Vistas Class 12 The Enemy Summary | Question Word Meanings

CBSE class 12 NCERT book vistas chapter 4The EnemySummary, Difficult word meaning, solved Extra important questions and answers, theme are given below.

Vistas Class 12 The Enemy Summary | Question Word Meanings

Class 12 English [Vistas] 
Chapter 4 The Enemy
By Pearl S. Buck

The Enemy Summary

The Enemy is set at the time of the Second World War. It is a heart-rending portrayal of the conflict between man's head and heart. An American prisoner of war is washed ashore in a dying state and is found at the doorstep of a very eminent Japanese surgeon and scientist, Dr Sadao Hoki. Sadao is torn between his duty as a doctor and as Japanese. His heart is telling him to save the prisoner while his mind is fighting to turn him over to the police. It is, indeed a difficult choice to decide whether one should allow oneself to be governed by emotion or by reason.


Dr Sadao Hoki and his Traditional Father

Dr Sadao, a famous Japanese surgeon and an accomplished scientist, lived in a house on the Japanese coast. The house was set upon rocks above a narrow beach surrounded by pine trees. As a child, Sadao used to climb these trees. He often visited the South Sea Islands with his father. His father believed that the islands were stepping stones of Japan's future to gain perfection. Sadao's father was a very serious and traditional man. He never joked or played with him but took infinite pains for his son. Sadao's education was his chief concern. He even sent Sadao to America to complete his studies. Sadao's father inculcated in him values of patriotism and national loyalty when the latter was quite young and Sadao had always cherished these great virtues. 

The Second World War started, but Sadao was not sent with the troops because he was about to make a discovery which would render wounds entirely clean. Also, the General, who was old, was being treated by Sadao, and he might require an operation anytime.

Sadao met Hana in America, Waited for his Father's Consent to Marry Her

Sadao had met Hana in America, but he had waited until he was sure that she was Japanese before deciding to marry her. His father would never have approved of her otherwise. Sadao recalled that his meeting with Hana was an accident. Sadao lived in Professor Harley's house and had almost not gone to the Professor's house that night, where he met Hana, a new student.

After Sadao and Hana had finished their studies, they came home to Japan. The marriage was solemnised in the traditional Japanese way according to his father's wishes. They were a happy couple.

The Prisoner is Washed Ashore

One night, Sadao and Hana were enjoying the view of the sea from their verandah when they saw something black coming out of the mists. It was a man. He staggered a few steps and then the mists hid him again. When they saw him again, he was crawling. Sadao thought that he was a fisherman washed ashore from his boat. The surf beyond the beach was spiked with rocks. The man might be badly hurt.

They found the man wounded. Hana realised that it was a white man. The fellow was young and unconscious. The man was bleeding profusely. Sadao saw that a bullet wound had reopened. Sadao packed the wound with sea moss. The man moaned with pain, but he did not awaken. Sadao wanted to throw the man back into the sea as he had now realised that he was an American prisoner of war.

Hana also agreed. Sadao knew that giving shelter to the enemy would get them in trouble. He was torn between his moral duty as a doctor which urged him to save the dying man and his national duty which required handing him over to the Army as a patriot. Both Hana and Sadao finally decided to take the man home, as he was in need of urgent medical attention.

The Servants React Bitterly

They decided that they might tell the servants also. They would tell them that they intended to give him over to the police.The man had been starved for a long time and he was light as a fowl. They carried him to Sadao's father's bedroom. The old man had never allowed a foreign object in his room.

The American was very dirty and needed to be washed. Hana said that Yumi, the governess, might wash her. She went to fetch her. When she returned to the kitchen, she found the other two servants frightened at what Sadao had told them.

The servants tried to convince Sadao that he must hand over the enemy to the police. Yumi refused to wash the American and Hana had to wash him herself.

Sadao Saves the Enemy's Life

Sadao was ready to operate. Sadao was completely absorbed in his work. He told Hana that she would need to give anesthetic to the man.

Hana probably had never seen an operation and started vomiting. Sadao was irritable and impatient with his enemy, as he was not able to help Hana in her distress. The man groaned with pain.

