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By- Pearl S. Buck
Short and Simple Summary of the lesson in English– The Enemy / Summary in simple Words/ Critical appreciation of the lesson – The Enemy
‘The Enemy’ tells the story of a Japanese doctor who hates Americans because of his patriotism as America and Japan were at war. One day an American prisoner of war is washed ashore in front of a Japanese doctor’s house. The soldier is wounded and has evidently escaped from prison.
Dr Sadao’s house was a solitary house on the sea-shore. Dr Sadao and Hana ran to help. The American sailor was bleeding. They thought of throwing him back into the sea. But they could not do so. Dr Sadao carried him home. Hana washes the soldier as Yumi, the servant, refused to do so.
Sadao operates on the American. He returned with his surgeons’ emergency bag. He turned over the wounded soldier who lay unconscious. He washed his back and asked Hana to help him. He wanted her to give the patient the anaesthetic. Hana had never seen an operation and she felt like vomiting. Sadao saw the bullet in the wound. Hana observed that there were red scars on the soldier’s neck and realised that he had been tortured. Sadao removed the bullet from the wound and declared that the American would survive.
Sadao and Hana look after the American. But the servants were becoming restless. The gardener felt the prisoner should have been allowed to bleed to death.
On the seventh day, the servants leave Sadao’s house. They did not work that morning. Hana paid them their wages.
They cried as they left. Hana held back her tears. The gardener was there since he was a boy. Yumi was attached to the children. Hana had to do all the household work on her own. Hana wanted Sadao to get rid of the American quickly. Sadao promised to do something about it. In the evening a messenger in uniform arrived. Hana was paralysed with fright. She felt the servants must have complained and the messenger had come to arrest Sadao. The fears were unfounded as the old general had been suffering from an ailment. Sadao had been treating him and the general was in pain and had sent for him.
The general trusted Sadao. He knew he might need to be operated upon. That is why Sadao was not sent away with the troops. Sadao told the general about the American. The general replied that Sadao was indispensable and could not be arrested.
Then the General suggested a way out. He would send two of his private assassins to his house to kill the American quietly and remove the body.
Sadao agreed to the plan. Sadao waited for three nights. No assassins arrived.
The American was getting better. He thanked Sadao. Sadao found it difficult to keep the American in his house any longer.
He was tired of waiting for the assassins to do away with the American prisoner. Dr Sadao decided to help him to escape. Sadao provided him with his boat. He put food water and a quilt in his boat. He also gave the American his flashlight. There was an uninhabited island very close to the shore.
He told the American to sail to the island. He could live there till he found a Korean fishing boat pass by the island.
Then he could seek help and escape to freedom. He warned the American not to make any fire. He could catch fish and eat it raw.
It was a moonless night when the American sailed away to the island. Sadao was again called by the general. He operated on the general. Sadao told the general that the prisoner had escaped. The general recalled that he had failed to send the assassins as he had forgotten to keep his promise.
He added that it was not because of a lack of patriotism nor dereliction of duty. He was simply absorbed in his own affairs.
Sadao realized that he was safe. But he assured the general that he would ever remain loyal to him.
As the American had left, all the servants returned. Things came back to normal. Sadao remembered the American and hated him. But did not know why he had saved the prisoner’s life.
Summary (2) :
The story is set in the times of World War II. Dr Sadao is a Japanese doctor who is an expert surgeon and scientist. He found an American prisoner of war, at his threshold, who is bleeding and is in a dying state. Initially, Dr Sadao and his wife Hana thought of throwing the unconscious man back into the sea but could not do so. Finally, they brought him home. Dr Sadao operated upon him with the help of his wife. They both had to face the protest of the servants as they refused to clean the man and left in protest.
The man starts recovering slowly. One day, Dr Sadao had to go to see the General. Dr Sadao while treating the General, tells him about the American in his house. The General promised to send his personal assassins to quietly kill the American. Dr Sadao does not tell his wife about this plan and keeps on waiting for the assassins for three nights. But they do not turn up.
By this time, the American has recovered. Now Dr Sadao decides to send him to an unguarded island in the sea. He gives him a boat, a torch, lots of food and water and a flashlight. He instructs him to stay on that island and wait for a Korean boat. He also tells him to signal him two flashes if runs out of food before he takes a boat.
Dr Sadao is again called by General and this time, he has to be operated. Now Dr Sadao tells the General that the American has escaped. The General keeps quiet about all this. Finally, Dr Sadao does not see any !ash of light and realises that the prisoner has escaped safely.