An Enemy of the People Critical Analysis

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Critical Analysis Essay
An Enemy of the People

*By Henrik* Ibsen

In “An Enemy of the People,” Henrik Ibsen adopts the theme that the majority of people are always wrong. This is to say that if one wishes to find truth in the world he must look to the minority of people. There is great wisdom in these words. The majority of people are not the most intelligible of the population. They do not have the proper training to make the greatest decisions in favor of themselves or their respective nations. This play was written in answer to the Puritan people who oppressed his highly controversial play “Ghosts.” Henrik shows his outrage by showing the majority for what it really is—a collection of fools.

Even though Dr. Stockmann had only the town’s interests in mind, his brother and the Baths Committee intended to stop him in his crusade. Though they were corrupt and greedy, the majority rallied behind them rather than Thomas Stockmann. Even his friends and allies, who he thought would support and raise him up turned their backs on him with little effort from the mayor. Their self-preservation was more important to them than the town or, indeed, their friend. Using the “People’s Messenger” his opponents criticized him and said that what he intended to do to the Baths was for his own glory. They turned on him for the good of themselves. Ibsen shows the foolishness of the majority of people by showing how easily swayed they are from the truth. Dr. Stockmann, who has always been known as one who truly carries the interests of the people and his nation to his heart, is cast out by the town he meant to save. The compact majority was in favor of the mayor and the greedy leaders of their town rather than one lone man standing up for all that is just and right in the world. Despite knowing that he meant the best for the town they went with those that had greater power. They believed in the corrupt, backwards men of society, and cast a patriot out of their...
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