Interestingly enough, Hana was able to assist her husband in the operation. Hana noticed deep red scars on the neck of their enemy. She wondered if the war torture stories she had heard were actually true. She recalled that General Takima was a ruthless man who didn't even spare his wife.
Sadao murmured while operating, as was his habit.  He called the enemy his 'friend'. Sadao finally succeeded in taking the bullet out. He was sure that the man would live in spite of his sufferings.

The Patient gets Better but the Servants Decide to Leave 

Hana took good care of the man. She served him, as the servants refused to enter the room. The man was surprised to see Hana talk in English. Hana told him that she had lived in America for a long time. The enemy revealed his name to Hana. His name was Tom. Sadao was still confused about handing him over to the police.

The servants resented their decision to help the American soldier. Hana told Sadao that the servants could not live in the house if the enemy was still present. The servants thought that the couple liked Americans. Sadao tried to clarify that all Americans were his enemies. They talked about the consequences of harbouring an enemy. Hana could hear what they were talking about. On the seventh day, the servants left. Read the "on the face of it" summary important for CBSE exam.

The General's Messenger; Sadao Goes to See the General

On the same day, a messenger in official uniform came to Sadao's house. Hana was so scared that she was unable to speak. She thought that he was there to arrest Sadao. In fact, the messenger had come to inform Sadao that the General needed him. Looking at Hana in utter distress, Sadao decided to get rid of the man.

Sadao told the whole episode to the General. The General knew that Sadao was indispensible to him. He never trusted other Japanese surgeons. The General promised Sadao that nothing would happen to him.

The General then planned to assassinate the enemy. He told Sadao that his private assassins were very competent and would also remove the dead body. Sadao thought that this plan would be the best for his family.

After that meeting, Sadao spent three restless nights waiting for the assassins. But they didn't come. Finally, the torture became too much to bear for him. He planned to get rid of the enemy himself.

Sadao Helps the Enemy

Sadao told the escape plan to Tom. He also warned him that he needed to escape as the news of his presence was not hidden anymore. He arranged a boat, food, drinking water and clothing for the young man and also gave him his own flashlight. He told Tom that he should flash the light two times if he needed something, once if everything was fine. He must do this only when the sun dropped over the horizon. He further added that Tom could find many fish to eat but he should eat them raw lest the fire be seen. Even Hana didn't know about this plan. Sadao had told Tom to wait for a Korean ship. Read Memories of Childhood Summary Class 12.

Sadao went to the General. Sadao had operated on him and he had survived. The General informed Sadao that he forgot about the prisoner, as he was unwell. He told Sadao not to leak this information to anybody.

Back at home, Sadao remembered his days in America and the Americans he met there. He wondered why he could not kill Tom, his enemy.

The Enemy Class 12 Extra Questions

Vistas Class 12 The Enemy Summary | Question Word Meanings
  1. Who was Dr Sadao Hoki?
  2. Describe Dr Hoki's childhood.
  3. Though Sadao was a great surgeon and scientist, he was not sent abroad with the troops. Why?
  4. What kind of a person was Sadao's father?
  5. Why did Sadao wait before falling in love with Hana?
  6. In what state did Sadao and Hana find the enemy?
  7. How did they establish his identity?
  8. Why was Sadao confused about saving him?
  9. What was the servants' reaction towards the injured man?
  10. Why did Sadao finally decide to treat the enemy?
  11. What made the servants leave Dr Sadao's house?
  12. How did Hana react to the servants' decision?
  13. What plan did the General suggest to get rid of the prisoner?
  14. Did the General's plan of eliminating the prisoner succed? Why?
  15. How did Sadao finally get rid of the wounded prisoner?

Difficult Word Meanings

The given numbers correspond to the pages in the NCERT textbook.

