Uploaded by YI SHIEN CHENG 钟宇绚


Sound of Waves Quotes
Chapter 1
They are forever praying for calm seas
-City vs Island: fishermen pray not for material things but for the providence of the gods
-Sea: lifestyle dependent on sea
The hawk… as though testing them …seemed about to plummet downward ...and then
soared upward again on motionless wings
-Foreshadows Shinji’s coming of age and his maturing throughout the book
-Predicts plot line
Clarity was not that of intellectuality… a gift that the sea bestows upon those who make their
livelihood upon it
{Suggests people do not need to be good at school to have a clear mind and to understand nature;
the sea gives us that ‘gift’ and you will b e rewarded if you work well with nature and respect it}
He was still wearing the same clothes he fished in each day – a pair of trousers
t rousers inherited from
his dead father and a cheap jumper
He did not once stumble {Shows his familiarity with this place, his confidence in himself and
the trust he has for his surroundings}
The girl’s eyes were turned intently toward the sky over the sea to the west
The halibut
… lay faintly gasping, blood oozing from its gills, streaking its smooth white skin
{Rawness and freshness of fish is emphasized, mirroring the rawness of Shinji’s developing feelings}
Chapter 2
Last night he had the strange experience of lying long awake
Unable to remember a day of sickness in his life… afraid this might be what people meant by
being sick {Shinji’s innocence in experiencing love for the first time and its unfamiliarity to
That strange unrest was still with him
The sight of it (the vast ocean) filled his body with the energy of familiar, day-to-day toil, and
without realizing it he felt at peace again {Hard work soothes and brings peace; his health
and psychological well-being is highlighted; routine makes one forget troubles; nature is calming}
Shinji stared out over the dark-indigo sea and felt boiling up within him energy for the toil
that would soon have him sweating {He is prepared and excited for hard work; shows his
passion and intensity}
Shinji took them off the hooks with his bare hands {He is experienced, practiced, strong and
confident in his abilities; he is experiencing nature hands-on}
He had realized… that it was too soon to be thinking about women
Unlike the environment of city youths, always exploding with thrills, Uta-jima had not a single
pin-ball parlour, not a single bar, not a single waitress {This is a direct comparison between
city and island; hyperbole and metaphor give a sarcastic tone; city youths want instant gratification
through playing pinball; the city is shallow and materialistic whereas the island has values with depth
centered on work}
Shinji did not especially burn with impossible dreams of great adventure across the seas {The
island protects Shinji from the city and he has not been exposed to the city because of its isolation.
He feels no need for riches to be happy}
His fisherman’s conception of the sea was close to that of the farmer of the land
The sight of a white freighter… on the horizon filled the boy’s heart with strange emotions
From far away the world came pressing in upon him with a hugeness he had never before
apprehended {White freighter is an important motif that occurs at Shinji’s growth and
coming of age, shows his development as a character; he realizes that the world is bigger than it
seems. This is a crucial symbol of the coming-of-age (or bildungsroman) that occurs in this novel}
Chapter 3
The roar of the tide was constantly revealing the unrest and might of nature {Reminded of
the sound of waves. Living close to the sea = learning to compromise, learning to survive, selfdiscovery, less distractions and more raw, less city thrills, less chance of being complacent and
Shinji was not at all given to brooding about things
The hot flesh felt like that of some complete stranger. It was a blow to his pride to realize the
existence of things within himself that he had never so much as suspected
Yasuo was quite fat… there was a crafty look about his thin eyebrows
He spoke glibly, without any trace of the local dialect
But now, hearing of the party to which in no case would he have been invited, he soon
slipped away and walked alone along the beach toward the stone steps leading to Yashiro
Shinji’s thick chest was not laboring in the least when he reached the shrine {He is physically
fit naturally because of his lifestyle}
He stopped before it, filled with a feeling of reverence
‚Let the seas be calm, the fish plentiful, and our village more and more prosperous… Let me
be a man with surpassing skill in everything… please protect my mother and my brother…‛
The wind came blowing… perhaps it was the sea-god, accepting the boy’s prayer
‚But mightn’t the gods punish me for such a selfish prayer?‛ {His prayer shows the village’s
dependence on nature’s power for survival, his respect for the community and family, his love for his
job and his hesitation in asking for something for himself}
Chapter 4
