An Enemy of the People

An Enemy of the People

An Enemy of the People– Drama: Know more about it

Writer: Henrik Johan Ibsen

He was a Norwegian playwright, theatre director and poet. He was one of the founders of modernism in theatre. Ibsen is often referred to as “the father of realism” and one of the most influential playwrights of his time. In 1869, he began to write prose plays.

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His famous plays include ‘The pillars of society’, ‘A Doll’s House’, ‘Ghosts’, ‘An Enemy of the People’, and ‘The Wild Duck’.


Major Characters:

Dr. Thomas Stockmann: Medical Officer of the Municipal Baths.

Mrs. Stockmann: Dr. Thomas Stockmann’s wife.

Petra: Dr. Thomas Stockmann’s daughter, a teacher.

Peter Stockmann: Dr. Thomas Stockmann’s elder brother, Mayor of the Town and Chief Constable, Chairman of the Baths’ Committee, etc.

Hovstad: Editor of the “People’s Messenger.”

Billing: Sub-editor of the “People’s Messenger.”

Aslaksen: a printer.


Story of the drama:

The protagonist (hero) of the play is Dr.Stockmann. He is a medical officer of the municipal baths. He suspects that the bath water is harmful. He is proven right after clinical tests. But his report is not accepted.

Therefore he wants to publish an article and expose the corruption. Peter Stockmann is the brother of Dr.Stockmann. He is also the mayor of the town and the Chairman of the Bath committee. He warns Dr.Stockmann of terrible consequences for him and his family if he publishes the article.

Hovstad, the editor of People’s Messenger and Aslaksen, the printer, are in the side of Peter Stockmann. They decide not to publish the article. So Dr. Stockmann helds a town meeting. It turns disastrous. Here town people called Dr. Stockmann as an enemy of the people because Peter Stockmann misguides them. His home is attacked by stones. The windows are smashed. He becomes the target of people’s anger. His contract as medical officer is terminated. His daughter Petra is removed from her job as a teacher. His landlord forces him and his family to leave the home.

But Dr. Stockmann stands firm in the face of difficulties. He ignores his brother Peter’s advice to leave the town for a few months. His wife is afraid that people might drive him out of the town. Dr. Stockmann wants to stay in the town. He decides to convince the people to understand that what is convenient is not always morally right.

He ends by proclaiming, “‘The strongest man in the world is he who stands alone.”


नाटकाचे कथानक:

नाटकाचा नायक डॉ. स्टॉकमन आहे. तो महापालिकेच्या सार्वजनिक स्नानगृह निगराणीचा वैद्यकीय अधिकारी आहे. आंघोळीचे पाणी हानिकारक असल्याचा त्याला संशय आहे. क्लिनिकल चाचण्यांनंतर ते सिद्ध होते. हे सर्व स्नानगृह बंद करून सुधारित स्नानगृह तयार करावेत असा तो अहवाल देतो. तो फेटाळला जातो.

त्यामुळे तो ठरवतो की एक लेख प्रकाशित करून हा भ्रष्टाचार उघड करावा. पीटर स्टॉकमन हा डॉ. स्टॉकमनचा भाऊ आहे. तो शहराचे महापौर आणि सार्वजनिक स्नानगृह समितीचा अध्यक्ष देखील आहे. लेख प्रकाशित केल्यास डॉ. स्टॉकमनला आणि त्याच्या कुटुंबावर भयंकर परिणाम होतील असा पीटर स्टॉकमन इशारा देतो.

