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An Enemy of the People

An Enemy of the People


by Henrik Ibsen

Dr. Thomas Stockmann Timeline and Summary

  • Dr. Stockmann has Hovstad, Billing, Captain Horster, and other friends over for a lovely nighttime gathering.
  • He bickers with his brother, Mayor Peter Stockmann, because he won't reveal a new discovery concerning the Baths.
  • Dr. Stockmann receives confirmation that the Baths are contaminated, and he announces the pollution of the Baths to the party.
  • He is celebrated for his discovery, because everybody thinks it will help the town.
  • Dr. Stockmann talks to his father-in-law, Morten Kiil, who is glad that the Doctor's discovery will anger the town authorities.
  • The Doctor accepts the support of Hovstad and Aslaksen in spreading the truth of the dirty Baths.
  • He gets mad at the Mayor, when Mayor Stockmann orders him to suppress the contamination of the Baths. He pledges to reveal the truth of the Baths no matter what the cost.
  • Dr. Stockmann shows up at the newspaper office all riled up and makes sure that the publication of his article is going smoothly.
  • He celebrates the fact that he has the support of the majority in town.
  • He leaves see to a patient.
  • Dr. Stockmann returns to the newspaper office and finds his brother hiding in a backroom.
  • He mocks the Mayor, saying that now he, rather than the Mayor, has the power in town.
  • When he discovers that the Mayor has turned Aslaksen and Hovstad against him, Dr. Stockmann is shocked. He's furious that now his article, revealing the truth of the Baths, will not be published.
  • Once again Dr. Stockmann pledges to reveal the truth no matter what.
  • He gathers a crowd together in Captain Horster's house to read his unpublished article, but is kept from reading his article through the machinations of the Mayor.
  • Dr. Stockmann launches into a tirade about what he sees as the true corruption in society. He harangues the crowd about how the complacent, ignorant majority is the real pollution.
  • The crowd votes Dr. Stockmann an official public enemy.
  • He's nearly lynched and has his house pummeled with stones.
  • Dr. Stockmann determines to move to America on Captain Horster's ship.
  • He's evicted from his house.
  • The Doctor learns that Captain Horster has lost his job as a result of supporting him, and now the Stockmanns can't escape to America.
  • The Mayor informs Dr. Stockmann that he's been fired.
  • Dr. Stockmann refuses to go back on his words about the Baths, even to get his job back.
  • Morten Kiil informs the Doctor that he's invested the Stockmann family's inheritance into the now worthless shares in the Baths.
  • Out of concern for his family, the Doctor wavers on whether of not to give in and retract his claims about the Baths.
  • Aslaksen and Hovstad visit Dr. Stockmann. They now believe the Doctor's health claims about the Baths have been a scheme to get rich and take control of the Baths. They want in on his supposed scheme.
  • Dr. Stockmann chases Aslaksen and Hovstad away with an umbrella.
  • Reinvigorated, he swears to reeducate the world in the name of truth, starting with the poor.