By- Pearl S. Buck
Important Long/ Detailed Answer Type Questions- to be answered in about 100 -150 words each Value-based questions-
ESSAY TYPE QUESTIONS
Q1. Dr Sadao’s character is an amalgamation of right and wrong. Discuss.
Ans. ‘The Enemy’, by Pearl S. Buck portrays the character of an American trained Japanese surgeon, Dr Sadao Hold. Through his character, the author has shown a conflict of ethics between duty towards the country and compassion towards mankind.
Dr Sadao, being a skilled surgeon saved the life of an escaped American prisoners duty war who was wounded seriously and had been washed ashore. Torn between his integrity as a doctor, he chooses to save his life first and then hand him over to the police. His inner conflict and professional ethics makes him choose the first option. His servants too, desert him for fear of getting into trouble. He is fully aware of the fact that harbouring a prisoner of war would endanger his own life as well.
Dr Sadao had been a victim of racial prejudice during his stay in America. He was well-known for his skill as a surgeon, in his own country so much so, that he had not been sent with the troops during the war. His character, as the story unfolds, depicts an amalgamation of right and wrong. He ignores the ‘wrong’ but assumes the role of a compassionate human being and takes the ‘right’ decision of saving the soldier’s life. All through his effort; he has the undaunted support of his wife Hana.
The General gave him the assurance to get rid of the prisoner but forgot his promise. Eventually, Sadao helps him to escape. He goes to the extent of calling him ‘my friend’. He rose above narrow prejudices and political enmity, disregarded the lurking dangers and open defiance of his loyal servants to help the ‘enemy’ escape. He has transcended racial/ political hatred and had heard the voice of his conscience.
Q2. While hatred against a member of the enemy race is justifiable, especially during wartime, what makes a human being rise above narrow prejudices?
Ans. ‘The Enemy’ by Pearl S. Buck raises a few important issues. Call of duty towards nation versus call of duty towards one’s profession is the major issue in the story. Dr Sadao rescued a wounded prisoner of war who was washed ashore. The prisoner, in a dying state, according to his call of duty, should have been handed over to the police yet his profession and his humanitarianism prevented him from doing so. He resolved to treat him first and then hand him over. However, the patient needed immediate surgery and despite all odds against him, Dr Sadao went ahead and operated upon him, thus saving his life yet being a traitor to his own country.
His domestic servants deserted him out of fear but he rose above narrow prejudices to save the wounded American soldier. Not only that, but he also helped the soldier to escape to freedom after having nurtured him to good health. He proved, in the end, that emotions, prejudices and hatred are man-made but love, compassion for human beings was instinctive. One needs to do one’s duty towards fellow human beings before anything else.
Q3. What did Dr Sadao do to get rid of his enemy?
Ans. Sadao’s first reaction on seeing the young wounded prisoner of war was to search for the wound and pack it with sea moss. He then told Hana that the best thing that they could do was to put him back in the sea. But since he was wounded, Sadao felt they could do was to put him back in the sea. But since he was wounded, Sadao felt they should not throw him back to the sea. He operated on the man successfully. During his meeting with the General, Dr Sadao told him about the prisoner of war. The General promised to send his private assassins to kill the man silently and would even remove the body. Sadao had left the outer partition of the white man’s room open. He waited for three nights and then Sadao grew restless.
He devised the plan of letting the man escape to the nearest uninhabited island. He first made sure that the young man, Tom, was completely healed. He offered to put his boat on the shore that night. It would have food and extra clothing on it. Tom might be able to row to the island not far from the coast. He could live there till he saw a Korean fishing boat pass by. The island was not fortified. He gave the man his flashlight. He helped the enemy escape from Japan and also got rid of him.
Q4. Good human values are far above any other value system. How did Dr Sadao succeed as a doctor as well as a patriot? (Word limit 120-150) (NCERT) [Delhi 2017]
Ans. Fate put Sadao in a trying situation—to uphold his duty to his country or prove his professional loyalty. With his intelligence and dedication, he managed to prove that he could uphold both. Dr Sadao had given a new lease of life to the American prisoner of war. He didn’t want to throw him into the jaws of death again. He asked the young soldier to take his private boat at night. He should row in the cover of darkness to a little-deserted island nearby. The young American could live there until he saw a Korean fishing boat pass by. Food, bottled water and two quilts were put inside the boat. If the food ran out, he could signal two flashes.
