Study Guide

Silence Chapter 7

By Shusaku Endo

Chapter 7

  • Rodrigues has his second meeting with Inoue five days later. Inoue likens Portugal, Spain, England, and Holland to four mistresses vying for Japan's attention. In his eyes, it's best to reject them all.
  • Rodrigues retorts by saying that the Church is a much classier lady than the rest. Still, Inoue likens the priest's work to "the persistent affection of an ugly woman" (7.17). Ouch.
  • Rodrigues spends the next few days wracked in doubt and terror. This feeling is amplified after the guards start feeding him more often—why are they being so darn nice all of the sudden?
  • Some time later, Rodrigues watches as three prisoners, Monica among them, are led away by the guards. The following day, several guards arrive at his cell and lead him away, too.
  • As they walk toward Nagasaki, Rodrigues hears a familiar voice—it's the interpreter from before. The man tells Rodrigues that he's about to meet another Portuguese fellow.
  • Assuming that the man is talking about Ferreira, Rodrigues is utterly shocked when he sees "the figure of his companion Garrpe" trudging towards him (7.81). He's with the prisoners from before.
  • The guards wrap the prisoners in mats and toss them into boats. As they row further into the sea, the interpreter explains that these prisoners did indeed stomp on the fumie, but that doesn't matter—what matters is that Garrpe had refused to renounce his faith.
  • The guards throw the prisoners into the sea—they sink below the waves immediately. Suddenly, Garrpe "plunged from the shore into the sea," desperately swimming towards the prisoners (7.112). Eventually, he stops emerging from the water, too.
  • For the next several days, Rodrigues does nothing except sit in his cell and stare at the wall, doubting his faith more than he ever has before.
  • Some time later, the interpreter arrives and tells Rodrigues that he wants to introduce him to someone. Surprisingly, they don't go by foot—they're carried in a palanquin by several people.
  • Finally, Rodrigues and the interpreter arrive at their destination: a "small temple" (7.156). An old monk approaches them, followed by Ferreira. He's wearing a kimono.
  • Ferreira (now known as Sawano Chuan) explains that he's working on a book of astronomy. He's not pleased when the monk lets slip that he's also writing a book that disproves Christianity.
  • Rodrigues rebukes his former teacher. Ferreira responds by showing him a scar on his head inflicted when he was suspended in the pit.
  • Ferreira explains that Christianity can't simply be plopped down into Japan and expected to flourish. What's more, Japanese Christians have practically created a new religion at this point, blending Catholicism with local belief systems. They're not the same as Rodrigues.
  • The following day, Rodrigues is returned to his prison.