This was the highest point on Uta-jima… there was nothing but the sound of the sea roaring
up through the vegetation {Reminder of nature - even at highest point of island, the sound
of waves is still present}
The shadow of a bird swept over their heads. It was a peregrine. Shinji took this for a lucky
Hatsue smiled, making not the slightest effort to wipe away the tears… it was as though the
sun had come shining through rain {She is unashamed of her tears because they are natural;
no self-consciousness; foil to Chiyoko simile makes her actions seem natural and beautiful}
Struck by her hands, the breasts seemed more like two small, playful animals {Breasts are
compared to animals because they are both things of nature and suggests fertility, innocence and
The boy was deeply stirred by the resilient softness of their movement
Chapter 5
He was healthy… could swim the circumference of Uta-Jima… yield to no one in any test of
physical strength. But he could not believe that any of these qualities could possibly touch
Hatsue’s heart {Emphasizes Shinji’s humbleness and his desire to be seen as worthy by
City youths learn the ways of love early from novels, movies and the like, but on Uta-jima
there were practically no models to follow {Constant contrast between city and island. City
youths learn from media and secondhand experiences while the islanders learn through firsthand
Shinji had not the slightest idea what he should have done… when he had been alone with
They left the house standing open: there was no such thing as theft on the island {Honesty
and trustworthiness of islanders; close-knit community; morals and values are strong}
The gravestones looked like so many white sails of boats anchored in a busy harbor… boats’
anchors had been thrust so deeply into the dark earth that they could never again be raised
{Death is compared to resting in harbor and is parallel to anchoring your boat, as life itself is the
journey that comes to a natural end. Shows respect, love, tradition. Death = inability to sail again}
He had been saving money out of his own wages for Hiroshi’s travel expenses {Shinji’s
generosity, selflessness and his willing to take care of his family are highlighted}
Shinji’s spirits became pitch-black
Shinji threw his whole soul into the fishing
His feet took him of their own accord back to the darkening beach
‚I found this on the beach. And since Shinji-san’s name was written on it…‛ {Honesty, honor
and kindness}
Her breasts were rising and falling rapidly… Shinji was reminded of opulent dark-blue waves
on the open sea
All the day’s torment disappeared, and his spirits revived w ithin him {He compares Hatsue’s
beauty to nature. Beauty is all-natural. He is soothed by thoughts of the sea}
And suddenly Shinji’s breast too was moving fast
They could plainly smell each other – it was a fragrance like that of salt water {All natural they are like waves, filled with life. There is a constant reminder of the sea’s presence in them both}
Their dry chapped lips touched… ‚It’s like seaweed,‛ Shinji thought
He saw the outline of a white freighter… ‚I know everything about that ship.‛ At least, the white ship
was no longer a shadow of the unknown {He has now overcome his inner battle and gained
experience. This reflects his courage and purity of heart}
Quickened his heart even more than the unknown {Once something previously unknown is
experienced, it becomes even more exciting}
Get-up-and-go {Initiative, courage and instinctiveness is important in a ‘real man’}
Chapter 16
Their hearts filled to overflowing with contentment {Metaphor emphasizes their happiness. Love
becomes legitimate when the two people in love are pure at heart}
Nature too again smiled on them {Everything is drawn together}
Nor was the sound of the waves strong, but coming regularly and peacefully, as though the sea were
breathing in healthy slumber {This is the climax of the sound of waves motif and reflects the peace of
mind that the characters have now reached; an image of harmony is made}
The gods had indeed given him everything he had prayed for {Humbleness to the gods and purity of
heart; faith in religion pays off}
And, in the very fact of their never once having doubted the providence of the gods, they could feel
that providence around them {Trusting your faith leads to good consequences and the absence of
It seemed as though the vast number of lights out over the sea found its counterpart somewhere
among the vast number of stars in the sky {Image of harmony between heaven and ocean, the
human world and the natural world}
Free within the moral code to which they had been born, never once having been estranged from
the providence of the gods… that, in short, it was this little island, enfolded in darkness, that had
protected their happiness and brought their love to this fulfilment {Life and love away from island
will not be sheltered; they are protected because of their isolation from the outside world. They are
now able to consummate their passion morally, with the approval of the village and with respect to
their traditions}