Chapter 3 – The Enemy Questions and Answers: NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English (Vistas)

Class 12 English (Vistas) NCERT book solutions for Chapter 3 - The Enemy Questions and Answers.


Q1. Who was Dr Sadao? Where was his house?

Ans. Dr Sadao Hoki was an eminent Japanese surgeon and scientist. He had spent eight valuable years of his youth in America to learn all that could be learnt of surgery and medicine there. He was perfecting a discovery which would render wounds entirely clean.
Dr Sadao’s house was built on rocks well above a narrow beach that was outlined with bent pines. It was on a spot of the Japanese coast.

Q2. Will Dr Sadao be arrested on the charge of harbouring an enemy?

Ans. Dr Sadao knew that they would be arrested if they sheltered a white man in their house. The wounded man was a prisoner of war who had escaped with a bullet on his back. Since Japan was at war with America, harbouring an enemy meant being a traitor to Japan. Dr Sadao could be arrested if anyone complained against him and accused him of harbouring an enemy.

Q3. Will Hana help the wounded man and wash him herself?

Ans. The gardener and the cook were frightened that their master was going to heal the wound of a white man—an enemy. They felt that after being cured he (the white man) will take revenge on the Japanese. Yumi, the maid, was also frightened. She refused to wash the white man. Hana rebuked the maid who had refused to wash a wounded helpless man. Then she dipped a small dean towel into the steaming hot water and washed the white man’s face. She kept on washing him until his upper body was quite dean. But she dared not turn him over.

Q4. What will Dr Sadao and his wife do with the man?

Ans. Dr Sadao and his wife, Hana, had told the servants that they only wanted to bring the man to his senses so that they could turn him over as a prisoner. They knew that the best possible course under the circumstances was to put him back into the sea. However, Dr Sadao was against handing over a wounded man to the police. He dedded to carry him into his house. He operated upon him and extracted the bullet from his body. He kept the white man in his house. He and his wife looked after him and fed him till he was strong enough to walk on his legs. .

Q5. Will Dr Sadao be arrested on the charge of harbouring an enemy?

Ans. It was the seventh day since Dr Sadao had operated upon the young white man. Early that morning, their three servants left together. In the afternoon, a messenger came there in official uniform. He told Dr Sadao that he had to come to the palace at once as the old General was in pain again.
Hana, who had thought that the officer had come to arrest Dr Sadao, asked the messenger, “Is that all?” The baffled messenger enquired if that was not enough. She tried to cover her mistake by expressing regret and admitted that the General’s illness was enough. Dr Sadao told the General about the white man he had operated upon. Since Dr Sadao was indispensable to the General, he promised that Dr Sadao would not be arrested.

Q6. What will Dr Sadao do to get rid of the man?

Ans.Dr Sadao had told the old General that he had operated upon a white man. The General promised to send his private assassins to kill the man silently and secretly at night and remove his body. Dr Sadao left the outer partition of white man’s room open. He waited anxiously for three nights. The servants had left their house. His wife Hana had to cook, clean the house and serve the wounded man. She was unaccustomed to this labour. She was anxious that they should get rid of the man.
Dr Sadao told Tom, the white man, that he was quite well then. He offered to put his boat on the shore that night. It would have food and extra clothing in it. Tom might be able to row to the little island which was not far from the coast. It had not been fortified. The .water was quite deep. Nobody lived there, as it was submerged in storm. Since it was not the season of storm, he could live there till he saw a Korean fishing boat pass by. He gave the man his flashlight. He was to signal twice with his flashlight at sunset in case his food ran out. In case, he was still there and all right, he was to signal only once.
Dr Sadao gave the man Japanese clothes and covered his blond head with a black doth. In short, Dr Sadao helped the man to escape from Japan. At the same time he also got rid of the man.


Q1.What do you learn about Sadao’s father from the story ‘The Enemy’?

