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MonkeyNotes-An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen
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When the Burgomaster, Kiil, Hovstad, and Aslaksen try to manipulate him further, Dr. Stockmann decides to carry on the fight until the end, refusing to flee the town. Even though he and Petra lose their jobs, the landlord threatens to kick him and his family out of his house, and Kiil changes his will, he will not let the truth be killed by a 'conspiracy of silence.' Instead, he will open a school of his own, in the very spot where he was branded as an enemy of the people; there he will teach the children to think for themselves so they can know the truth and fight corrupt politicians. At the end of the play, Dr. Stockmann feels like the strongest man in the world, for he is brave enough to fight the dishonest and self- serving bureaucrats by himself.

Peter Stockmann (The Burgomaster)

Peter Stockmann, a bachelor, is Dr. Stockmann's elder brother. He has a sense of self-importance because he is the Burgomaster of the town and the Chairman of the Baths Committee. Proud and haughty, he brags about his accomplishments, especially his part in the construction of the baths, which have revitalized the economy of the town. He refuses to admit that his brother, Dr. Stockmann, is the one really responsible for the idea of the baths.

The Burgomaster is a conservative representative of the Old World order, who does not like change. Neither does he like his power to be challenged. He is furious to learn that his brother has tested the waters of the baths without consulting him; he is even angrier to learn that the negative report about the baths has been shared with others. The Burgomaster claims that leaking the news of the contamination to the public will economically destroy the town. He tries every tactic imaginable to silence Dr. Stockman, whom he believes to be "turbulent unruly and rebellious."

The Burgomaster proves himself to be a shrewd politician and a crafty manipulator. He is determined to prove the doctor's report false, for he does not want his power challenged or his own reputation tarnished. He smartly convinces Hovstad and Aslaksen, the newsmen, that the doctor's reports are false. He then hatches a secret plan to subvert Dr. Stockmann's plan in exposing the condition of the Baths and finally succeeds in having Dr. Stockmann declared as "an enemy of the people" by the citizens of the town.


The Burgomaster pretends to be concerned about the welfare of the townspeople; he says that the cost of the repairs and the closure of the baths for two years will financially destroy the majority of citizens. His approach is practical, revealing that he is shrewd enough to understand that people want to protect their own financial security. Unfortunately, his motives are evil. The Burgomaster knows that he is responsible for the faulty manner in which the water pipes were laid. He wants to save his own honor by suppressing the discovery made by Dr. Stockmann and turning the people against his brother. Even though he succeeds in his scheme, he cannot silence the independent doctor, who vows to fight the battle of the baths to then end. Although the Burgomaster has won the first battle, there is no indication he will win the bigger war.

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