The Enemy, Analytical Essay

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This is my very first post. It is an analytical essay from earlier this year that i did for yeah 8 English. I got an A but i want some other feed back to know how other people see it. It is on The Enemy by Charlie Higson. The book is amazing if you are into that type of stuff and if you like the essay you should consider looking for the book itself.

Submitted: July 18, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 18, 2012



The gruesome horror, The Enemy,

The epic thriller, The Enemy was written by Charlie Higson: he first published the book in 2009. The book is about a disease that infected anyone aged fourteen or over and no one in the novel knows how the adults got the disease, or how to treat the sickness. Most adults died at the start of the outbreak, which was a year ago, but the unfortunate ones are diseased. The many groups that are formed around England are searching for food because over the past year the children and the ‘grown-ups’ had eaten what remained of the food. With no other food being made or grown, the children are going to slowly starving to death, as well as the ‘grown-ups’. Some of the main problems are: that the children are constantly encountering the ‘grown-ups.’ The second problem is that while the children are travelling, they are being split up by the ‘grown-ups.’ The final problem the children have an unclear future. The young people in the novel have numerous problems, but the children coped moderately well.


Throughout the novel the children face numerous problems. A key problem that the children face is that they are constantly encountering the 'grown-ups'. This is an incredibly important problem that is always on the children's minds. They are always wondering if they can even walk out of the shopping centre where they have managed to survive for the past year. On the streets, they could get injured by the ‘grown ups’ or the diseased animals that roam around.  A good example of the problem is on page 45:

“There was a crash and a yell from the street below, followed by a hideous scream. Josh scuttled over the roof from the crow’s-nest and shouted down to them. ‘There’s something out there!’” Later, on page 47: “Monkey-boy brought him a dynamo torch. It was already charged. He switched it on and moved the beam around until he saw something. A father with a purple bloated face, his eyes weeping pus. He looked up at Arran and bared his broken teeth in a snarl.”

Problems like these are always in the back of the children's minds as well as the many other issues that consume their thoughts.


A further problem in The Enemy is that while trying to get to the supposedly ‘safe place’ the children are trying not to get separated by the ‘grown-ups.’  This is evident when the children are going through a park and they are separated by the distraught animals from the zoo that is next to the park. The example of this is on page 165:

“’Hold still!’ Maxie shouted but at that moment something dropped from the trees and landed with the effect of a bomb going off among the children. In an instant they were running, screaming, in all directions.”  The drama continues on page 166: “It was chaos. The kids were running in all directions while more and more of the things-whatever they were-dropped down on them from above.”

This is a significant problem in the novel as the young people go on travelling for an extensive period in the novel.


The next dilemma in the novel is that the children have vague and uncertain futures. The children are finding it harder to run or fight the ‘grown-ups.’ The leadership of the group is diminishing which is worrying for the children; the older kids also want to know if they will get the sickness. An example of their worries is on page 401-402:

“He hadn’t told anybody about tomorrow. The others may have forgotten what date it was, even what day it was, but not Ollie. He had it all logged. It was his birthday. Ollie knew a lot of things, but he had no idea what was going to happen to him as he got older. None of them did. If you made it to the end of the day, then it was a good day. You didn’t think any further than that. The future was a mystery. How couldOllie know if he’d get sick or not? He was only a kid after all. He would just have to wait and see.”

Therefore the last of the vast problems is the children’s undecided future.


Generally, the children are co ping reasonably well considering that all the healthy adults are dead and the rest of them are crazed. The children have a lot of problems that they are dealing with and they can get through all problems that are occurring during the book. The ‘grown-ups’ are changing as was mentioned many times in The Enemy, including on page 40:

“‘They won’t attack Waitrose,’ said Arran, taking his club over to the rack where they kept their weapons. ‘They never have done.’

‘They might,’ said Achilleus, who was already at the rack, with Freak and Ollie. ‘They’re changing. It’s getting tough man.’”

The children are living in the moment just trying to survive. This has meant that they have limited time to worry about their future but some of the children are concerned because they are urging the age of fourteen.


In conclusion, the children in The Enemy may have many problems but they prove that they can handle anything that comes their way. Some of the many problems include that they are constantly encountering the ‘grown-ups,’ that the children are getting split up by the ‘grown-ups’ while travelling to the ‘safe place’ and that the children have uncertain futures. The children handle the problems that they have to face fairly well considering that they have just about lost everything in the modern society. If you were put in this position, what would you do?

© Copyright 2018 Jessica E. All rights reserved.

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