By- Pearl S. Buck
Theme / Central Idea of the Lesson. Analysis of The Enemy
The Enemy deals with the conflict between Man’s humane feelings and the prejudices created by nations at war. It deals with the universal human values which must take precedence over narrow considerations like nationalism. The bond uniting all human beings must transcend the difference between nations.
Theme (2) :
The story deals with the conflict between a man’s duty towards the state and towards his own conscience. In fact, the story raises questions about the ethics of a human being at the time of war. Dr Sadao has been brought up in a traditional and patriotic environment and he dislikes Americans. But, at the same time, he is a doctor and cannot let the American bleed to death. The story condemns racial discrimination and hails the superiority of humanity above any other thing.
The significance of the Title – The Enemy (Value Based)
Justify the title of The Enemy Appropriateness of the Title
‘The Enemy’ is an apt title that has the Second World War as the background. Dr Sadao, being a skilled surgeon saved the life of an escaped American prisoner of war, his enemy, who was wounded seriously and had been washed ashore. Torn between his duty and his integrity as a doctor, he chooses to save the enemy’s 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.
The doctor’s professional ethics urge him to treat the ‘enemy’as a patient. Neither Dr Sadao nor Hana, at any stage consider him their friend. Yet they treat him as a fellow human being should be treated. The title is therefore appropriate.