Ans. Sadao’s father was a visionary. He knew that the islands near the sea coast were the stepping stones to the future for Japan. No one could limit their future as it depended on what they made it. His son’s education was his chief concern. He sent his son to America at the age of twenty-two to learn all that could be learned of surgery and medicine. He loved the Japanese race, customs and manners.

Q2. Why was Dr Sadao being kept in Japan and not sent abroad with the troops?

Ans. Sadao was an eminent surgeon and a scientist. He was perfecting a discovery which would render wounds entirely clean. Secondly, the old General was being treated medically for a condition for which he might need an operation. Due to these two reasons Sadao was being kept in Japan and not sent abroad with the troops.

Q3. Who was Sadao’s wife? Where had he met her? Why did he wait to fall in love with her?

Ans. Hana was Sadao’s wife. He had met her by chance at an American professor’s house. Professor Harley and his wife had been kind people. They held a party at their home for their few foreign students. Hana was a new student. He waited to fall in love with her until he was sure she was Japanese. It was because his father would never have received her unless she had been pure in her race.

Q4. When and where did Sadao marry Hana? How was their married life?

Ans. Sadao married Hana when they returned to Japan after finishing their work at medical school. Sadao’s father saw her. The marriage was then arranged in the old Japanese way. They had been married years enough to have two children. Their married life was quite happy. They still loved each other.

Q5. ‘Both of them saw something black came out of the mists’. What did they see and how did they react to it?

Ans. It was a man who had been flung up out of the ocean, to his feet by a breaker. He staggered a few steps with his arms above his head. Then the curled mists hid him again. When they next saw him, he was on his hands and knees crawling. Then they saw him fall on his face and lie there. Sadao thought that he was perhaps a fisherman who had been washed from his boat. He ran quickly down the steps. Hana followed him.

Q6. In which state did Sadao and Hana find the man? What did they learn about him?

Ans. The man lay motionless with his face in the sand. As they turned the man’s head, they saw that he was a white man with long yellow hair. His young face had a rough yellow beard. He was unconscious. From his battered cap they learnt that he was a sailor from an American warship.

Q7. What did Sadao learn about the white man’s wound?

Ans. Sadao saw that a gun-wound had been reopened on the right side of his lower back. The flesh was blackened with powder. The man had been shot recently and had not been tended. It was bad chance that the rock had struck the wound and reopened it.

Q8. How can you say that Sadao’s head and hands worked in different directions?

Ans. Sadao’s head told him to put the man back into the sea as he was an American soldier-an enemy of Japan. His trained hands seemed, of their own will, to be doing what they could to stanch the fearful bleeding. He packed the wound with the sea-moss that strewed the beach. The bleeding was stopped for the moment.

Q9.What dilemma did Sadao face about the young white man?

Ans. The white man was wounded. He needed immediate medical care. Dr Sadao could do so. But if they sheltered a white man in their house, they would be arrested. On the other hand, if they turned him over as a prisoner, he would certainly die. Dr Sadao was in a fix. It was difficult for him to come to any decision.

Q10.What was the attitude of Sadao and Hana towards the white man?

Ans. They stared upon the inert figure of the white man with a curious repulsion. Both talked of putting him back into the sea, but neither of them was able to do so alone. They hesitated. Sadao said that being American, the man was his enemy. He would have handed him over to the police if he had not been wounded. But since he was wounded… He left the sentence incomplete, implying that he couldn’t do so.

Q11.What solution did Hana offer to resolve Sadao’s predicament?

Ans. Hana found that neither of them could throw the white man back into the sea. There was only one thing to do. They must carry the man into their house. They must tell the servants that they intended to hand him over to the police. She reminded her husband of his position and children. It would endanger all of them if they did not give that man over as a prisoner of war.

Q12. How did Sadao and Hana take the man inside their house?

Ans. Together they lifted the man. He was very light. His arms were hanging down. They carried him up the steps and into the side door of the house. This door opened into a passage. Down the passage, they carried him towards an empty bedroom. They laid the man on the deeply matted floor.

