The Enemy

The General is a sickly man in the Japanese military who suffers from some sort of physical condition that Dr. Sadao Hoki treats. According to Sadao, the General will only be able to survive one more “attack”—he suffers from something that has to do with his gallbladder. Because Sadao can keep the General reasonably healthy and can tend to him so expertly, the General feels indebted to Sadao and is willing to help—and keep quiet—about Tom. The General promises to send a few assassins to Sadao’s house to silently kill Tom and do away with his body, releasing Sadao of the burden of having to figure out what to do with the prisoner. Ultimately, the General doesn’t follow through with the deal and sheepishly admits to forgetting about the situation altogether. This claim is treated as somewhat suspect in the story, leaving open the possibility that the General, too, didn’t want the American to die because he saw him as a fellow human rather than an enemy. This interpretation is bolstered by the fact that the General, like Sadao, went to college in America, and perhaps his Princeton education and connection to America forced him to see people of other races and nationalities as fellow humans rather than political enemies or objects of racial prejudice. However, it’s possible that the sickly General—whose very position implies fierce patriotism and a generally pro-war sensibility—truly did forget to send the assassins and did consider Tom an enemy. The General is possibly the same person as General Takima, though the story doesn’t confirm this.

The General Quotes in The Enemy

The The Enemy quotes below are all either spoken by The General or refer to The General. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Decisions and Duty Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the National Council of Education Research and Training edition of The Enemy published in 2015.
The Enemy Quotes

“You say you think I can stand one more such attack as I have had today?”
“Not more than one,” Sadao said.

“Then certainly I can allow nothing to happen to you,” the General said with anxiety. His long pale Japanese face became expressionless, which meant that he was in deep thought. “You cannot be arrested,” the General said, closing his eyes. “Suppose you were condemned to death and the next day I had to have my operation?”

“There are other surgeons, Excellency,” Sadao suggested.

“None I trust,” the General replied. “The best ones have been trained by Germans and would consider the operation successful even if I died.”

Related Characters: Dr. Sadao Hoki (speaker), The General (speaker), Tom / The American
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:
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“That prisoner,” he said with some energy, “did I not promise you I would kill him for you?”

“You did, Excellency,” Sadao said.

“Well, well!” the old man said in a tone of amazement, “so I did! But you see, I was suffering a good deal. The truth is, I thought of nothing but myself. In short, I forgot my promise to you.”

“I wondered, Your Excellency,” Sadao murmured.

“It was certainly very careless of me,” the General said. “But you understand it was not lack of patriotism or dereliction of duty.” He looked anxiously at his doctor. “If the matter should come out you would understand that, wouldn’t you?”

Related Characters: Dr. Sadao Hoki (speaker), The General (speaker), Tom / The American
Page Number: 45-46
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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The General Character Timeline in The Enemy

The timeline below shows where the character The General appears in The Enemy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Enemy
Decisions and Duty Theme Icon
...on an important medical discovery. For this reason—and because he needed to be near the General, who “might need an operation”—Sadao was required to stay in Japan rather than join the... (full context)
Decisions and Duty Theme Icon
Humanization, Kindness, and Antagonism Theme Icon
Racism and Nationalism Theme Icon
Hana also thinks of General Takima, who is now a celebrated war hero in public even though he beats his... (full context)
Decisions and Duty Theme Icon
...about Tom. However, the messenger tells Sadao that he’s needed at the palace: “The old General is in pain again.” When the messenger leaves, Hana admits that she thought Sadao was... (full context)
Decisions and Duty Theme Icon
After treating the General, Sadao confides in him about Tom. The General is sympathetic to Sadao’s plight, explaining, “I... (full context)
Racism and Nationalism Theme Icon
Sadao tells the General that there are other surgeons who could perform the operation. The General admits that the... (full context)
Decisions and Duty Theme Icon
Racism and Nationalism Theme Icon
Growing serious, the General says that Tom must be murdered, albeit secretly. He asks Sadao for permission to send... (full context)
Decisions and Duty Theme Icon
Humanization, Kindness, and Antagonism Theme Icon
Racism and Nationalism Theme Icon
That week, Sadao is called to the palace to do emergency surgery on the General. His “gall bladder [is] much involved,” and, for twelve hours, Sadao is uncertain if the... (full context)
Decisions and Duty Theme Icon
Humanization, Kindness, and Antagonism Theme Icon
Racism and Nationalism Theme Icon
Sadao insists that he understands entirely; privately, he feels relieved, knowing that the General’s own anxieties at appearing incompetent or unpatriotic mean that Sadao is safe, and that the... (full context)