An Enemy of the People

An Enemy of the People

by Henrik Ibsen
3.6 11

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An Enemy of the People 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Review of An Enemy Of The People by Julia Geromin on May 27, 2014 Norwegian play write Henrik Ibsen wrote An Enemy of the People as a response to his previous play Ghosts, which was criticized for its condemning of the Victorian morality. The feeling of anger and angst Ibsen felt over this public outcry is highlighted in this play about a doctor who wants to stand up to his leaders to do what is right for the greater good. Ibsen said, “I am still uncertain as to whether I should call it a comedy or a straight drama. It may [have] many traits of comedy, but it also is based on a serious idea”. This being said, I believe that the underlying topic of social justice is quite dramatic, and would call this a drama, however there are many comedic relief moments. Henrik Ibsen is credited as “the Founder of Realism” and brought the Realist movement to the stage. He was also known as someone who would direct/write on very scandalous topics. I appreciate this disregard for normalcy and his ability to break social norms in an appropriate, satirical, yet comical way. The main point in this work is that the people don’t always know what’s best for them and should, instead, be governed by a more intelligent person that can lead effectively and make hard decisions for the good of the group.  The play is centered around Dr. Stockmann and his efforts to make his town, which his brother is mayor of, safer and cleaner for all its people. When Dr. Stockmann finds out there is a problem with the water in town, he goes immediately to his brother, who chooses to ignore the problem, stating “If the water makes people sick, you can just cure them”.  The play continues, discussing the major flaws in government officials and the under education of voters, as well as how much honesty common people should be trusted with. This play was interesting, but at times felt like I was reading a manual on how not to run a town. Ibsen is often better to see being performed than to read off a page. I liked it personally, because I enjoy histories and political science. Although there were a few dry spots, it was always picked up in the next scene which usually had some comedic relief in it. Over all, the book was interesting and thought provoking. The end will leave you questioning the world around you and what lengths you would go to to prove a point and help the greater good.
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