An Enemy of the People Summary

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Henrick Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People is a play set in a town on the southern coast of Norway. Dr. Stockmann discovers trouble when the water of the Baths is contaminated with bacteria, leaving the whole town at risk to become sick. Several of the town's leading men like Hovstad (the paper's editor) and Aslaksen (head of the Householder's Association) stand right beside the doctor and support his new discovery. On the contrary, the Mayor of the town, who is coincidentally Dr. Stockmann's brother, stands firmly against it. Why would anyone stand against a discovery that put the public’s health in jeopardy? It’s all about money. The necessary improvements will cost the town tons of it, not to mention it might make him and the rest of the supporting personnel him look like an idiot. The Mayor sadly decides to turn the entire town against his own brother, and Dr. Stockmann finds himself in a hostile environment.

Stockmann refuses to let this slip under the rador, so he calls a town meeting to read his findings and give the general public insight on what is going on in their town. His brother once again gets the upper hand and stomps on the doctor’s findings. He takes the hearing under his wing and crafts the regulations to his benefit. This would keep Dr. Stockmann from thoroughly reading presenting his report. He decides to fire back, fueled with rage and disappointed. He brings the truth to the public and exposes the government’s corrupt doings. He tries to bring his brother’s lies to the open but it backfires because nobody believes him. This is just like our government today: corrupt on the inside, but the general public on the outside are too ignorant to see it. I didn’t mean to include a commentary on our world today, but this play resembles our world today beautifully.

Attempting to have his voice heard, Dr. Stockmann then delivers a thorough speech on not only his discoveries, but the government’s lies and corruption. The aftermath of his tirad backfired...
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