He had apprised the General of his harbouring the enemy at his home. The General chose to overlook it. But we shouldn’t forget that Sadao was a doctor. And for a doctor saving a dying man is the foremost priority. It doesn’t matter if the dying man is an enemy.
Q5. To choose between professional loyalty and patriotism was a dilemma for Dr Sadao. How did he succeed in betraying neither? (Word limit 120-150) [All India 2017]
Ans. Fate put Sadao in a trying situation- to uphold his duty to his country or prove his professional loyalty. With his intelligence and dedication, he managed to prove that he could upload both. Dr Sadao had given a new lease of life to the American prisoner of war. He didn’t want to throw him into the jaws of death again. He asked the young soldier to take his private boat at night. He should row in the cover of darkness to a little-deserted island nearby. The young American could live there until he saw a Korean fishing boat pass by. Food, bottled water and two quilts were put inside the boat. Moreover, if the food ran out, he could signal two flashes.
He had apprised the General of his harbouring the enemy at his home. The general chose to overlook it but we shouldn’t forget that Sadao was a doctor. And for a doctor saving a dying man is the foremost priority. It doesn’t matter if the dying man is an enemy.
6. Why did Dr Sadao Hold go to America? Narrate his experience there.
Ans. Dr Sadao Hold was a skilled surgeon and a scientist who was working on his discovery to ‘render the wounds clean’. Dr Sadao was brought up by his father who was a staunch Japanese. His chief concern was Dr Sadao’s education. He was sent to America at the age of twenty-two to learn all that could be learnt of surgery and medicine. He returned at the age of thirty and by that time had become famous not only as a surgeon but also as a scientist. Dr Sadao had a tough time adjusting at America as he remembered that Americans were full of prejudice. It had been bitter for him to live there. He had an ignorant and dirty old woman as his landlady. The best thing at America was to meet Hana, his wife at one of his professor’s house who was a dull man and his wife a silly talkative woman. Her experience at America had not been so good as he had to adjust a lot there being a Japanese.
7. What impression do you form about Dr Sadao as a man and a surgeon on your reading the chapter `The Enemy’?
Ans. Dr Sadao was a skilled surgeon and a famous scientist. His excellence in his professional field was evident from the fact that the General had full faith in him as regards his health. Dr Sadao was devoted to his work and to the cause of the needy. When he saw the American soldier in a wounded condition, he was torn between the natural human instinct to save his life and treat him or as a patriot hand him over to the police.
Dr Sadao saved the life of the man as per his professional ethics as he could not leave a person to die. It was his duty to save the life of a person as a doctor. At this point of time, when Dr Sadao saw this dying man, his spirit of humanity surpassed everything else and so he saved one life irrespective of any colour, caste or creed.
8. Do you think Dr Sadao’s final decision was the best possible one in the circumstances? Why/Why not? Explain with reference to the story, ‘The Enemy’.
Ans. Dr Sadao had saved the life of an American war prisoner as his professional and humanitarian duty. But he was very loyal to his country too. He told the General about the white man and the Genera; promised to send his private assassins to kill him. But due to his self-absorption in his illness, the General forget to send them. Thus, finally, Dr Sadao decided to help the American soldier escape from there. He gave him a boat, flashlight, food and water and asked him to go to a nearby unguarded island. He could look for a Korean boat and escape.
This could be the best solution in the prevailing circumstances. Dr Sadao was in danger of being caught for harbouring a POW. In that case, he would be questioned for the reason to give this enemy a shelter in his house. So in order to save his reputation and the life of the white man, there could be no better way than what Dr Sadao had decided.
