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The Enemy I CBQs I NCERT Solution |Board Exam 2024

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Lesson Architecture

Geo-Political Perspectives

  • In the context of the story "The Enemy" by Pearl S. Buck, the war between America and Japan serves as a pivotal backdrop that shapes the narrative's intricacies and the characters' dynamics.

  • The war is a manifestation of the broader historical conflict of World War II, a global struggle that engulfed nations in a relentless battle for supremacy.

  • Within this tumultuous period, the specific reasons for the war between America and Japan are rooted in complex geopolitical and ideological factors.

  • The hostilities between America and Japan were catalyzed by a series of events that strained diplomatic relations and ultimately escalated into military confrontation.

  • The bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, stands as a significant trigger, propelling the United States into the war and prompting the declaration of war against Japan. This attack, carried out by Japanese forces, marked a profound breach of trust and a direct assault on American territory.

  • The narrative of "The Enemy" navigates the intricacies of this war-driven context, exploring how the conflict reverberates beyond the battlefields and onto the lives of individuals.

  • The story delves into the profound impact of war on personal relationships, as well as the challenges posed by cultural differences and the quest for understanding amidst the chaos of conflict.

  • Against the backdrop of this war, the characters' struggles and interactions are emblematic of the broader human experience during times of turmoil, encapsulating the universal themes of resilience, empathy, and the search for common ground in the face of adversity.


  • The story unfolds a moral dilemma of a Japanese doctor emotionally torn between his twin duty both as professional doctor and a real Japanese human being trained abroad.

  • In the end his humanism coupled with professional morality wins over his nationalistic compulsions.

  • He finds a way in between and proves his sterling qualities both as a doctor, as a true Japanese, and a true human being.

  • The real human side of Sadao against the American prejudice makes him a symbol of what a real doctor should be irrespective of racism and narrow minded prejudice.

Glossary of Important Line/Phrases


Concern of Sadao’s Father

  • Dr. Sadao’s father was a serious kind of guy. His son’s education used to be his chief concern. For this he had sent his son at twenty-two to America for medical studies.

  • Sadao returned at thirty. Before his father died, Sadao had become famous not only as a surgeon but as a scientist also.

Reason for not sending Sadao abroad with Troops

  • Dr. Sadao was not sent abroad with the troops during the World War because he was perfecting a discovery which would render woulds entirely clean.

  • Secondly, the old General might need an operation and for that Dr. Sadao had to be there in Japan.

Meeting between Sadao & Hana in America.

  • Sadao had met Hana in America. But he waited to fall in love with her until he was sure she was a a true Japanese.

  • His father would never have received her unless she had bee pure in her race.

  • Sadao often told Hana how he had nearly not gone to professor Harley’s house due to their small rooms and bad food.

  • The marriage between Sadao and Hana had been arranged in the old Japanese way on their return. They were a ahappy couple now with two children.

Discovery of American Prisoners of war on the Sea Shore

  • Both Sadao and Hana saw a man come out of the mists. He had been flung up out of the ocean.

  • Sadao said that he could be a fisherman washed from his boat.

  • The man had managed to come through the dangerous rocks.

  • Sadao went near the man. He was wounded. He was in wet rags of garments. Hana whispered that he was a white man. He was unconscious. He had a ‘young and tortured face.’

  • Sadao began to search the wounds of the man . He saw that on the right side of his lower back a gun wound had bee reopened. Not many days ago he had been shot and had not been tended.

  • The rock had struck the wound. He was bleeding.

Sadao’s Hesitation in rendering treatment to the Prisoner-of War

  • Sadao packed the wound with the sea moss. The man moaned but did not wake . Sadao told Hana that the best thing would be to put him back into the sea.

  • Hana replied in the affirmative. Sadao then added that they sheltered a whilte man in their house, they would be arrested.

  • And if they turned him over as a prisoner, he would certainly die.

Identification of the American Prisoner of War

  • Sadao told his wife that the man looked to be an American. The man was a prisoner of war.

