Pablo Neruda's poem, "The Enemy", describes and embodies everything he hates and therefore can find it within himself. The man he speaks of, his adversary is his alter ego he loathes but must come to terms with. His other personality brings out the worst in himself which he has to face and does by saying that his darker side "came to visit today".(1-2) Neruda is his own worst enemy and describes the man as "having the power to only harm himself"(26), which he does by blaming his traits on a non-realistic figure. .
Neruda stating that his, "old enemy came to visit"(1), he implies that his darker side had come out. His first criticism he makes on his alter ego is that he states the enemy is "a man hermetically sealed in his truth, like a castle or string-box, with his own style of breathing".(2-5) The reference is made to the man being one who is very narrow minded and one to stereotype, his evil side has his own way, which is the right way, and is "hermetically sealed"(2) to it. The second stanza reveals that he "saw the years in his face: the eyes of tired water, the lines of loneliness that had lifted his temples little by little to consummate self-love".1-4) Looking at himself, he sees such pain, strife, and loneliness he has been through yet through it, he's able to raise his thoughts and conclude with a form of self-acceptance. .
The "windy explosions"(14-15), discussed that the two faced in the third stanza while talking, justify that Neruda's two different personalities clash dramatically. "The man showed me only his new set of keys, his one way to all doors"(17-18) is another way of criticizing himself. The line shows that his dark side looks for the easy way out of situations he faces; it is his "one way"(18-19) to go about conflicts. Neruda then looks inside himself to find that his flaws and evilness are in effect due to emptiness inside of him. This can be explained by his writing "Inside him, I think he was silent, indivisibly silent, the flint of his soul stayed impenetrable.