AP English Language and Literature
One of the strongest human drives seems to be a desire for power. Write an essay in which you discuss how Dr.Stockmann struggles to free himself from the power of others or seeks to gain power over others. Be sure to demonstrate in your essay how the author uses this power struggle to enhance the meaning of the work.
An Enemy of the People:Power Essay
From the earliest homosapiens, humans have discovered you cannot make your chicken lay more eggs or your crops grow faster. However, early humans discovered you can force another person to give you their eggs and their crops. Hence, the discovery of power led to control. Fast forward to the 19th century, we now live in a more civilized society. Controlling people directly is overrated. In this time period, towns now include thousands of people. Individuals morning routines have become second nature; everyone is so immersed in their own lives. The big problems of the city are much too difficult for an ordinary citizen to contemplate. Problems concerning the city are left to the mayor.
This kind of town makes people vulnerable to persuasion. In this scenario, the person who sees the truth usually stands alone. In the play An Enemy of the People this scenario is exactly the plot of the play. The setting takes place in a town where the Mayor governs the town. The town attracts people through its beautiful baths. However, the mayor’s brother,Dr. Stockmann, finds evidence of the baths being contaminated. Dr. Stockmann is concerned with the public’s health, so he attempts to inform them of his evidence. The power of the mayor suppresses Dr.Stockmann’s information. Eventually Dr.Stockmann reveals his evidence to the public, but the majority does not accept the truth. The play reveals that when you are in the majority, you should stop and think carefully. Dr.Stockmann uses his scientific mind to abate the oppression his brother’s power has on him. In the play it states, “Here it is! It proves the presence of decomposing organic matter in the water- it is full if infusoria. The water is absolutely dangerous to use, either internally or externally ‘“(Ibsen 13). Although Dr.Stockmann does not have as much power as the mayor, he uses his scientific evidence of the baths to give knowledge to the public. However, the mayor declares Dr. Stockmann cannot print his evidence. As a result, Dr.Stockmann is forced to reveal his evidence at Horster’s house. Yet, the mayor shows up and restricts Dr. Stockmann from reading his reports or discussing the baths.
In an attempt to gain the gain the public’s opinion, Dr.Stockmann uses communication and honesty. In the play it states, “What does the destruction of a community matter, if it lives on lies! It ought to be razed to the ground, I tell you!”(Ibsen 64). Dr.Stockmann’s informative speech on how the town will suffer economic disparity from the evidence he has gathered was truthful and concerning the individual. Nonetheless, the public refused to accept the information, and they were not willing to embrace the truth. As a result, Dr. Stockmann revealed his anger for people who