  • Hana cried that he escaped and that was why he was wounded in the back.

  • Sadao said that if the man was ‘whole’ he could hand him over to the police without difficulty.

  • But since he was wounded, he hesitated. Hana also added that they couldn’t throw him back into the sea. So they decided to carry him into the house.

Arrival of the Prisoner of war to Sadao’s House.

  • The wounded man was taken to Sadao’s father’s bedroom.

  • Hana hesitated to take out a soft silk quilt as the man was so dirty.

  • Sadao told her that he would better be washed. He told Hana that if she fetched hot water, he would wash him.

  • Sadao decided to operate the patient at once; otherwise he would die.

  • Sadao further said that at any rate something must be done with him.

Differences in the minds of Sadao’s servants

  • Sadao told the two servants about the man. The old gardener said that the master should not heal the wound of the man.

  • The sea caught him an wounded him with her rocks. If he was healed, the gun and the sea would take revenge on him.

  • Yuni got stubborn saying that she would not wash so dirty a man.

  • Then she told Yumi that they wanted to bring the white man to his senses so that he could be handed over as a prisoner. Yumi refused to wash the American prisoner.

Hana Washes the American Prisoner

  • Hana washed the young man. She rose and put the quilt over the man lest he should be chilled.

  • Sadao asked Hana to bring in the towels.

  • Sada told Hana that she would have to give the man the anesthesia if he needed.

  • He also instructed her how to administer it to the patient.

Sadao starts the Surgery

  • Sadao took out the packing. Blood started flowing more quickly. Hana’s face got sulphur-like. Sadao told her to be courageous. He also told her that if he stopped, the man would surely die. He wanted to get at the bullet in the man’s back.

  • Hana felt choked. She ran out of the room and started retching.

  • Sadao told her that it would be better for her to empty her stomach. Hana had never seen the surgery.

  • Her distress and Sadao’s irritation made him think that there was no reason under heaven that the man should live.

  • Hana returned and Sadao asked her to administer Anesthesia to the prisoner. Hana observed deep scars on the man’s neck, just under the ear.

  • She spoke of them to Sadao. At that moment he felt his instrument had struck the bullet dangerously near the kidney. He felt a great pleasure.

Sadao’s remembrance of his Professor’s Words.

  • He probed with his fingers into the wound.

  • He recollected what his old American professor of anatomy had stated: ‘Ignorance of the human body is the surgeon’s cardinal sin’ and ‘To operate without complete knowledge of the body as if you had made it-anything less than that is murder.

  • ‘Sadao murmured ‘friend’ to the man forgetting that he was his enemy. He took out the bullet.

American Prisoners of war comes back to senses

  • The young man came back to senses and spoke a few English words. But he sank into silence once again. His pulse was faint and feeble.

  • He gave him an injection. The man’s pulse grew stronger. Sadao said to Hana that the man would live.

  • At last the young man woke up. When Hana spoke to him in English, he asked how she spoke English.

  • Hana told him that she been in America for a long time. She told him that he would soon be strong.

  • Sadao told the man that he did not know himself what he would do with him. He should be given to the police as he was a prisoner of war.

Reactions of Sadao’s Servants

  • Hana told Sadao that the servants felt they could not stay if they hid the man there anymore. The cook said hatefully that Sadao was proud of his skill to save life that he saved it.

  • Yumi said that they must think of the children.

  • What will be their fate if their father ( Dr. Sadao) was condemned as a traitor?

Sadao’s Report to the Police

  • Sadao checked the wound everyday He had pulled out the last stitches.

  • The young man would be well in a fortnight. Sadao went back to his office.

  • He carefully typed a letter to the chief of police reporting the whole matter.

Departure of Servants

  • On the seventh day two things happened. In the morning the servants left together. Hana did not show her injured pride as a mistress.

  • She paid them off and thanked them. They were crying but she didn’t .

  • The cook and the gardener had served Sadao since he was a little boy.

  • Yumi cried because of the children. She told Hana that if the baby missed her she might be sent for.

