An Enemy of the People

In: Other Topics

Submitted By mboyd102
Words 1686
Pages 7
Truth, in the dictionary, is defined as “a statement proven to be, or accepted as true; a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle.” This definition alone lends to the idea of there being an absolute truth. Absolut truth is something that is proven and indisputable. Just because it’s proven to be true, however, doesn’t mean that people have to accept it. In Ibsen’s play An Enemy of the People, we see how the method of telling the truth, not the truth itself, can be ignored and twisted based on what one wants to believe. The method for telling the truth in An Enemy of the People is Dr. Stockmann. He has scientific proof that the baths are polluted and causing people to become sick. This is the truth, but we see how people such as the mayor and Hovstad are able to slander the doctor in order to hide the truth. That is the key point. The truth remained the truth throughout the entire play. The actions of the mayor and the other main characters prove that they accepted Dr. Stockmann’s findings as true. They, however, chose to ignore the truth for their own benefit. This leads to the question of: is the truth evaded when it becomes inconvenient? The answer is absolutely yes. While the truth may be absolute, it can be evaded rather easily. A common reason to evade the truth is for self-interest as seen in An Enemy of the People. Hovstad, Billings, and Aslasken were quick to accept the truth when it best suited their plans, but as soon as their business was threatened, they turned their back on the truth ultimately siding with one of the very people they initially were planning to unseat, the mayor. This greed and fickleness of human nature is often what helps prevent the truth. Not only was the truth evaded, but in this case it was completely kept from the general public, and it was done easily. In the play, Dr. Stockmann is verbally attacked to keep…...

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