The Majority is Always Wrong: An Analysis of Henrique Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People

1. Introduction

Henrique Ibsen, the renowned Norwegian playwright who wrote the play titled An Enemy of the People once said that the majority is always wrong and managed to prove it in this play.

2. Henrique Ibsen

Henrique Ibsen was born in 1828 in Skien, Norway. His father was a prosperous merchant, but the family fell into debt and had to move to a small town. There Ibsen was educated at home by his mother until he was thirteen years old. He then went to school, where he studied for six years before going to work for his father. After his father’s death, Ibsen moved to Christiania (now Oslo) and began working as a journalist.

In 1851, Ibsen’s first play Catiline was published. It was not a success. In 1852, his second play The Burial Mound was performed, but it was also not successful. Ibsen then left Norway and traveled around Europe for the next 27 years. He lived in Rome, Dresden, and Munich, among other places. While he was living in Rome, Ibsen began work on what would become his most famous play, A Doll’s House.

A Doll’s House was published in 1879 and caused a scandal. The play is about a woman who leaves her husband and children because she cannot live a lie anymore. At that time, it was very shocking for a woman to leave her family. Ibsen’s play caused much debate about women’s rights.

In 1884, Ibsen returned to Norway and settled in Kristiania (now Oslo). He continued to write plays, including GHOSTS (1881), AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE (1882), and ROSMERSHOLM (1886). These plays are known as his “social” plays because they deal with controversial subjects such as women’s rights, morality, and corruption.

Ibsen’s later plays are called his “symbolist” plays because they are more concerned with psychological issues than social issues. These include THE WILD DUCK (1884), HEDDA GABLER (1890), and WHEN WE DEAD AWAKEN (1899).

Ibsen died in 1906 at the age of 78. Today, he is considered one of the most important playwrights of the 19th century.

3. An Enemy of the People

An Enemy of the People is a play by Henrik Ibsen about a small town in Norway that becomes very successful when its citizens discover that the water from the local spa has healing properties. Thomas Stockmann, the town doctor, discovers that the water is actually contaminated with effluent from a nearby factory and tries to warn the townspeople about the danger. However, no one will listen to him because they are all making money from the spa’s success and don’t want anything to change. Stockmann eventually decides to go public with his findings, but this only makes him even more unpopular with his fellow citizens who now see him as an enemy of the people.
The play is set in Christinia (now Oslo), Norway in 1882. It was first performed at The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen on January 13, 1883.

4. Thomas Stockmann

Thomas Stockmann is the town doctor and the protagonist of the play. He is a caring and honest man who only wants what is best for his town. However, his good intentions often get him into trouble because he is not very good at handling people. For example, when he tries to warn the townspeople about the contaminated water, he does it in such a way that no one will listen to him.

5. The town

The town in An Enemy of the People is a small town in Norway that becomes very successful when its citizens discover that the water from the local spa has healing properties.

6. Effluent

Effluent is the waste from a factory that has contaminated the water of the local spa in An Enemy of the People.

7. Spa

The spa in An Enemy of the People is a popular spot for both local and international tourists. It becomes even more popular after it is discovered that the water has healing properties.

8. Popular spot

The spa in An Enemy of the People is a popular spot for both local and international tourists. It becomes even more popular after it is discovered that the water has healing properties.

9. Local and international tourists

Local and international tourists flock to the spa in An Enemy of the People after it is discovered that the water has healing properties.

10. Success

The spa in An Enemy of the People is a huge success after it is discovered that the water has healing properties.

11. Closure

The spa in An Enemy of the People is forced to close down after it is revealed that the water is actually contaminated with effluent from a nearby factory.

12. Doctor

Thomas Stockmann, the town doctor, discovers that the water at the local spa is actually contaminated with effluent from a nearby factory and tries to warn the townspeople about the danger. However, no one will listen to him because they are all making money from the spa’s success and don’t want anything to change. Stockmann eventually decides to go public with his findings, but this only makes him even more unpopular with his fellow citizens who now see him as an enemy of the people.

13. Mayor

The mayor of the town in An Enemy of the People is Peter Stockmann, Thomas Stockmann’s brother. He is more interested in maintaining social order than he is in doing what is right. For example, when Thomas tries to warn the townspeople about the contaminated water, Peter tries to silence him because he doesn’t want anything to disrupt the peace in the town or ruin its reputation as a successful tourist destination.

14. Coercion

Peter Stockmann uses coercion to silence his brother Thomas when he tries to warn the townspeople about the contaminated water at the local spa. He does this because he doesn’t want anything to disrupt the peace in the town or ruin its reputation as a successful tourist destination.

15. Editors

The editors of the local newspaper are more interested in maintaining social order than they are in reporting the truth. For example, when Thomas Stockmann tries to go public with his findings about the contaminated water at the local spa, the editors refuse to print his article because they don’t want to cause a panic.

16. All is well

All is well at the end of An Enemy of the People, even though the town’s spa has been forced to close down and Thomas Stockmann has been ostracized by his fellow citizens. This is because the truth has finally been revealed and everyone can now move on with their lives.
In conclusion, An Enemy of the People is a play that deals with the theme of the majority being wrong. This is something that Henrique Ibsen was very passionate about and he managed to prove it in this play.

FAQ

The main themes of "An Enemy of the People" are honesty, democracy, and corruption.

Ibsen uses irony in the play to highlight the hypocrisy of the townspeople.

The role of Dr. Stockmann in the play is to expose the corruption in the town's government.

Ibsen's views on democracy come through in "An Enemy of the People" by showing how a corrupt government can ruin a community.