Henrik Ibsen’s Enemy of the People

In Henrik Ibsen’s play, Enemy of the People, Peter Stockmann is the real
enemy of the people because he is primarily motivated by greed.He is a
man with power and who does no mind using his influence to get what he
wants despite who he has to hurt to get it.This paper will examine how
Peter Stockmann’s words and actions prove him to be the real enemy of the
Ourfirst indication that Peter might be less concerned with his fellow
citizens than he is for himself comes from his reaction to his brother’s
news that the Bath establishment is a “permanent supply of poison” (I.143).
Peter is very calm and seems to be only disturbed by the fact that such
news could keep people from visiting the Baths.He asks Thomas, “Have you
taken the trouble to consider what your proposed alterations would cost'”
(II.155).Peter tells him that it would take nearly two years to complete
the work and asks, “what are we to do with the Baths in the meantime’ Close
them’Indeed we should be obliged to.And do you suppose any one would
come near the place after it had got about that the water was dangerous'”
(II.156).These statements illustrate that Peter is more concerned with
business than with the health of the community.
Peter is also very arrogant.He does not think the people of the
community deserve to know anything is they don’t have to know it.He tells
Thomas that “not a single word” (II.157) of the condition of the water
should reach the public and that everything should be repaired in time in
secret.When Thomas asks him if it is not the “duty of a citizen to let
the public share in any new ideas” (II. 158), he tells him, “the public
doesn’t require any new ideas. The public is best served by the good, old
established ideas it already has” (II.158).These statements indicate that
Peter does not have much faith in the intelligence of the community.It
also seems to reinforce hi…

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