Get here the summary, questions, answers, textbook solutions, extras, and pdf of the chapter The Enemy by Pearl S. Buck of Assam Board (AHSEC / SEBA) Class 12 English supplementary reader (Vistas) textbook. However, the given notes/solutions should only be used for references and should be modified/changed according to needs.
Summary: Dr Sadao Hoki was a Japanese surgeon and scientist who lived in a house on the Japanese coast with his wife, Hana, and their two children. He met his wife in America, where they were both studying. Sadao was not sent to war because he was on the verge of discovering a method to clean wounds, and the General required him for his own medical needs.
Sadao and Hana’s lives are upended one night when an enemy soldier washes up on the shore. He is a young American who was clearly a prisoner of war and had been shot in the back. He had also been severely injured by the sea and was dying. Instead of handing him over to the police, the couple decides to take him home. Sadao performs surgery on him, and they nurse him back to health. Their house servants, on the other hand, are terrified and refuse to be a part of the Hoki household.
Sadao later tells the General about the soldier, knowing the dangers he posed to them. The General promises to dispatch assassins to assassinate him and remove his body. When they do not show up for three nights, Sadao takes matters into his own hands and assists the soldier in escaping. Sadao’s actions transcend the narrow prejudices of war, countries, and continents, demonstrating universal brotherhood.
Textual Questions and Answers- Part I
1. Who was Dr Sadao? Where was his house?
Answer: Dr Sadao Hoki was a Japanese surgeon and scientist who was well-known in his field. He lived in a square stone house on the Japanese coast, where he had played as a child. It was built on the cliffs, with a view of the beach and a row of bent pines.
2. Will Dr Sadao be arrested on the charge of harbouring an enemy?
Answer: By providing shelter to an enemy soldier and operating on him, Dr Sadao was taking a huge risk. If he was discovered, he and everyone else in his house would be arrested. Dr Sadao, on the other hand, informs the General about the soldier, who agrees to assist him rather than arrest him.
3. Will Hana help the wounded man and wash him herself?
Answer: In the face of her husband, Dr Sadao, deciding to help the soldier and the house staff refusing to help him, Hana decides to help the wounded soldier herself and wash him.
4. What will Dr Sadao and his wife do with the man?
Answer: Dr Sadao and his wife decided to throw the wounded enemy soldier back into the sea when he first appeared on their beach. However, they were unable to carry out this callous act and instead took him into the house. Dr Sadao operated on his wound, removed the bullet, and cared for him with Hana until he was able to stand on his own.
5. Will Dr Sadao be arrested on the charge of harbouring an enemy?
Answer: No, Dr Sadao is not being held on suspicion of harbouring an enemy because he was not apprehended and instead had taken the General into confidence.
6. What will Dr Sadao do to get rid of the man?
Answer: When Dr Sadao is dissatisfied with the General for failing to keep his promise to assist him in eliminating the enemy soldier, he decides to take matters into his own hands. He dresses the man in traditional Japanese garb and covers his head with a black cloth. He loads the man into a boat and transports him to a nearby uninhabited island.
He asks him to stay there until he sees a friendly Korean fishing boat passing by that will pick him up and transport him to safety.
Textual Questions and Answers- Part II
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.
Answer: When a wounded enemy soldier washed up on the beach near Dr Sadao Hoki’s house, he and his wife had to decide whether to nurse him back to health or hand him over to the authorities. As private, ethical individuals, their hearts told them to care for him and tend to his wounds, despite the fact that doing so would put them and the soldier in grave danger; as loyal citizens of the country, they knew they had no choice but to hand him over to the police, where he would almost certainly die. They also had the option of returning him to the sea and letting him die there. It was a difficult decision, but one that had to be made right away. Similarly, we are frequently confronted with difficult choices in life, where there is a tug of war between our roles as moral private individuals and as members of society bound by social and political constraints. Both roles frequently require us to do the opposite. The decision then becomes difficult.
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?
Answer: The Sadao family’s domestic staff stood firm against the doctor and his wife’s assistance to the wounded enemy soldier. They were afraid that if they assisted the doctor, they would be arrested. They also feared that if they attempted to undo what they had done, the gun and the sea, with its rocks, which had injured the soldier, would take revenge on them. Hana saw their defiance as evidence of their baseless superstition and stupidity. Though she was terrified of assisting an enemy soldier, she became sympathetic to her husband’s sense of duty, owing to her own conviction of her superiority over the domestic staff. She knew that because she was smarter and more compassionate than they were, she had to help her husband nurse the soldier back to health.
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?
