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The Enemy

Book Review   by:ritwik     Original Author: Pearl S. Buck
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The Enemy
Summary and Analysis:

During the World War an American prisoner of war is washed ashore in a dying state and is found at the doorstep of a Japanese doctor. The whole fiction very poignantly deals with the doctor’s moral perplexity as regards making a choice between saving the dying man as a doctor and handing him over to the Army as a patriot. The story involves a doctor’s moral and ethical duties at professional level and patriotic devotion at national level. Moreover he can’t forget his familial duties as well. All these aspects make the story multidimensional and a classic piece of war literature.

Dr. Sadao Hoki is not only a good surgeon but also an accomplished scientist. He is perfecting a discovery that will render wounds entirely clean. Because of this and because the General might need an operation for a condition for which he is being treated medically at the moment, Sadao is kept in Japan instead of sending him abroad along with the troops. Apart from enjoying the status of being the best Japanese surgeon, Sadao is also an extraordinarily good individual with sterling qualities. His efforts to respond to the moral duties as a human being as well as the ethical call of his profession give him nearly a godly stature. Moreover his sense of responsibility as a doctor coupled with human fellow feeling is surely above all racist considerations.

But at the same time, we must not forget that Sadao’s father inculcated in him great values of patriotic devotion and national loyalty when the latter was very young. Sadao has grown up with such great values that it is now quite impossible for him not to respond to the call of his loyalty to the nation. But he can’t respond to the calls of both his professional ethics and the national loyalty simultaneously. This leads Sadao to undergo a very traumatic period right from the time he starts nurturing the wounded American soldier till he finally packs him off at the grave risk to his own life and his family.

Interestingly enough, Hana, Sadao’s wife, supports Sadao through and through. The question arises why she should have helped and supported her husband while neither has she any moral compulsions nor any ethical obligations to fulfill on one hand and on the other she is very much aware of her duties as a citizen of Japan. But we should remember here that Hana makes Sadao a fine wife and they are a happy couple on many counts. She solemnly considers it her sacred duty to help and support her beloved husband who has been going through an inexplicable mental trauma. On the other hand this is not unknown to Sadao that his wife has been going through a lot of trouble for his sake. This pains him so much that he decides to get rid of the white man as early as possible.

It is really strange that people suffer to a phenomenal degree because of their unflagging conscience. Sadao is no exception in this regard. Despite all moral dilemma, he listens to his heart every time and takes the right decision and his wife Hana very gently follows him. As they shelter the white man in their house despite knowing the identity of the man being one of the Prisoners of War and then save the man by means of a successful surgery, all their servants first go against them, criticize them openly and then finally leave the household causing the couple inordinate difficulties. But both Sadao and Hana stoically and undauntedly bear all this and come out victorious in helping their enemy out in the face of stiff opposition from the servants and their own pangs of conscience.

Published: September 11, 2010   
Please Rate this Review : 1 2 3 4 5
  1. Answer   Question  :    1. Describe Sadao's father's room. What does this description add to the story? View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    why the general not send the assasins?? ( 3 Answers ) View All
  1. Answer  :    The General is so self centered that he forgot to send the assassins to Sadao's house. He was totally thinking about his health and the future operations. Monday, July 14, 2014
  1. Answer  :    rtfhghmmgggggggmbntg Sunday, April 27, 2014
  1. Answer  :    The general forget to send the assassins Monday, April 21, 2014
  1. Answer   Question  :    what is the climax of enemy? ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    The climax is that, the enemy of the Japanese(Tim, the American POW) escapes from Japan with the help of Sadao and the case that Sadao had the POW in his home was intentionally hidden since the General himself was not loyal to the country(since he didn't send the assassins). Monday, July 14, 2014
  1. Answer   Question  :    What is the dramatic climax of Enemy? View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    What is the technical climax of Enemy? View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    what was the general's reaction after knowing that sadao kept an american soldier in his house..? View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    what was the dilemma faced by Sadao and Hana? ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    The dilemma they faced was that if they sheltered the white man, they would be arrested and if turned him over as a prisoner he would certainly die. He had lost a lot of blood due to bullet injury and required surgery immediately. The man belonged to the enemy's army and they were conflicting over, whether to save him or not Sunday, February 23, 2014
  1. Answer   Question  :    on the seventh day what happened ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    On the seventh day two things had happened. The cook, the gardener, Yumi had packed up their belonging and left together. Though the servant cried,Hana put up a brave front. The second thing happened thing that happened was the arrival of a messenger to tell the Sadao that he had been called to the palace as the general was in pain again Sunday, February 23, 2014
  1. Answer   Question  :    Where do people take refuge from roaming zombies? ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    In the afterlife. Thursday, August 07, 2014
  1. Answer   Question  :    what is the character of yumi? ( 2 Answers ) View All
  1. Answer  :    Yumi, the maid servant at Dr. Sadao's house, is a dedicated individual. She is dedicated to her master but her nation first. Though she leaves Dr. Sadao's house along with other servants yet is ready to come at calls to serve the children of her master. Devotion towards her country makes her refuse to clean the wounds of the American soldier preventing to serve the enemy. Saturday, January 04, 2014
  1. Answer  :    yumi is a servant in sadao's house... and The main part including her in the story is that she refuses to clean the wound of the american soldier as it was against her morals and ethics.. Thursday, December 12, 2013
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  1. 2. Siddhant

    The Enemy

    Very welll written. :)

    3 Rating Sunday, February 24, 2013
  2. 1. akku

    story

    it was quite nice but not that gud ............................

    0 Rating Tuesday, October 02, 2012
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