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An Enemy of the People
by Henrik Ibsen
Hovstad Timeline and Summary
Hovstad has a lovely dinner at the Doctor's house. He trades a few jibes with the Mayor. When Dr. Stockmann announces his discovery about the unsanitary Baths, Hovstad is excited because he can use it against the Mayor and his cronies. He schemes with Billing about causing a liberal revolution in the town. Hovstad promises the Doctor that he'll publish the article exposing the heath risks of the Baths. He congratulates Dr. Stockmann on his strongly worded article, and criticizes Aslaksen for being too timid in his political beliefs. Hovstad makes a pass at Petra, Dr. Stockmann's daughter, intimating that he's helping her father in part because he's got a thing for her. When the Mayor comes to talk to him, he's easily convinced not to publish the Doctor's article. Later, he speaks out against Dr. Stockmann at the public meeting. H wrongly assumes that the Doctor's recent activities have all been a ploy to take over the Baths, and he tries to get in on the supposed scheme. The irate Dr. Stockmann chases him away with an umbrella.