Answer: The soldier was hesitant to leave the safety of the doctor’s home because he knew he would be protected and cared for by the doctor and his wife as long as he remained there. Outside of their home, in enemy territory, danger lurked around every corner, and he was almost certain to be apprehended, held as a prisoner of war, and tortured once more. He was not going to be safe in any case. As a result, despite endangering himself and his rescuers, he hesitated and was almost afraid to leave.
4. What explains 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?
Answer: Dr Sadao was promised by the general that he would send expert assassins to kill the enemy soldier and even offered to have his body removed. However, Dr Sadao waited for the men to come and do their work night after night, but they never came. After the third night, he took matters into his own hands and assisted the soldier in escaping.
The General had become so preoccupied with himself that he had completely forgotten about his promise to the doctor. There’s a chance he ‘forgot’ about his promise on purpose out of human compassion for the American soldier. He might have mentioned taking the extreme step of dispatching assassins, hoping that the doctor would then find a way out on his own.
5. While hatred against a member of the enemy race is justifiable, especially during wartime, what makes a human being rise above narrow prejudices?
Answer: A man’s sense of professional responsibility, combined with his ethical upbringing, can help him rise above narrow prejudices. Wars result from a few people’s limited dispositions when unnatural bonds are imposed on all citizens of the warring nations. Because they have caused the deaths of loved ones and young people, hatred grows toward the people of the enemy country. A person’s upbringing, morality, and sense of duty, on the other hand, cause him or her to rise above such narrow prejudices. Dr Sadao’s medical training caused him to automatically respond to the enemy soldier’s will, and his fingers started working to heal even before his mind had decided to. His wife, Hana, overcame her own fear and anxiety to help him.
6. Do you think the doctor’s final solution to the problem was the best possible one in the circumstances?
Answer: The doctor’s final solution to the problem was unquestionably the best possible under the circumstances. He loaded the soldier onto a boat and sent him to an island, where he would most likely be picked up by a Korean fishing boat. His decision to give him a flashlight was also wise because he knew the soldier had found safety on a Korean boat when there was no flash from the island one night. Dr Sadao will be at ease.
Additional/extra questions and answers/solutions
1. Why was Dr Sadao exempted from fighting alongside Japanese troops in the war?
Answer: Dr Sadao was not sent to war to fight alongside the Japanese troops because he was working on a discovery that would completely heal wounds as a surgeon and scientist. Another reason was that there was a good chance the General would have to be operated. Dr Sadao was the only one he trusted to do it.
2. When was the first time Sadao met his wife, Hana? Why did it take him such a long time to love her?
Answer: Sadao met Hana for the first time in America, where they were both studying. They met at a professor’s house because the professor and his wife were eager to assist their international students and had invited them to their home.
Sadao’s father would not have accepted a non-Japanese daughter-in-law. As a result, Sadao had to be certain of this fact before falling in love with Hana.
3. What did Dr Sadao and Hana see being thrown to shore from the sea as they stood together? What was their reaction?
Answer: Dr Sadao and Hana were standing together when they noticed a man thrown ashore from the sea. He appeared to struggle to stand and stagger a few steps before being enveloped by the mist. He was crawling on his hands and knees when they saw him again, and then he fell flat on his face.
Sadao and Hana dashed down their house steps towards the beach, believing it was a fisherman who the rocks would badly injure in the sea beyond the beach.
4. What did they see when they examined the man, and what conclusions did they draw about who he was?
Answer: When Sadao and Hana arrived at the injured man’s location, they noticed he was dressed in rags and wore a cap. When Sadao turned his head, they noticed the man was white, with long blond hair and a beard that has not been trimmed in weeks. The man had been shot in the back, and the gunshot wound was bleeding from being hit by a rock at sea. Sadao noticed the letters “US Navy” written on the man’s cap and realised he was a prisoner of war who had escaped.
36. What precautions were taken to ensure the safe arrival of POWs on another island?
Answer: There were many precautions taken to ensure his safe arrival. Dr Sadao arranged for a boat, some water bottles, and a handful of Japanese garments. Additionally, he gave him a flashlight and instructed him to signal once if he arrived safely and twice if he ran out of food. He desired assurance that the prisoner-of-war had arrived safely.
37. Explain Hana’s dilemma in detail.
Answer: Hana was unable to comprehend why she and her husband were unable to decide what to do next regarding the fate of the prisoner. She feared that one of the servants had informed the police when she saw a messenger in an official uniform at her door. However, the messenger’s sole mission was to inform Dr Sadao that the General is in pain and wishes to see him immediately. Sadao decided to intervene with the soldier after realising Hana’s situation.
