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An Enemy of the People

An Enemy of the People


by Henrik Ibsen


Character Role Analysis

Dr. Stockmann to Mayor Stockmann

The Stockmann brothers couldn't be more different. Dr. Stockmann is a naïve idealist, whereas Mayor Stockmann is a crafty pragmatist. One is a doctor, dedicated to the health of his community, while the other is a politician more concerned with power and public reputation. The Doctor loves change and new ideas, while his brother is much more conservative. The Mayor thinks things should stay the way they are, and seems to be afraid of change.

All in all, the characters stand in sharp contrast to each other. The only major similarity that we see between the two is that ultimately they both seem to believe that a minority should rule society. The Doctor believes it should be progressive intellectuals like himself, while the Mayor favors conservatives like himself and his cronies. Maybe, if you step back far enough, the Stockmann brothers are more alike than they immediately seem. They both seem to think that people like themselves should rule the earth.