Sadao Meets the General

  • In the afternoon the second thing occurred. Hana saw a messenger come to the house in official uniform.

  • Sadao asked the messenger what the matter was. He replied that he was to go to the palace as the General was in pain again.

  • Hana had a sight of relief. She told Sadao that she had thought they had come to arrest him. Sadao told Hana then that he must get rid of that man for their sake.

  • The General repeated that Sadao had told him that he could stand ‘one more such attack.’ Sadao added that he could not stand more than one attack.

  • The General stated that in that case he could allow nothing to happen to Sadao.

  • The General’s face became expressionless. He asked Sadao what would happen if he had to have an operation and he ( Dr. Sadao) was condemned to death?

  • Sadao replied that there were other surgeons. But the General told that he could trust none.

German’s ruthlessness and American sentimentality

  • The General explained that the best surgeons had been trained by Germans. They would consider the operation successful even if he died.

  • It was a pity that they could not better combine the‘German ruthlessness with the American sentimentality.’

  • Then Sadao could turn his prisoner over to execution and yet he could be sure he won’t murder him while he was unconscious. He asked Sadao if he could not combine those two foreign elements. Sadao smiled that he would try for his sake.

General’s offer of getting the man killed

  • After some moments the General told Sadao that it would be best if the prisoner could be quietly killed.

  • The General had his own private assassins. He asked Sadao to leave the outer partition of the white man’s room open to the garden.

  • ‘The killing would be natural’, agreed Sadao. The General assured Sadao that the assassins were very capable of doing their job.

  • There would be no traces of the killing. Sadao obeyed that it would be best.

Sadao’s restless night

  • Sadao slept badly that night. Time and time again he woke up thinking he had heard the rustling of footsteps etc of the assassins. The next morning he went to the guest room .

  • If the American had gone he could tell Hana that the General had directed so. But he found him asleep.

  • Hana asked Sadao what they would do to the American. He told her that he would decide in a day or two.

  • The third night was to be decisive. Sadao slept a little better. But he woke up at the sound of a crash and leapt to his feet.

  • He asked what was the noise about. Sadao found the American washed and on his feet. Sadao couldn’t go through another night.

  • He decided that he must pack the American off.

Sadao’s Plan to get rid of the American Prisoner

  • Sadao told the American that he was well then.

  • If he put his oat on the shore that night with food, clothing, water etc, he would be able to row to the little island.

  • It was near the coast. Nobody lived on that.

  • He could live there until he saw a Korean fishing boat pass by.

  • As soon as it was dark Sadao put the boat down to the shore. He put food, bottled water and two quilts.

  • Sadao checked carefully the American’s temperature, wound his heart and pulse.

  • Sadao also decided to give his own small flashlight to the American. He told him to signal him two flashes at the time of the sunset if his food ran out.

  • He should not signal in darkness, for it would be seen. He also told him that he could find fresh fish there. He should eat them raw as fire would be seen.

  • The American finally escaped. Sadao slept that night.

Sadao Meets the General Again

  • Sadao had operated the General a week before. When he met him, the General asked him if the American had escaped.

  • After a week when the General’s condition became well, Sadao told him that the American had escaped.

  • The General recollected his promise of getting him killed for Sadao.

  • He also admitted that he had forgotten that and it was very careless of him.

  • He also said that ‘it was not lack of patriotism or dereliction of duty.’

Sadao’s Recollection of America

  • Sadao stood on the veranda gazing out to the sea. In his mind there cam other white faces that he had known-the professor at whose house he had met Hana and his old teacher of anatomy who had insisted on mercy with the knife.

  • He also remembered the landlady at whose house he had unwillingly stayed.

  • It was because he, being a Japanese, had great difficulty to find a place to live.

  • Sadao despised the ignorant and dirty old American woman for the prejudice.

  • Once he had tried to be grateful to her because she had nursed him through influenza. But it was the same as she was no less repulsive to him in her kindness.

  • So white people were repulsive. It was a relief to be openly at war with them. He also remembered the face of the prisoner-‘white and repulsive.’ He wondered why he could not kill him.