38. Why did Sadao aid the American soldier’s escape? How did he do it?
Answer: Expertise in his profession and compassion as a person were Sadao’s most defining characteristics. As a responsible physician, he could not have allowed the prisoner to die from his wounds, so he acted to save his life. Simultaneously, he acted as a responsible citizen and informed the General of the presence of the enemy. Sadao decided to spare the American’s life when the General’s men failed to arrive to execute him. Dr Sadao lent his boat to the young soldier, arranged food for him, and provided him with vital information to aid in his successful escape. This is how Sadao assisted the American soldier in evading capture and ultimately saved his life.
39. Describe Dr Sadao’s credentials as a surgeon and scientist.
Answer: Dr Sadao Hoki, a Japanese surgeon and scientist, and his wife Hana and two children resided on the Japanese coastline. His residence was situated on the coast, where he had spent his youth. Sadao’s education was his father’s top priority. He was sent to the United States at age 22 to study surgery and medicine. As an obedient son, Sadao also returned to serve his country and people as a renowned surgeon and scientist. Despite the fact that there was a war going on, he was not sent overseas with the troops for two reasons: he was perfecting a discovery on wounds, and the old General might need him for an operation.
40. Who was the “white enemy” that was wounded? Discuss briefly.
Answer: When the couple were enjoying the mist at dusk on their porch, they spotted movement near the water. A man was “flung” from the ocean, walked a few steps, and then lost consciousness. His injuries were severe. They determined that the white man was a sailor from an American warship who had escaped as a war prisoner. Due to a gunshot wound and a rock injury, he had lost considerable blood.
The couple were aware that they would be labelled traitors if they did not report the incident to the police or the army, which would ultimately result in the man’s death. However, they could not bring themselves to do what seemed the best course of action at the time, i.e., throw the man back into the sea. Before determining the dying man’s fate, the physician considered treating him out of compassion.
41. Why did Dr Sadao share the secret with General?
Answer: Dr Sadao revealed the enemy’s identity to the general when he was summoned to his home for medical assistance. Looking at his current health conditions, the General realised that he could require Sadao’s surgical expertise at any time, and he was self-centred enough to avoid putting Sadao in danger. He assured Sadao that he would dispatch his personal assassins to eliminate the American soldier and remove his body from Sadao’s residence. Hana was not divulged the assassins’ secret by Dr Sadao. He was restless and unable to sleep soundly for two consecutive nights. However, he found Tom alive every morning when he awoke, which made him feel uneasy.
42. Briefly describe the character of Hana.
Answer: Hana exemplifies the characteristics of a loving, devoted, and caring wife. She always has love and affection for Sadao in her heart. She remains the same loving wife despite having been married for so many years. As she assisted him with anaesthetics during the operation on Tom, she frequently assisted Sadao during her medical procedures. She cherishes her family. When a uniformed man arrives at the gate, she becomes terrified. She is also a woman with a kind heart because she wished for Tom’s rescue. She has a strong work ethic. She washes Tom herself when Yumi, the nurse, refuses to do so. Sadao does all the housework herself when her servants leave in protest. She lacks the bravery of Sadao, however.
43. Write a character sketch of Dr Sadao, as depicted in your lesson titled “The Enemy.”
Answer: The only son of his father was Dr Sadao Hoki. His father had a profound effect on him and was solely concerned with his education. Therefore, at the age of twenty-two, he was sent to America to study surgery and medicine. After determining that Hana was Japanese, he wed her in America. This demonstrates Sadao’s love of Japan.
Before being anything else, Dr Sadao was a doctor. A wounded and bleeding prisoner was discovered by him and Hana. Sadao faced a predicament as it was an American who was injured and America and Japan were at war. He could be arrested if he provided shelter to a white man. If he handed him over to the police, he would certainly perish. They viewed every American as an enemy. Still, he brought the injured man home and washed his wounds. He was aware that if the patient did not undergo surgery, he would die.
The ire and displeasure of their servants were directed at Dr. Sadao and his wife. Yumi wished to avoid washing a white man. The elderly gardener believed his master should permit the death of the white man. Dr Sadao disregarded these warnings. He heeded the call of his profession and operated on the war prisoner. The heart of Dr Sadao overflowed with humanity, and he made elaborate plans for his escape to avoid being apprehended. He anchored his boat to the shoreline with provisions and spare clothing. He made all of these sacrifices while exposing himself and his wife to the greatest danger. He could even be executed for providing refuge to an enemy and facilitating his escape. He rose to the occasion and acted as only a devoted physician could have under the circumstances.
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