A Comparison of Attitudes Within The Silent Cry

A Comparison of Attitudes Within The Silent Cry

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The Silent Cry is a narrative of a translator called Mitsusaboro
(Mitsu) and his relations with the other main characters, namely his
wife Natsumi and his brother Takashi. In the novel Mitsu is often
portrayed as a man who loves his own space and leads his own silent
life. This might be the reason the author has actually titled the book
“The Silent cry” referring to Mitsu’s cry (narrative). His brother on
the other hand is portrayed as an outspoken person who becomes a
leader and was a part of the acting group that went to the United
States of America with his troupe.

Natsumi on the other hand had never met Takashi and she during the
course of the book gets attracted to him. To describe the attitude of
both Mitsu and Natsumi as a stagnant feeling towards Takashi is very
difficult as their attitudes towards him keep on changing during the
whole course of the book.

The rivalry between the two siblings is demonstrated very early in the
book when their mother on her death bed told Mitsu and Takashi’s
sister that “Mitsu will be ugly and Takashi will be handsome. People
will like Takashi and he will lead a successful life”. These were the
last words that their mother said this shows that Mitsu was probably
always ignored in the household where as Takashi was the one who was
more loved. This would have probably been the start point of Mitsu and
Takashi’s rivalry. This rivalry is even demonstrated when Mitsu tells
Takashi’s “bodyguard” Hoshio that how Takashi was a coward and “the
idea of dying with a lot of physical pain scares him twice as much as
most people” (23) and how he has been a prey to “some fear or the
other” (24). This was almost the first impression we get about Takashi
directly from Mitsu and the fact that he is trying to put his brother
down actually suggests that he is trying to show that he is superior
and those words that his mother had said on her deathbed actually led

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to a lifelong sibling rivalry. Ironically when Takashi arrives Mitsu
is actually surprised by the “shadow of grown-up seriousness in him”
and doubts himself as to whether his views about his brother were
actually correct. However Natsumi on the other hand was glad that she
was going to meet her brother-in-law for the very first time and she
tells Hoshio that “today will be my first meeting with my brother –in
–law, and I’m glad to hear he’s such a decent young man” (25) which
shows that she did not have a very bad opinion of Takashi from the
very beginning. Natsumi however was an alcoholic and Hoshio told them
that Takashi had actually made sure that he left alcohol but Natsumi
stated that if she were told by Takashi to leave alcohol she would not
do so as she “did not wish to be re-educated” (30). From the very
first meeting Natsumi is impressed with Takashi’s attitude and even
tell Mitsu to “do as he says” (37) when Takashi suggests to Mitsu that
they should move to Shikoko and sell the warehouse.

As the plot progresses Natsumi starts getting attracted towards
Takashi and fells that she is attracted to his behavior as “I, myself
have never broken the law” (176). This fact suggests that she was
attracted towards the outgoing behavior of her brother-in-law as she
could probably not find the outgoing, rebellious attitude in her own
husband Mitsu. Natsumi actually is so impressed with Takashi’s
enigmatic behavior that she actually started spending more time with
her and became a part “of the inner circle” (124). Natsumi’s attitude
as a whole was changing .her attitude towards takashi changed and
became that of a more loving and caring person she actually tells him
to “drive carefully” in the city while criticizing her own husband and
saying “Takashi was making himself quickly at home with the young men
of the valley” (83) while Mitsu was still sitting in the corner of his
room in Tokyo. This affection shown by Natsumi towards Takashi
actually makes Mitsu very jealous but as he is a introvert and not
very outspoken he does not really talk to either Natsumi nor Takashi.
This jealousy is actually demonstrated when Mitsu criticizes his
brother in front of a assistant to a village office and calls his
brothers actions as “rash” and those “which invite trouble” (131) even
though he had actually just saved a village kids life.

Natsumi on the other hand had started to “make packed lunches “(110)
for the football team and actually attended every football practice.
She even gave up her alcoholism for even though she had in the
beginning stated that she would not. She starts to feel a sexual
attraction towards Takashi rather his outgoing enigmatic behavior and
actually starts to wear younger outfits in order to impress Takashi.
Her growing love for Takashi and his rebellious football team is
actually shown when she tells Mitsu that she was going to stay back
with Takashi and his team and was not going to return to Tokyo with
him.

Mitsu on the other hand still feels that Takashi is
“effective evildoer” (164) and the fact that Takashi had actually sold
the warehouse without informing him infuriated him more and he wanted
to maintain no relation with Takashi or the valley. This is shown when
after Takashi secretly sold the warehouse Mitsu said that the village
actually became “alien” (133) to him. Mitsu soon started to believe
that he actually became an “alien intrusion on the happy family circle
about Takashi” (148). When he hears that Takashi was actually going to
start an uprising he calls it “immature” behavior and says “Takashi
isn’t that kind to pull off anything that could affect the course of
history” (199). Even when Hoshio tells Mitsu about the sexual
relationship between his wife and Takashi he does not respond to the
situation in a way a husband would, suggesting that he had actually
lost all hope of actually regaining Natsumi’s love and again portrayed
his not so caring attitude towards his own life. This shows a major
emotional, physical and even sexual drift between himself and his
wife.

Towards the end of the novel Mitsu’s attitude towards Takashi changes.
He comes to know of the hideous acts of incest and rape that was
committed by Takashi. He becomes furious and calls Takashi lesser than
a human being and even insane. But following this his attitude towards
Takashi actually changes and he even tries to save Takashi from
actually committing suicide. From this we actually come to know that
Takashi actually did care a lot for the well being of his brother even
though there were seeds of sibling-rivalry that was instilled in his
actions at a very early and tender age. Natsumi on the other hand had
a very strong reaction. She was at the peak of hr anger when she
realized that Takashi, the one she loved had actually committed
adultery. So she, “the broken machine” (224) referring to hr broken
self as she felt betrayed. This shows an expected but a change in the
attitude towards Takashi by Natsumi and Mitsu.

Therefore we can convincingly say that the attitudes of both the
characters towards Takashi changed during the course of the novel. For
Mitsu it was that of sibling rivalry to jealousy and finally feelings
of a brother, but for Natsumi it changed from indifference love an
ended with anger. These changes in emotions actually moved the plot
along an made it even more interesting.
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