The Enemy


Pearl Buck

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Enemy can help.

Sadao’s Anatomy Professor Character Analysis

As he’s performing an emergency surgery on Tom to remove the bullet lodged near his kidney, Dr. Sadao Hoki thinks back fondly on his strict anatomy professor from college in America. The professor was adamant that his students understand every minute detail of the human body—performing surgery without this intimate knowledge is “murder,” the professor said. Sadao implies that his success as a surgeon largely stems from this one anatomy professor’s teaching and influence, and this man is also the only American that Sadao doesn’t outright despise in the story. The professor believed fervently in “mercy with the knife,” gesturing to the undertones of human compassion and altruism that run throughout the story. Although Sadao seems to genuinely respect his anatomy professor, at the end of the story, Sadao lumps him in with all of the “white and repulsive” faces he’s known throughout his life. Thus, Sadao’s anatomy professor challenges Sadao’s narrow prejudices, but his influence, though profound professionally, doesn’t overturn Sadao’s way of thinking.
Get the entire The Enemy LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Enemy PDF

Sadao’s Anatomy Professor Character Timeline in The Enemy

The timeline below shows where the character Sadao’s Anatomy Professor appears in The Enemy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Enemy
Racism and Nationalism Theme Icon
...hit something hard—it’s the bullet, and it’s lodged “dangerously close near the kidney.” Sadao’s American anatomy professor had meticulously trained Sadao so that he was intimately “familiar with every atom” in the... (full context)
Racism and Nationalism Theme Icon
...the foreign students at their home (the night Sadao met Hana), as well as his anatomy professor , who had been emphatic about “mercy with the knife.” (full context)