  • Dr Sadao was loyal to his profession which is shown when he volunteered to cure the American prisoner of war without caring for his identity.

  • He had to struggle between loyalty to his country and his professional ethics. He decided in favour of his professional ethics.

  • Although his impulse initially guided him to hand over the the prisoner to the police, his humanitarian feelings and professional ethics ruled the roost and compelled him to save the life of the Amercian prisoner of war..

  • Thus humanitarian consideration override man-made barriers of racial prejudice. Love and compassion are the basic tenets of humanity , which has been wonderfully illustrated with the characters of Dr. Sadao and his wife, Hana in the story.

NCERT Solution

1. Who was Dr. Sadao? Where was his house?

Ans: Dr. Sadao was a Japanese national who pursued his medicine in the USA. His house was situated on a spot near the Japanese coast. There were islands nearby this coast, which Dr. Sadao's father used to call as ' the stepping stones to the future for Japan'.

2. Will Dr. Sadao be arrested on the charge of harbouring an enemy?

Ans: Under normal circumstances, Dr. Sadao would have certainly been arrested. But as the General needed him for his treatment, he woudn't be arrested . Moreover, Dr. Sadao confessed to the General that he had sheltered an enemy soldier as he was lying unconscious on the beach. So his chances of being arrested were remote.

3. Will Hana help the wounded man and wash him herself?

Hana's maid Yumi being very much puritan in her approach towards the White soldier and refused to carry out the task of washing the White man. So Hana had to shoulder the task of washing the American soldier herself.

4. What will Dr. Sadao and his wife do with the man?

Ans: If Dr. Sadao and his wife sheltered a white man in their house they could be arrested. It was the World War time and if they turned him over as a prisoner, he would certainly die. Dr. Sadao could not go against his medical ethics. He thought of attending the american prisoner and after the soldier became cured, he could be handed over to the Japanese authorities.

5. What will Dr. Sadao do to get rid of the man?

Ans: Dr. Sadao dragged a boat down to the shore. He put food , bottled water and two quilts. He gave his own little flashlight to him. He told the american soldier to tow to the little island nearby and stay there until the Korean fish passed by.

Reading with Insight

Competency Based Questions

1. There are moments in life when we have to make hard choices between our roles as private individuals and as citizens with a sense of national loyalty. Discuss with reference to the story you have just read.

Ans: We have to make hard choices between our roles as private individuals and as citizens as highlighted in the story 'The Enemy'. This is embodied in the characterization of Dr. Sadao.

In conformity to his medical ethics, he decided to first nurse the American soldier back to recovery stage and then hand him over to the Japanese Authorities.

On the other hand, his patriotic feeling was also prominent while tending the wounded man. He recalls the American prejudice against the Japanese. He feels guilty in attending the American soldier. He writes a report to the police and takes the General in confidence. After the American soldier was nursed back to recovery, Dr. Sadao was very restless to send him back to a nearby island and wait for Korean boats to pass by. It shows his patriotic zeal and loyalty for his country.

Thus we can see that Dr. Sadao as a doctor did not hesitate in nursing the soldier as he showed his ethics in medical profession. On the other hand, he showed his patriotic zeal in sending the soldier to a nearby island. Therefore, he did justice both to his profession as well as to himself as a Japanese national.

2. Dr. Sadao was compelled by his duty as a doctor to help the enemy soldier. What made Hana, his wife, sympathetic to him in the face of open defiance from the domestic staff?

Ans: Hana had to endorse the decision taken by her husband with regard to the enemy soldier. Both Dr. Sadao and Hana were kind and sympathetic by nature. So their values and loyalty towards their profession made them help the enemy soldier. They prioritized human life over nationalistic consideration. Thus in spite of open defiance from the domestic staff, they remained steadfast in their decision to heal the soldier first as they had been trained not to let a man die if they could help to rescue a patient.

3. How would you explain the reluctance of the soldier to leave the shelter of the doctor's home even when he knew he couldn't stay there without risk to the doctor and himself?