पीपल्स मेसेंजर चे संपादक हॉव्हस्टॅड आणि प्रिंटर असलॅक्सन पीटर स्टॉकमन हे पीटर स्टॉकमन च्या बाजूने आहेत. त्यांनी लेख प्रकाशित न करण्याचा निर्णय घेतला. त्यामुळे डॉ. स्टॉकमन शहरातील लोकांची बैठक घेण्याचे ठरवतो. ती सभा विनाशकारी बनते. पीटर स्टॉकमन लोकांना भडकवून देतो. शहराचा खर्च वाढवण्याचे उद्योग डॉ. स्टॉकमन करतोय असे तो लोकांना सांगतो. डॉ. स्टॉकमन ला सभेत जनता ‘लोकांचे शत्रू’ म्हणायला लागते. त्याच्या घरावर दगडफेक केली जाते. खिडक्यांच्या काचा फोडल्या जातात. तो लोकांच्या रोषाचे लक्ष्य बनतो. वैद्यकीय अधिकारी म्हणून त्यांचा करार संपुष्टात आणला जातो. त्याची मुलगी पेट्राला शिक्षिकेच्या नोकरीतून काढून टाकले जातो. त्याचा घरमालक त्याला आणि त्याच्या कुटुंबाला त्यांच्या घर सोडण्यासाठी दबाव टाकतो.

पण डॉ.स्टॉकमन अडचणींना तोंड देत खंबीरपणे उभा राहतो. काही महिन्यांसाठी शहर सोडून जाण्याचा त्याचा भाऊ पीटरच्या सल्ल्याकडे तो दुर्लक्ष करतो. त्याच्या बायकोला भीती वाटते की लोक त्याला गावाबाहेर घालवतील. डॉ. स्टॉकमन ला शहरात राहायचे आहे. ‘जे सोयीचे असते, ते नेहमीच नैतिकदृष्ट्या योग्य नसते’ हे लोकांना पटवून देण्याचे तो ठरवतो. तो महत्वाचे वाक्य उच्चारतो, “‘जगातील सर्वात बलवान माणूस तो आहे, जो एकटा उभा आहे.” या ठिकाणी नाटक संपते.


Q.5.

(D) Answer in about 50 words.

(Questions: Plot/Structure/Theme/Setting/Language/Character)

Questions         4 Marks
1. Describe/
Explain/
Compare/
Contrast/
Name/
Discuss
(2)
2. Illustrate/
Interpret/
Narrate/
Justify/
Find/
Identify  
(2)                        

Questions

1) The setting of the act is the office of the newspaper ‘The Herald’. Explain how it is the proper background for the theme of the play.

Answer-

The most shocking betrayal of the act occurs in the newspaper office. It is here that Dr. Stockmann learns that the Mayor has successfully managed to convince Hovstad and Aslaksen for not printing the report. The newspaper office is a symbol of the role of media in society. The Mayor has manipulated the media. Thus, the setting highlights the fact that Dr. Stockmann has been betrayed by the media. It is expected that the media must remain unaffected by the influence of politicians. It always strive to present the truth to the society. The setting of the betrayal of the truth in the newspaper office highlights the play’s theme of the corruption of the media.


2) Mayor Peter Stockmann is a contrast to Dr. Thomas Stockmann. Justify.

Answer-

Dr. Thomas Stockmann and Mayor Peter Stockmann are the major characters of the drama. Dr. Thomas Stockmann is the protagonist of the drama. He is a medical officer of the town Baths. He is brave, idealistic and motivated by truth. He discovers that the Baths in the town are contaminated and expects to repair or close it. He desires to publish a manuscript on it to arose the people.

Mayor Peter Stockmann is the brother of Dr. Thomas Stockmann. He is also the chairman of the Bath Committee. He is an antagonist. He is motivated by money and power. He is not interested in truth. He is ruthless and is not bothered about the health of the people. He does not want to repair or close the Bath. He is totally opposite character to that of Dr. Thomas Stockmann.


3) Describe the character- Dr. Stockmann

Answer-

Dr. Stockmann is the protagonist and the main character of the play. He is a medical officer and a family man. He is described as a friend of the people. He has discovered that the Baths in the town are contaminated and wants to instruct the town to repair or close them.  He is a brave person. His views and beliefs do not change. He writes one article and insists to publish it to get the real picture of the baths. He is ready to face every kind of trouble for the sake of the common people.


See More-

History of English Drama-Drama

The Rising of the Moon-Drama

A Mid-summer Night’s Dream-Drama


Get more questions with model answers in the book-

Activity Workbook for Std. XI English

Writer- Prof. Tushar Chavan

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