Q13. Hana took out a soft quilt from the wall cupboard. Then she hesitated. Why? What did her husband suggest? Why did she not agree?

Ans. The quilt was covered with flowered silk and the lining was pure white silk. Secondly, the man was quite dirty. So Hana hesitated. Her husband suggested that he should be washed. He offered to wash him, if she was willing to fetch water. She could not bear for him to touch the man and offered to tell Yumi, the maid, to wash him.

Q14. Why did Dr Sadao had to touch the man? What did he observe?

Ans. The utter pallor of the man’s unconscious face moved Dr Sadao first to stoop and feel his pulse. It was faint but it was there. Then he put his hand against the man’s cold breast. The heart too was yet alive. He observed that the man would die unless he was operated on.

Q15. Why did Hana come behind Sadao when he went out of the room quickly?

Ans. Hana did not wish to be left alone with the white man. He was the first she had seen since she left America. He seemed to have nothing to do with those whom she had known there. Here he was her enemy, a menace, living or dead.

Q16. How did the servants react when their master told them about the wounded white man?

Ans. The servants were frightened and puzzled. The old gardener told Hana that the master ought not to heal the wound of that white man. He said that the white man ought to die. First he was shot. Then the sea caught him and wounded him with her rocks. If the master healed what the gun and the sea had done, they would take revenge on them.

Q17. Why had Hana to wash the wounded man herself?

Ans. Hana told Yumi to fetch hot water and bring it to the room where the white man was. Yumi put down the wooden bucket, but refused to wash the dirty white man. Hana cried at her severely. She told her to do what her master commanded her to do. The fierce look of resistance upon Yumfe dull face made Hana afraid. Under these circumstances, Hana had no option but to wash the white man herself.

Q18. How did Hana wash the wounded man?

Ans. First, Hana untied the knotted rugs that kept the white man covered. When she had his breast bare, she dipped a small clean towel into the steaming hot water and washed his face carefully. She kept on washing him until his upper body was quite clean. But she dared not turn him over for fear of the wound.

Q19. What help did Dr Sadao seek from Hana while operating the wounded white man?

Ans. First, he asked her to fetch towels. Then he told her that she would have to give him the anaesthetic if he needed it. Since, Hana had never done so, he told her that it was easy enough. He asked her to soak the cotton with anaesthetic and hold it near his nostrils. When he breathed badly, she had to move it away a little. Thus, Hana proved herself helpful to her husband.

Q20. How did Hana react to Sadao’s absorption in his work?

Ans. Sadao went on with his swift concise movements. He did not seem to hear her. She was used to his absorption when he was at work. She wondered for a moment if it mattered to him what the body was upon which he worked so long as it was for the work which he did so excellently.

Q21. What did Sadao remark when he peered into the wound with his bright surgeon’s light?

Ans. He remarked that the bullet was still there. He said so with cool interest. He then wondered
how deep that wound was. If it was not very deep it was possible that he could get the bullet. He observed that the bleeding was not superficial. The man had already lost much blood.

Q22. What made a cool surgeon (like Dr Sadao) speak sharply to his wife? How did she react to his command?

Ans. The sight of blood made Hana choke. Her face turned pale. She had never seen an operation. Dr Sadao spoke sharply and asked her not to faint. He did not put down his exploring instrument. He argued that if he stopped then the man would surely die. Hana clapped her hands to her mouth, leaped up and ran out of the room. He heard her retching in the garden. But he went on with his work.

Q23. What forced Dr Sadao to be impatient and irritable with his patient?

Ans. Sadao heard Hana retching in the garden and said that it would be better for her to empty her stomach. He went on with his work. He had forgotten that she had never seen an operation. But her distress and his inability to go to her at once made him impatient and irritable with the man who lay like dead under his knife.

Q24. What instructions did Sadao give to Hana to administer the anaesthetic and when?