Ans: The young man was not sure about his life as he was living in enemy country. However, he says that he ought to thank Dr. Sadao for having saved his life. He expressed his gratitude that if he had not met a Jap like him, he would not have been alive that day. And if all the Japs were like him there would not have been a war. The young soldier understood everything and accepted Dr. Sadao's plan to escape in the darkness. The kind of hospitality and concern that Dr. Sadao and Hana displayed in their treatment of the American soldier made him reluctant to leave the company of such a great personality like Dr. Sadao.

4. What explains the carelessness of the attitude of the General in the matter of the enemy soldier? Was it human consideration, lack of national loyalty, dereliction of duty or simply self-absorption?

Ans: The General came up with a plan to get rid of enemy soldier from Dr. Sadao's house by deputing the private assassins. But unfortunately, he fell prey to his forgetfulness and failed to execute the plan. The General was operated upon a week before. He became totally self-absorbed that he forget his own commitment to Dr. Sadao in relation to the enemy soldier. In the meantime, Dr. Sadao himself took the initiative, packed the soldier off during the night and got rid of him eventually. However, the General recollects his promise after a week and praises Dr. Sadao for his initiative to get rid of the prisoner. He himself admitted to Dr. Sadao that the latter should not think that it was 'lack of patriotism or dereliction of duty' from the General's part. Thus his self-absorption owing to his declining health contributed to his carelessness in dealing with the enemy soldier.

5. While hatred against a member of the enemy race is justifiable, especially during war time, what makes a human being rise above narrow prejudices?

Ans: Dr. Sadao demonstrated qualities of head and heart in the context of his dealing with the enemy soldier. On the one hand, he displayed ethics and commitment to his profession by agreeing to nurse the soldier back to recovery. On the other hand, he showed his loyalty and patriotic fervour by packing the enemy soldier off to a nearby island after the latter became fit enough to escape on his own. In saving the life of an enemy soldier he rose above the narrow prejudice of man-made nationalities. It was possible as he considered human life to be more precious than any other man-made barriers of race, colour and nationalities.

It is owing to the innate values of universal feeling of love and brotherhood in Dr. Sadao and Hana, his wife, that he could rise above narrow prejudices and render his medical assistance to the enemy soldier. This is how Dr. Sadao has become a role model to other doctors as well all human beings. He has displayed exemplary acts of innate goodness in a human being as well the patriotic feeling in a critical situation .

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

Ans: The General forgot his own commitment to get the enemy soldier quietly killed through his own private assassins. Therefore, Dr. Sadao wanted to get rid of the wounded soldier at the earliest as he himself stood in a grave risk of his life. He devised his own plan to pack the soldier off to the nearby island. He put his boat on the shore with food and extra clothing in it. He instructed the soldier how he should conduct himself on that unmanned island and get a Korean fishing boat only to escape. Thus we can say that under the given circumstances, it was the best possible escape plan that Dr. Sadao had devised for the enemy soldier. With his smart initiative he not only saved the life of his enemy soldier, but he himself could get a huge relief against the alleged seditious charges.

7. Does the story remind you of Birth by A. J. Cronin that you read in Snapshots last year? What are the similarities?

Ans: Both the stories are the instances of intense love and profound loyalty for their profession. The American Soldier was in enemy territory and Dr. Sadao refused to take this fact into consideration while extending his medical help to the enemy soldier. Mr. Andrew in Cronin's story also went an extra mile in saving the life of a asphyxiated child while the midwife and nurse pronounced him dead. The following are the similarities in the two stories.

(1) Both Dr. Sadao and Dr. Andrew were loyal to their respective professions and adhered to medical ethics while dealing with their respective patients.

(2) Both of them made utmost use of their expertise in rendering medical assistance to their respective patients.

(3) Both the doctors sacrificed their personal lives and gave priority to saving the lives of their respective patients.

(4) Both the doctors rose above narrow prejudices, race or colour and prioritized only on saving the life of their patients.

