Sunday, August 8, 2010
An Enemy of the People
Just as the baths are proving successful, Dr. Stockmann discovers that waste products from the town's tannery are contaminating the waters, causing serious illness amongst the tourists. He expects this important discovery to bring him honor and approval and promptly sends a detailed report to the Mayor, which includes a proposed solution, but one that would come at a considerable cost to the town.
To his surprise, Stockmann finds the authorities unwilling to accept the seriousness of the issue and to publicly acknowledge and address the problem, claming it could mean financial ruin for the town. As the conflict develops, Dr. Stockman’s own brother tells him he should "acquiesce in subordinating himself to the community." Dr. Stockmann refuses to accept this, and holds a town meeting in order to persuade people that the baths must be closed.