Ans. The man was beginning to stir. Hana asked Sadao where the anaesthetic was. Sadao motioned with his chin. She now had the bottle and some cotton in her hand. Sadao instructed her to saturate the cotton with anaesthetic and hold it near the man’s nostrils. She had to move it away a little when he breathed badly.

Q25. How did Hana react to the stories they heard of the sufferings of the prisoners of war? What made her think so?

Ans. These stories came like flickers of rumour, told by word of mouth. They were always contradicted. Hana wondered whether these stories were true. In the newspapers the reports were that people received the Japanese armies gladly with cries of joy at their liberation.

Q26. In what context does Hana remember General Takima? What does she infer?

Ans. General Takima was a ruthless despot. At home he beat his wife cruelly. No one mentioned it now because he had won a victory in a battle in Manchuria. Hana remembers him in the context of the sufferings of the prisoners of war. She infers that if a man (like General Takima) could be so cruel to a woman in his power, he would be quite cruel to a prisoner. The deep red scars on the white man’s neck confirmed her apprehension.

Q27. “Ml thought left him. He felt only the purest pleasure.” Why, do you think, did Dr Sadao behave in this way?

Ans. Dr Sadao was concentrating hard on locating the bullet. He felt the tip of his probing instrument strike against something hard, dangerously near the kidney. He was filled with the purest pleasure at the success of his skill. He thought only of curing his patient and did not answer even his wife’s query.

Q28. Dr Sadao was ‘familiar with every atom of this human body’. Who had seen to that knowl¬edge and how?

Ans. It was Sadao’s old American professor of Anatomy who had seen to the perfect knowledge of human body. He would tell his students, ‘Ignorance of the human body is the surgeon’s cardinal sin.” He would go a step further and impress upon the budding surgeons to have as complete knowledge of the body as if they had made it. To operate with anything less than that meant a murder.

Q29. Comment on Dr Sadao’s attitude to the white man in the light of the following:
(i) “Sadao took up his wrist, hating the touch of it.”
(ii) “But certainly I do not want this man to live.”
(iii) “This man will live in spite of all.”

Ans. Sadao has an ambivalent attitude towards the wounded white man. Since he is their enemy, he hates touching his wrist. As a patriot he does not want that man to live. However, as a surgeon, he does not want the man to die after a successful operation. Hence, in order to revive his faint, feeble pulse, he gives him an injection. The pulse now flutters and then grows stronger. The survival of the man is the victory of the surgeon’s skill.

Q30. How did Harm look after the white man? How did he react?

Ans. Hana had to serve him herself, for none of the servants would enter the room. She did not like him and yet she was moved to comfort him. She found the man quite weak and terrified. She knelt and fed him gently from the porcelain spoon. He ate unwillingly but still he ate.

Q31. How did Dr Sadao respond to the boy’s query: “What are you going to do with me?…Are you going to hand me over?”

Ans. Dr Sadao examined the boy and then told him that he did not know himself what he would do with the boy. He ought to give him to the police as he was a prisoner of war.

Q32. What did Hana inform Sadao about the servants? How did Sadao react to it?

Ans. The servants felt that they could not stay there if their master sheltered the white man there any more. They also accused them of liking Americans and of having forgotten to think of their own country first. Dr Sadao protested that it was not true. Americans were their enemies. But he had been trained not to let a man die if he could help him. Hana told him that the servants could not understand it.
Q33. ‘Somehow the household dragged on’. How did the servants behave after Sadao had operated upon the American? What opinions did they express?
Ans. The servants grew more watchful day by day. Their courtesy was as careful as ever, but their eyes were cold towards Hana and Sadao. The old gardener was sore, why Sadao had not let the young man bleed when he was so near the death. The cook remarked contemptuously that being proud of his skill to save life that he saves any life. Yumi added that they must think of the children. She enquired: “What will be their fate if their father is condemned as a traitor?”

Q34. What two things happened on the seventh day after that?

Ans. In the morning the servants left together with their belongings tied in large square cotton kerchiefs. Hana paid them off gracefully and thanked them for all that they had done for her. In the afternoon, a messenger came to the door in official uniform.

