Dr. Thomas Stockmann: Hero or Enemy ?
Dr. Thomas Stockmann is the Medical Officer of the Baths in the play ''enemy of the people'' by Henrik Iben; and the brother of the Burgomaster (mayor) of the town. Jovial by nature, the doctor enjoys the company of "bright, cheerful, freedom loving young fellows" who share his idealism and ability to think freely. Throughout the play, Stockman shows himself to be a conscientious person and a caring father. He surely is the strongest character in this play with the most powerful motivation, which is truth and that only. Dr. Stockmann is determined to reveal to the public the health problems they are encountering with the contaminated baths, and is sure that they will thank him for that and appoint him as a hero for the caring of their welfare. The doctor makes excessive attempts to make the fact known and he will not budge on his stance to protect the general public, even though it is against the will of the mayor, his brother, and the authorities. Will the truth triumph over falsehood and the willingness of an individual to stand up against corrupt bureaucrats? Dr. Stockmann bravely decides to fight but he doesn't realize the weight of the task he is undertaking, His discovery that could lead him to be the hero of the town could as well make him the 'enemy of the people," if he doesn't handle the matter with extra care.
Dr. Stockmann originally came up with the plans for the baths. When the Burgomaster and the Town Council became involved, the doctor's plans were not followed and short cuts were taken. In fact, the Burgomaster insisted that the baths and the pipes be placed exactly in their present location. The doctor grew suspicious about problems with the baths when he saw several sick patients. Through his own initiative, he tests the water and discovers that the baths, which supply much of the town's livelihood, are contaminated and became a "pestiferous hole,'' because of the faulty lying of the water...
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