Enamy of the People

Nechama Silberstein
      December 28, 2009
      Enemies of the People

      In the play “An Enemy of the People” Henrick Ibsen writes, “By the votes of everyone except a tipsy man, this meeting of citizen declares Dr. Thomas Stockmann to be an enemy of the people” (66). There is not only one enemy in this play. Each person in this play is more or less an enemy, whether it is be to them self, a group of people, or a specific individual. Each character has his or her input on the situation with the baths and the outcome is a combination of all of the decisions made by each character throughout the play.
      Dr. Thomas Stockmann is indeed an enemy, only to himself and his family. The doctor fails to realize how in this city “the majority has right on its side” (59). Although at first he has the support of the majority, very soon he realizes that the majority of the towns people withdrawal their support of the doctor’s theory. Also, Dr. Stockmann is an enemy to his brother Peter. In Peter’s eyes the Doctor is out to get him and take over as the head of the community, “It is painful for a man in an official position to have his nearest relative compromising himself time after time” (27). Peter is bothered by his brother Thomas Stockmann arguments against the heads of the community. Dr. Stockmann brings Peter’s fears to life by putting on Peter Stockmann’s hat and robe, which is disrespectful. Peter shows his discontentment at the Doctor because he poses a threat, even though the doctor clearly does not want Peters’ job.
      Another enemy in this play is Peter Stockmann; he is an enemy to his own brother, and the community. Peter thinks that he is always right and the doctor only has “ideas- yes! My brother has had plenty of ideas-unfortunately. But when it is a question of putting an idea into practical shape, you have to apply to a man of different mettle, Mr. Hovstad” (4). Peter is in power and has the money but still puts the doctor down...