Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Biblical Allusions in Silence

The most obvious one is Kichijiro as Judas Iscariot. There is even a passage in the novel where the author spells this allusion out for those who might not be so well versed in their New Testament. 
"From childhood the priest had memorized every detail of that decisive morning of April 7th. This emaciated man was his perfect ideal. His eyes, like those of every victim, were filled with sorrowful resignation as he looked reproachfully at the crowd that ridiculed and spat at him. And in this crowd stood Judas. Why had Judas followed after? Was he incited by lust for revenge--to watch the final destruction of the man he had sold? Anyhow, whatever about that, this case was just like his own. He had been sold by Kichijiro as Christ has been sold as Judas; and like Christ he was now being judged by the powerful ones of this world. Yes, his fate and that of Christ were quite alike; and at this thought on that rainy night a tingling sensation of joy welled up within his breast. This was the joy of the Christian who relishes the truth that he is united to the Son of God."
The amount Kichijiro sells Rodrigues for is comparable to the thirty pieces of silver that Judas sold Christ for. 

But, I don't really feel that Rodrigues is our Christ of this story. When presented with the opportunity, Rodrigues shies away from suffering for the good of his people. Now, Christ pleaded for an easier way in the Garden but didn't run away from his duty. Rodrigues simply gives up.

At the end of the novel--POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD--Rodrigues tramples on the face of Christ (the Fumie as they call it). And after he places his foot on the image of Christ the cock crows. This is an allusion to Simon Peter denying Christ three times and then the cock crowed. The question would then be, were there two other times where Rodrigues denied Christ in the novel? I can't think of other times when Rodrigues denied Christ, but then again, I didn't pay super close attention to this novel. I do like the Rodrigues = Simon Peter interpretation better than the Rodrigues = Christ interpretation personally.

The problem then becomes who Ferreira represents in all of this. As I was reading I was thinking that Ferreira would be Simon Peter, but the last line of chapter nine refutes that idea. 

This is one of the frustrating things about this book. Endo uses these biblical allusions, but I want every character to have a symbolic counterpart and they don't. I feel that it detracts from the power that this novel could have. 

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