March 7, 2013
Silence has the meaning: the state of being forgotten; oblivion. In the novel Silence by Shusaku Endo, that is type of silence that gave the book its title. The silence is created by God’s absence in Father Rodrigues’, the main character, life and experience in Japan. As Rodrigues lives in Japan in search of his former teacher, he goes through inner turmoil as he questions God’s decision to remain silent while His people are being tortured for keeping their faith in Him. Silence by Shusaku Endo is a novel that tells the story of Father Rodrigues and his struggle to keep his faith in a country that wants him to abandon it. The title, Silence, correlates with Rodrigues frustrations with God in his silence when it comes to his followers getting punished for their faith, “What do I want to say? I myself do not quite understand. Only that today, when for the glory of God Mokichi and Ichizo moaned, suffered and died, I cannot bear the monotonous sound of the dark sea gnawing at the shore. Behind the depressing silence of this sea, the silence of God…the feeling that while men raise their voices in anguish God remains with folded arms, silent.” (page 61). The Father felt that God was not providing any reason as to why he wasn’t trying to stop the heinous actions that the Japanese were eliciting on the Christians. Endo evokes the feeling of silence from God when Rodrigues is left asking: where is God? Why is he not protecting his people? Should Rodrigues even continue to believe in Christianity or should he just apostatize to avoid torture? God’s silence is persistent throughout the novel, consuming Rodrigues’ thoughts as he awaits torture and sees other Christians suffer for their faith. Endo uses multiple perspectives and narration techniques to accentuate the silence Rodrigues feels. The first half of the novel is in letter form, written by Rodrigues, is the record of Rodrigues’ journey. It is unclear who he is writing to, but it provides insight to the beginning of...
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