An Enemy of the People
An Enemy of the People - An Epistemological Crisis in Disguise College
In An Enemy of the People, Henrik Ibsen dissects the social malaise that arises from democracy’s twin failures to sanction controversial scientific breakthroughs and to allocate liberty and sovereignty to the area of scientific research. In this way, Ibsen challenges the confines of democracy and its inability bring about justice, consensus and egalitarianism due to the preexistence of a social hierarchy that governs the town citizens. The townspeople have long been highly segregated along class and income lines, and yet they are communally united in their defiance and resistance to growth and progress. This demonstrates these people's steadfast refusal to learn from their inadvertent mistakes in the past, like the the hazardous siting of the baths. Even though Ibsen's play is anti-democracy in nature, Ibsen does not propose any other solution to the problems that arise in a country under democratic rule. He merely demonstrates the futility and pointlessness of democracy in a world that is defined by polar opposites. Ibsen illustrates this idea through his portrayal of Dr. Stockmann, an obstinate character who is not only a victim of his own idealism, but also his intellect.
Dr Stockmann sees himself as a martyr and...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 714 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4026 literature essays, 1373 sample college application essays, 161 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in