Their human values of innate love for humanity and loyalty to medical ethics raise them above the ordinary human beings in the society. Both are the role models for the humanity in general.

Explanation of Important Paragraphs

Page 40 (Flamingo)

“There are other surgeons, Excellency,” Sadao suggested. “None I trust,” the General replied. “The best ones have been trained by Germans and would consider the operation successful even if I died. I do not care for their point of view.” He sighed. “It seems a pity that we cannot better combine the German ruthlessness with the American sentimentality. Then you could turn your prisoner over to execution and yet I could be sure you would not murder me while I was unconscious.” The General laughed. He had an unusual sense of humour. “As a Japanese, could you not combine these two foreign elements?” he asked.


In this excerpt from "The Enemy" by Pearl S. Buck, the General and Sadao are discussing the complex and contrasting qualities of different nations' medical approaches, particularly in the context of war. The conversation revolves around the General's need for a surgery and his desire for a surgeon he can trust.

The General expresses his lack of trust in other surgeons, even those who are skilled, because they have been trained by Germans and might prioritize success from a clinical perspective over his personal well-being. He refers to the perceived "German ruthlessness," which implies a willingness to prioritize objectives or outcomes over individual emotions or lives.

Conversely, the General mentions "American sentimentality," describing the compassionate and empathetic nature that he believes American doctors might bring to their medical practice. The phrase implies that American doctors might be more inclined to consider the patient's well-being and emotions rather than just achieving a successful outcome.

The General's statement highlights the tension between these two contrasting qualities – the strategic, objective-driven approach of the Germans and the empathetic, patient-centered approach of the Americans. He playfully suggests that if these qualities could be combined in a surgeon, it would ensure both his safety and the successful treatment of the prisoner, implying that he wishes for a surgeon who is both skillful and compassionate, bridging the gap between ruthlessness and sentimentality.

This passage delves into the complexities of decision-making, ethics, and the clash of cultural values in the midst of war, further illustrating the intricate dynamics present in "The Enemy."

It seems a pity that we cannot better combine the German ruthlessness with the American sentimentality.

In the context of "The Enemy" by Pearl S. Buck, the statement "It seems a pity that we cannot better combine the German ruthlessness with the American sentimentality" reflects a nuanced perspective on the qualities of different nations and their approaches to war, conflict, and morality.

The speaker, General Takima, is engaging in a conversation with Dr. Sadao Hoki, who is a skilled surgeon and the main character of the story. The General expresses a somewhat lighthearted and hypothetical wish that the best attributes of both German and American attitudes could be combined to achieve an ideal balance. This statement carries several layers of meaning:

1. **German Ruthlessness:** The General refers to the perceived ruthlessness of the German military. This quality suggests an unyielding and determined approach to achieving objectives, even if it means making difficult and harsh decisions. It is often associated with a strategic mindset that prioritizes success and victory in a conflict.

2. **American Sentimentality:** The General contrasts German ruthlessness with American sentimentality. He refers to the compassionate and empathetic nature often attributed to Americans, highlighting their consideration for human lives, emotions, and ethical considerations even in the midst of conflict.

3. **Balancing Perspectives:** The General's wish to combine these contrasting qualities reflects a desire for a balanced approach that takes into account both strategic determination and humanitarian values. He suggests that such a combination could lead to more effective decision-making in challenging situations.

4. **Personal Relationships:** The statement also serves to further develop the relationship between the General and Dr. Sadao. Their playful banter and shared perspectives on the complexities of wartime decisions add depth to their interactions and shed light on their personal values.

5. **Ethical Considerations:** The General's wish underscores the ethical dilemmas faced by individuals during times of war. It invites reflection on the moral challenges of making tough decisions while considering the broader consequences and implications.

Overall, this statement adds a layer of complexity to the story by exploring the interplay between different cultural and national characteristics, as well as the challenges of navigating conflicting values and ethical dilemmas in the midst of war. It contributes to the broader themes of the story, including the exploration of cultural differences, humanity in the face of conflict, and the intricate dynamics of personal relationships during tumultuous times.

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