I believe that Stephen’s attitude is not indifferent, but is, instead, an alternate means of expressing his concern for Matsu.As the autumn of 1938 begins, a solid friendship is completely established between Stephen and Matsu. In fact, in Stephen’s mind, Matsu is not a servant anymore, but one of his family members who deserves respect. “I realized for the first time that he’d never had a place of his own. Matsu had spent the entirely of his adult life living and taking care of my grandfather’s beach house” (190). Although there are still a few conversations between Stephen and Matsu, they are now close enough that they can communicate without words as they both know what the other is thinking and feeling. “Most of the time Matsu and I don’t know what to say to each other. […] but I know we both feel lost. It’s as if the house is slowly becoming a stranger to us. Matsu stares hard into each room as if he already sees it as it once was, silent and uncluttered” (207). All good things must come to an end. As the day of Stephen’s departure arrives, Stephen and Matsu sink into a state of depression; however, they both do their best to disguise their emotions. Since they know each other so well, words seem useless. They appear to have a tacit understanding that, regardless of what the future holds in terms of the war between their countries, they will always remain friends.Stephen and Matsu may be physically separated by fate, but the bridge that connects their minds and hearts will never collapse. “‘It is another life. It (the war) will never have anything to do with us,’ he finished” (211). Matsu’s. The Samurais Garden by Gail Tsukiyama.
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