An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen

Good Essays
An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen

An Enemy of the People deals with the extent to which individual

desires and beliefs are compromised by society. In particular, the

play focuses on the ways in which an individual can be ostracized by

the society he is trying to help. One primary message of the play is

that the individual, who stands alone, is more often "right" than the

mass of people, who are portrayed as ignorant and sheeplike. Isben who

turned atheist during his encounter with Georg Brandes, presents many

Christian values in ‘An enemy of the people’, and religious


Both Dr. Stockmann and Mrs. Stockmann reveal signs of religious

references and show Christian values. We learn that Dr. Stockmann has

strong moral values when it comes to honesty and truth. From the

following we can tell that he believes that the truth should not be

hidden from anyone let alone the community, and that the truth shall

prevail in the end. ‘I should think he would be very glad that such an

important truth has been brought to light’. We can also see that the

truth is a very important part of Dr. Stockmann’s life, and that the

truth is what rightly should be stood up for, as he says, ‘In god’s

name, what else do you suppose I should do but take my stand on right

and truth?’ and the ‘truth and the people will win the fight you may

be certain!’. Apart from sticking up for the truth he also believes in

sticking up for what he believes in which is a strong Christian value.

You can almost compare Jesus Christ to Dr. Stockmann as both stands up

for what they believe are the truth and what they believe in. Just as

Jesus preached to people to back his side, Dr Stockmann does the same.

‘If I can’t hire a hall, I shall...

... middle of paper ...

... don’t know; but I don’t like it.

We also see many religious expressions made by her, such as ‘good

heavens’, or Good lord help us’. She also makes reference to God when

speaking to Dr. Stockmann., ‘I don’t know anything about it but God

preserve us. Apart from Mrs. Stockmann and Dr Stockmann showing some

religious reference we see Petra reveal that hard work is also

presented as a good Christian value. ‘Yes – but that is good. One is

so delightfully tired after it’.

In the end we see similarities in both Jesus and Dr. Stockman that

they both struggle to get the truth out to people, and that both are

seen as enemies although they are in fact people doing right for

others. Dr Stockmann does stand alone in the end but he was the one in

the right, and stood up to his believes, and in his mind, ‘the

strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone’.