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’.

It is said that war arouses passion. During the war, hatred against a member of the enemy race is justifiable. It is a natural human reaction. We find it in the servants of Dr. Sadao. Even Yumi refuses to wash the wound. They don’t want to commit the sin of saving the enemy. Hence, they leave the house as long as the American lives there. It does not mean that Dr. Sadao loves or likes Americans. On the other hand, he has had very bitter experiences with them when he was in America. He knows that Americans were suffering from racial prejudice. He considers it as a relief that Japan is at war with America. Even Hana is reluctant to wash the wound of the prisoner of war. Only her human qualities and devotion to her husband compel her to look after the enemy. So far as Dr. Sadao is concerned, his duty as a doctor makes him operate on Tom and save him from dying.

Above all, it is basic humanity and human values that compel a human being to rise over these prejudices. Love for humanity and human beings transcends all other narrow considerations. Both Dr. Sadao and Hana think that Americans are their enemies, but Dr. Sadao has been trained as a doctor and will not let a man die if he can help him. So, he will do his duty and his wife will help him in every possible way. He fulfilled his duties as a human being and did not allow man–made boundaries to overpower humanitarianism.

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