Page 24-25
  • Outlined - marked on the outer edge
  • Yonder - over there
  • Render - make
  • Creeping – moving slowly and carefully
  • Wreathing - covering, surrounding
  • Haori - a loose open-front garment usually worn over the kimono
  • Kimono - a long, loose traditional Japanese robe with wide sleeves, tied with a sash

Page 26-27
  • Breaker - a heavy sea wave that breaks into white foam on the shore
  • Spiked - covered with sharp points
  • Tended - looked after  
  • Screened - covered, hid from view        
  • Beachcombers - people who make a living by searching beaches for valuables and selling them
  • Stanch - check or stop the flowing of

Page 28-29
  • Strewed – Scattered over
  • Stupor - a state of near-unconsciousness
  • Repulsion - dislike
  • Inert - lacking the ability or strength to move
  • Battered - damaged by repeated use
  • Whole - not wounded or injured
  • Matted - covered with mats
  • Pallor – an unhealthy, pale appearance
Vistas Class 12 The Enemy Summary | Question Word Meanings

Page 30-31
  • Vitality - energy
  • Menace – threat, danger
  • Nursery – a room in a house for special use of young children
  • Bluntly – directly
  • Fierce - angry
  • Resistance - refusal
  • Conviction - firm belief or opinion
  • Impulsively - acting on instinct, without thinking
  • Rugs – thick Woolen carpets
  • Blond – a person with light- Colour golden hair

Page 32-33
  • Ebbing - gradually decreasing
  • Tokonoma - a recess or an alcove in a Japanese home for displaying flower arrangement or pictures
  • Alcove - a recess in the wall of a room
  • Superficial - existing or occurring on the surface
  • Retching - vomiting

Page 34-35
  • Saturate - make completely soaked
  • Flickers - fleeting
  • Liberation - freedom
  • Probed - examined, explored
  • Anatomy - a branch of science concerned with the study of the bodily structure of humans, animals and other living organisms
  • Cardinal - serious
  • Incisions - cuts
  • Guts - intestines
  • Hypodermic - a syringe or injection administered immediately beneath the skin

Page 36
  • Summon - gather
  • Gasped - said while catching one's breath
  • Porcelain - a white translucent ceramic
  • Bitter - feeling or showing hurt or pain

Page 37
  • Dragged on - was managed with difficulty or effort
  • Courtesy - politeness in attitude
  • Marred - spoilt
  • Pinching - taking off, removing
  • Wistaria vine - a climbing shrub of the pea family, with hanging clusters of fragrant flowers
  • Condemned - blamed
  •  Traitor - a person who betrays or is disloyal to one's country

Page 38-39
  • Assuage - lessen, or make less intense
  • Dismayed - shocked, distressed
  • Brusquely - bluntly, roughly
  • Unaccustomed - unfamiliar, unusual

Page 40
  • Indispensable - absolutely necessary
  • Evidently - obviously, clearly
  • Stand - bear, tolerate
  • Ruthlessness - cruelty
  • Execution - the act of killing or carrying out death sentence against someone
  • Overwhelmed - overpowered, overcome

Page 41- 42
  • Assassins – persons who murder an important person for political reason
  • Timid - scared or frightened
  • Absolute state - a form of government which has absolute or unrestricted power
  • Gosh - an expression of surprise
  • Gaunt - lean and thin because of suffering, hunger or age
  • Stubbly - with short rough growth
  • Rustling - a soft, crackling sound, as of leaves moving
  • Refrain - repeated idea or complaint
  • Shaggy - having long, thick, unkempt hair

Page 43- 44
  • Dripping - very wet, with water falling in drops
  • Eaves - the part of a roof that meets or overhangs the walls of a building
  • Fortifying - protecting against attack by providing with defensive works
  • Submerged - covered completely with water
  • Stout - strong
  • Pawnshop - a shop/store that offers loan in exchange for personal property
  • Flashlight - a small portable lamp or torch, usually powered by batteries

Page 45- 46
  • Faintly - weakly
  • Signifying - indicating
  • Dereliction - neglect
  • Insistent – demanding something firmly
  • Slatternly - dirty and untidy
  • Repulsive - causing a feeling of strong dislike or disgust
  • Haggard - looking exhausted and unwell, especially from tiredness, worry, or suffering


The enemy ending of the chapter by Pearl s. Buck was true. Tom was successfully run by either the Korean Draw or the American Reservation Mission Draw. The ending was perfect as the back story unfolded elegantly. Dr Sadao did a courageous and ideal service not only to his vocation, but also to saving the life of a helpless American. He also played his karma for his country by marking the general, who was left to act on time. So the enemy story's conclusion was justified as well as superbly engaging.

Post a Comment