9. Explain the reaction of the servants in Dr Sadao’s house when he decided to give shelter to an enemy in the house.
Ans. The servants didn’t like the idea of giving shelter to an enemy in the house. Yumi, the governess of the children, stubbornly refused to wash the white man and threatened to leave the job if she was forced. When Dr Sadao told his gardener about the wounded white man, he got upset and even frightened. He opposed Dr Sadao for treating his enemy. In fact, all the servants in the house were critical of Dr Sadao’s sheltering the enemy. They refused to help him. They were superstitious and fearful of the wrath of nature. They tried their level best to send the white man away. Finally, when Dr Sadao didn’t listen to them and decided to give shelter to the white man in his house, they left the house.
10. What conflicting ideas arise in Dr Sadao’s mind after he has brought the wounded American soldier home? How is the conflict resolved?
Ans. When Dr Sadao brought the wounded American soldier home, he was wondering whether what he was doing was right. The conflict was between his duty as a doctor and as a loyal citizen. As a doctor, it was his professional ethics to help and save a dying man. But as a patriot and a loyal citizen of his country, he was supposed to hand over this man to the police as he was a POW, an enemy. The moment Dr Sadao felt his wound and found that the man needed to be operated upon immediately, he forgot about everything else and his humanitarian virtues to save a man’s life as a doctor superseded and he operated the man and saved his life.
11. How did Dr Sadao help the American POW to escape? What humanitarian values do you find in his act?
Ans. Dr Sadao gave the American prisoner of war a boat, a flashlight, food and water. He told him to go to a nearby unguarded island. He should stay there till a Korean boat passed by and the escaped taking refuge in it. He dressed him in Japanese clothes and wrapped a black cloth on his head. He asked him to signal him two flashes at the same instant the sun drops over the horizon. He asked him to signal him once if he was all right till the time he escaped in a Korean boat. He helped the American soldier to escape and save his life.
This act of Dr Sadao was an act of humanism and compassion. As a doctor, he had saved the life of a man irrespective of any prejudice.Dr. Sadao had displayed himself as a man, full of compassion and humanity by this act.
12. Dr Sadao was a patriotic Japanese as well as a dedicated surgeon. How could he honour both the values?
Ans. No doubt, Dr Sadao was a patriotic Japanese as well as a dedicated surgeon. He had honoured both the values excellently. As a surgeon, his duty was torn save the life of a man irrespective of caste, colour or creed. For a doctor, his patient is beyond any prejudice. When Dr Sadao saw the white man, he realised that the man would die if he was not immediately operated upon. So he took the man to his house and treated him and saved his life. That was his duty as a dedicated surgeon. Dr Sadao was a loyal citizen of Japan and was a true patriot. So when he went to the General, he told him everything and sought his help. Dr Sadao had no pity for the white man and considered him his enemy. The General assured to send his assassins but forgot. So in the end, Dr Sadao had to help the prisoner of war to escape from there.
13. Dr Sadao used his skills as a doctor not only to keep the prisoner alive but also to safeguard himself. Discuss.
Ans. Dr Sadao was an expert surgeon. He saved the life of the enemy by operating upon him. But he was in danger of being caught as a traitor for sheltering an enemy. Very intelligently, he used his skills as a doctor to protect himself. He knew very well that the General relied on him for his health and would never let him have any harm. So he told the General everything and got an assurance from him to get rid of the white man. But when General forgot to do so, Dr Sadao helped the white man to escape. Knowing that General would never take any action against him he told him that the man had escaped. It was only due to his professional skills as a doctor that he could save himself.
14. At what point did Dr Sadao decide that it was time to get the enemy out of his house?
Ans. The General had assured Dr Sadao of sending his assassins to kill the white man. Dr Sadao waited for three nights for those assassins but they didn’t come. Every night was full of stress and anxiety for him. Hana was overburdened with the household work as all the servants had left. They were in constant danger of being caught for giving shelter to an American. At this point of time, Dr Sadao decided that it was time to get the enemy out of his house. He decided to arrange for an escape of the white man in order to save himself. So he arranged a boat, extra clothing, food and water. He gave a flashlight to the American and asked him to go to a nearby unguarded island and from there wait for a Korean fishing boat and escape.