Study Guide

Silence Chapter 8

By Shusaku Endo

Chapter 8

  • The interpreter visits again the next day, once more demanding that the priest apostatize. Rodrigues refuses. Finally, the following day, Rodrigues is dragged from his cell.
  • The guards lead Rodrigues through Nagasaki. As usual, he's mocked by everyone in sight—especially a particularly cantankerous "group of Buddhist monks" (8.15). Hidden among them is Kichijiro. Rodrigues is finally able to forgive him.
  • The interpreter mocks Rodrigues the whole way, telling him that Inoue has guaranteed thatthe priest will apostatize tonight. In fact, they're headed to Inoue's office right now.
  • Rodrigues is tossed into a tiny, dark cell. He can't see anything. In fact, the only thing he can hear is "the sound of someone snoring [...] drunk on sake" (8.40). The priest can't help but laugh.
  • Once again, Rodrigues hears Kichijiro barge into the prison. It's mere seconds before he's dragged out once again.
  • Meanwhile, the snoring has grown louder than ever. Rodrigues mentions this to the interpreter, who looks at him with confusion.
  • That's when Ferreira enters, explaining that this sound is in fact "the moaning of Christians hanging in the pit" (8.70). Oh man...
  • In fact, it was this experience that had made Ferreira apostatize in the first place. He survived several days in the pit, but it was the sound of innocent people's suffering that finally broke him.
  • Then Ferreira lays on the big one, claiming that "Christ would have apostatized for them" (8.96).
  • Although he resists, Rodrigues can finally fight no more. He's led into another room, where he places his feet on an image of Jesus—in fact, he can hear Jesus's voice telling him to do it.