Q35. How did Hana react when she saw a messenger at the door in official uniform?

Ans. Hana was working hard on unaccustomed labour. When she saw the uniformed messenger, her hands went weak and she could not draw her breath. She feared that the servants must have told everything already. She thought that they had come to arrest Dr Sadao.

Q36. Why, do you think, had the messenger come to Dr Sadao’s house? How did Hana react to the message and what did the messenger take exception to?

Ans. The messenger had arrived there to ask Dr Sadao to come to the palace as the old General was in pain again. In her anxiety for her husband’s safety, Hana asked if that was all. The messenger took exception to the word ‘all’ and enquired if that was not enough. Hana  apologised for the error.

Q37. Why did Dr Sadao tell the General everything about the man he had operated upon?

Ans. Dr Sadao could not report the arrival of the escaped prisoner at his doorstep. He wanted to get rid of the man for the sake of his wife. He explained his position to the General. He did not care for that man, but since he had operated upon the man he could not kill him. The
General praised his skill, called him indispensable and promised that he would allow nothing to happen to Dr Sadao.

Q38. Why, do you think, did the old General not want Dr Sadao to be arrested?

Ans. Dr Sadao had told the General that he could stand only one more such attack as he had that day. Then he would have to be operated upon. The General wanted Dr Sadao to operate upon him. He had no faith in the other surgeons trained by the Germans. So, he would not let Dr Sadao be arrested.

Q39. What plan did the old General suggest for getting rid of the ‘man’?

Ans. He thought that it would be best if the white man could be quietly killed—not by the doctor, but by someone who did not know him. He offered to send two of his private assassins any night to his home. These capable assassins would make no noise. They knew the trick of inward bleeding. They could even remove the body. Dr Sadao had to leave the outer partition of the room open and this made restless.

Q40. Why did Sadao sleep badly at night after meeting the General?

Ans. Sadao woke up time and again thinking he heard the rustling of footsteps, the sound of a twig broken or a stone displaced in the garden—or any noise such as men might make who carried a burden. This went on for three nights. Every night Sadao expected the assassins to come and this made him restless.

Q41. What plan did Dr Sadao devise to get rid of the man?

Ans. Dr Sadao devised the plan of letting the man escape to the nearest uninhabited island. He told the man everything. He put his boat on the shore with food and extra clothing. He advised the man to row to the little island not far from the coast. He could live there till he saw a Korean fishing boat pass by.

Q42. How was the plan of the prisoner’s escape executed?

Ans. Dr Sadao had put food and bottled water in his stout boat. He also put two quilts. After supper, he cheked the American again. He gave him his flashlight and told him to signal two flashes if he needed more food. One signal would mean he was OK He had to signal at sunset and not in the darkness. The man was dressed in Japanese clothes and his blond head was covered with a black cloth.

Q43. What did Sadao tell the General after a week? Why did he wait that long?

Ans. The General had undergone an emergency operation a week before. The gall bladder was involved. He was in critical state for twelve hours. Then he recovered slowly. After a week Sadao felt that the General was well enough to be spoken to about the prisoner. He told the General that the prisoner had escaped.

Q44. What did the General tell Dr Sadao about his promise to kill the prisoner for him?

Ans. Dr Sadao did not want to disturb the General much. So he simply said that the prisoner had escaped. The General at once remembered his promise. He confessed that he had been suffering a great deal. He thought of nothing but himself. He forgot his promise, but it was not lack of patriotism or dereliction of duty.

Q45. “I wonder why I could not kill him?” What makes Dr Sadao think so?

Ans.After the departure of the young American, Dr Sadao thinks of the other white faces he had “come across. The Americans were full of prejudice and he had found it bitter to live there. The white people were repulsive even in their kindness. It was relief to be openly at war with them. Then he remembered the youthful, haggard face of the prisoner. It was also white and repulsive. He thought it strange that he spared his enemy. He wondered why he could not kill him.