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The Enemy

By snehamanda Aug 13, 2013 983 Words


• Dr. Sadao, a Japanese surgeon finds a wounded American soldier on the beach near his house.

• He is unable to throw him back though he was his enemy as he was a doctor and his first duty was to save a life.

• Hana, his wife, though initially reluctant because it was dangerous for all including the children to keep the enemy in the house, joins her husband in operating and nursing the enemy soldier back to health, even though the servants desert the house.

• Hana assists Dr. Sadao in operating the soldier in spite of her physical discomfort and hesitation.

• Though it was war time and all hands were needed at the front, the General did not send Sadao with the troops as he is an expert surgeon and the General needed him.

• Sadao tells him about the enemy soldier but he does not take any action as he is self‐absorbed and forgets his promise that he would send his private assassins to kill the enemy and remove his body.

• Taking advantage of the general’s self‐absorption Sadao decides to save the soldiers life. After the soldier is out of danger Dr. Sadao helps him to escape from his house to safety.

1 Why did the General overlook the matter of the enemy soldier?

The General had an attack and according to Dr. Sadao he could not survive the second attack. So if Dr. Sadao was arrested, no other doctor was capable of performing the operation. So for furthering his selfish needs he overlooked the matter and promises to send his assassins. But he was so self‐absorbed, he forgot about it.

2. Why was Dr. Sadao not sent with the troops?
The General thought that Dr. Sadao is indispensable to his life and can save anyone as he is very skilled. He also does not trust anyone except Dr. Sadao. So he was not sent with troops.

3. How was the plan of the prisoner’s escape executed in the story? The prisoner was successful in his escape only because of the right guidance and help from Dr. Sadao. He provided him his boat, gave his food, made him wear Japanese clothes and also helped him in comfortable sail to a nearby island.

4. Why did the servants leave Dr. Sadao’s house?

They were not in favour of keeping the American prisoner hidden in the house. They also did not want Dr. Sadao to save his life as he was the enemy. Also, if the police come to know of it, all their lives would be in danger. So they left the house.

5. Who was the white man whom Dr. Sadao and Hana found?
The white man was an American soldier as evident from his clothes. They guess that he was a prisoner of war from his cap that said ‘Navy Seals’.

6. ‘‘But Sadao searching the spot of black in the twilight sea that night, had his reward’’. What was the reward?

The “reward” was the escape of the enemy. Dr. Sadao searched the spot of black in the twilight sea that night to see if the man was still there but there was no light. Obviously the man had gone. The escape of the prisoner was his reward.

7 What message does “The Enemy” give?

This is a great lesson in humanism. Dr. Sadao by nursing his country’s enemy proves true to his professional ethics.


1. How did Dr. Sadao rise above narrow prejudices of race & country to human being in need?

Suggested Answer / Value Points

Dr. Sadao

‐ a renowned Japanese surgeon‐ believed in professional loyalty & humankindness

‐ saw an American wounded soldier in a terrible condition on beach in front of his house

‐took him his house with the help of his wife Hana‐successfully removed thebullet

‐nursed him back to his life‐thus rose above racialism.

As a patriot, reported the prisoner’s presence at his house to the Army General. The general decided to have him killed

‐he grew vestless to see him & finally decided to help him to escape form his house

‐gave him boats & instructed him how he could safely escape.

2. Do you think the doctor’s final solution to the problem was the best possible one in the circumstances?

Suggested Answer / Value Points

It is the best possible option

‐general had promised him that he would get the soldier

quietly killed through his private assassins

‐but he forgot to get rid of‐ Dr. Sadao could do nothing

‐he wanted to get rid of the wounded soldier‐as the servants had left the house andnews could be spread

‐so he devised his own plan to get the soldier off to the nearby island

‐managed his boat for the soldier and instructed him. The white soldier

took leave of him and followed his instruction and managed to escape safely. Thus all this proves that that was the only way out for Dr. Sadao to the problem.

3. There are moments in life when we have to make hard choice between our role as private individuals and as citizens with a sense of national loyalty. Discuss with reference to the Enemy.

Suggested Answer / Value Points

Dr. Sadao encounters with the dilemma

‐to live as private individual whose and moral

ethical responsibility is to save the soldier. So as a doctor and as an individual his first job is to save the man

‐takes ethical responsibility, he risks his life, fame and social

status ‐ takes him to his house and makes efforts to save him.

But his other side ‐sense of patriotism and nationalism also involves a report to police, takes the general in confidence, and plans to get the enemy soldier killed but later on

helps the soldier in escaping. Thus Dr. Sadao’s personality is displayed as patriotic citizen.

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