The Enemy: To Save an Enemy

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  • Create Date June 23, 2023
  • Last Updated June 23, 2023

The Enemy: To Save an Enemy

Created by Chaim Zoppo

Brief Description

In The Enemy, Sadao and his wife Hani find an American POW washed up on the beach in front of their house in Japan during the middle of WWII.  Sadao as a doctor, cannot allow the man to die.  So he takes him back to his home.  This causes a giant conflict with the servants that work for Sadao.  Eventually, after a week, the servants quit.  In this lesson, students will read the script of the conflict between Sadao and Hanni vs. the Servants.  Then the students will complete a ladder of inference.


Learning Objectives

Students will learn how to connect with people who they don’t agree with

Students will understand the difference between position and interest

Students will use the Ladder of Inference to understand the other’s point of view 


Lead-in / Preparation / Prerequisite Knowledge

Students will need to read parts 1-3 of The Enemy until the servants decide to leave.  

Students will need markers, posters, and their literature books. 


Estimated Class-Time Required

The class should last about 90 minutes.  


Description of Activities

Hook: 10 minutes Have students recall an argument they had recently with someone which ended with no agreement.  Have the students script the argument and their personal thoughts.  Then have them share pair with another student. 


Activity 1: Scripting the conflict between Sadao and the Servants.  35 minutes


Students, in pairs, read the following paragraphs from The Enemy and highlight the conflicting sections of the text.  Then summarize the text into an argument between Sadao and Hana vs. the Servants in a script.  Have one of the groups share their summary with the class.


"You also cannot throw him back to the sea," Hana said. "Then there is only one thing to do. We must carry him into the house."

"But the servants"?" Sadao asked.

"We must simply tell them that we plan to give him to the police. And we must, Sadao. We must think of the children and of our position; it would endanger all of us if we did not give this man over as a prisoner of war."

"Certainly," Sadao agreed. "I would not think of doing anything else."

"We shall have to tell the servants he is here. I will tell Yumi now. She can leave the children for a few minutes, and she can wash him."

Sadao thought a moment. "Yes," he agreed. "You tell Yumi , and I will tell the others."

Then Hana led the way quickly to the kitchen. The two servants were frightened at what their master had just told them.

"The master ought not to heal the wounds of this white man,"

The old gardener said to Hana. "The white man ought to die. First, he was shot. Then the sea caught him and wounded him with her rocks. If the master heals what the gun did and what the sea did, they will take revenge on us."

"I will tell him what you say," Hana answered politely. But she herself was also frightened, although she was not superstitious as the old man was. Could it ever be right to help an enemy?

"I have never washed a white man," she said, "and I will not wash one so dirty now."

Hana cried, "You will do what your master commands you!"

"My master ought not to command me to wash the enemy," Yumi said stubbornly.

The look on Yumi's round dull face made Hana feel afraid.

What if she should report something that was not as it happened?

"Very well," she said with dignity. "You understand we only want to bring him to his senses so that we can turn him over as a prisoner?"

"I will have nothing to do with it," Yumi said. "I am a poor person, and it is not my business."

"Then please," Hana said gently, "return to your own work."

Yumi left the room. But this left Hana alone with the white man. She might have been too afraid to stay, but her anger at Yumi gave her courage".

"Stupid Yumi!" she said. "Is this anything but a man? A helpless wounded man!"

"Sadao, Yumi tells me the servants feel they cannot stay if we hide this man here anymore," she said. "She tells me that they are saying that you and I were in America for so long that we have forgotten to think of our own country first. They think we like Americans."

"It is not true," Sadao said, "Americans are our enemies. But I have been trained not to let a man die if I can help it."

"The servants cannot understand that," she said anxiously'.

"No," he agreed.

As the days passed, the servants were as polite as ever, but their eyes were cold.

"It is clear what our master ought to do," the old gardener' said one morning. "My old master's son knows very well what he ought to do," he said. "When the man was so near death, why did he not let him bleed?"

"The young master is so proud that he can save a life that he saves any life," the cook said.

"It is the children of whom we must think," Yumi said sadly. "What will happen to them if their father is punished as a traitor?"

They did not try to hide what they said from Hana, who was arranging flowers on the veranda. She knew they wanted her to hear what they said. She knew that they were right. But there was another part of her which she herself could not understand. It was not that she liked the prisoner. She had come to think of him as a prisoner. She had not liked him even yesterday when he had said, "Anyway, let me tell you that my name is Tom."

As for Sadao, every day he examined" the wound" carefully. The last stitches had been pulled out" this morning. In a fortnight he would be nearly as well as ever. Sadao went back to his office and carefully typed a letter to the chief of police reporting the whole matter. He typed: "On the twenty-first day of February, an escaped prisoner ... ". Then he opened a secret drawer of his desk and put the unfinished report into it.

On the seventh day after that, two things happened. First, the servants were leaving. When Hana got up in the morning, nothing had been done. The house had not been cleaned, and the food had not been prepared, and she knew what it meant. She was afraid, even terrified, but her pride as a mistress would not allow her to show it. Instead, when they came into the kitchen, she paid them off and thanked them for all that they had done for her. They were crying, but she did not cry. The cook and the gardener had served Sadao since he was a little boy in his father's house.

Yumi cried because of the children. "If the baby misses me' too much tonight, send for me'. I am going to my own house, and you know where it is."

"Thank you," Hana said, smiling. But she told herself she would not send for Yumi no matter how much the baby cried.

She made the breakfast and Sadao helped with the children. Neither of them spoke of the servants. But after Hana had taken morning food to the prisoner, she came back to Sadao. "Why is it we cannot see clearly what we ought to do?" she asked him. "Even the servants see more clearly than we do.

Why are we different from other Japanese?"

Activity 2: Ladder of Inference The Conflict between Sadao and the Servants 20 minutes


Give students the handout of the ladder of inference and together, we will do the first to levels of the ladder together.  They will work in pairs and draw the ladders on poster paper.  Each rung of the ladder in different color.  Look at the Handout below.


Have the students hang their posters on the wall and have the students go around and read them.


Activity 3: Pathos, Logos and Ethos building a persuasive argument.   20 minutes


Play the following you tube clip on pathos, logos and ethos     5 minutes


In the pairs that created the ladder, have each person pick a side and write a SEET argument using the three persuasive elements of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos to argue whether the man should be saved or not from the different perspectives of Sadao and Servants. 15 minutes


Conclusion:  Summary and Homework 10 minutes

Have students take the script from the hook activity and create a ladder of inference for their own side and the person they had an argument with.  Then they will need to rewrite the script changing the way they argue in order to incorporate an understanding of the other person’s position and ethos, logos and pathos.


Key Vocabulary / Phrases


Students will need to incorporate at least 3 expressions from the list below in their new persuasive script.


Submission of Ladder of Inference Poster and SEET arguments


The homework assignment will give the students to opportunity to apply what they have learned to a real example of what happened in their life.


Ladder of Inference Tool


They see the American as

a human being who needs

their help in order to live. 

Attached Files