When the word silence is used by Shusaku Endo it is to represent a lack of action. Rodrigues is a very devout Christian who has dedicated his entire life to helping those in need and helping spread the knowledge of his religion. Throughout his journey he finds himself in the opposite situation. He finds himself to be the cause of pain and suffering, brought on by the Japanese government and Inoue in particular. Silence is a story of transformation; not only physical transformations but mental and the transformation of beliefs and concepts. In the beginning of the book you find Rodrigues comparing himself to Jesus, and a self proclaimed weak-minded Christian "kichijiro" to Judas; due to him betraying Rodrigues and delivering him to the authorities. Towards the end of the book Rodrigues realizes how he has betrayed his savor and he starts to see himself and Kichijiro as very similar people. His diminishing faith was due to the fact the he could not comprehend why God remained silent even though his loyal servants were being tortured and killed in the worst possible ways imaginable. Transformation is also seen by his conversion into Japanese. He goes from his European lifestyle to having a Japanese name, Japanese beliefs, and even a wife. The story takes place in a time where Japan is transforming from a land with many influences and civil war to a nation that is unified under a leader that is bent on keeping Japanese traditions alive.
The statement that "Shusaku Endo once likened his Christian pilgrimage to a young boy squirming inside a suit of clothes. The boy may perhaps search endlessly for a better-fitting suit, or perhaps a kimono, but cannot find one. Instead, Shusaku Endo explained, "[I] re-tailored with my own hands the Western suit. . . and changed it into a Japanese garment that would fit my Japanese body." The two garments represent the two different cultures. The suit represents Europe and Christianity, where the kimono symbolizes Japan and...
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