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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Literary Devices in An Enemy of the People

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Towards the end of the play Dr. Stockmann becomes a Christ figure. Dr. Stockmann, however, might disagree with our assessment. In Act 4 he yells at the crowd, "I am not so forgiving as a certain Pe...

Setting

The play takes place in a nameless coastal town in the south of Norway. The location of the town is important because it's what helps make it a tourist destination. The town's southerly location me...

Genre

Well, the play is definitely a drama, because…it's a play, a piece of literature that is only fully realized when it's performed in front of live audience. It's also tells the story of a ques...

Tone

It definitely seems like the play has a point of view that it wants to get across, which is why we label it a polemic. The Doctor fights to expose the truth of the Baths and the whole of society. W...

Writing Style

Ibsen is often thought of as the founder of realist drama. Other playwrights who wrote in this genre include Chekhov, Strindberg, Shaw, and O'Neill. In realist drama, the characters talk in a close...

What's Up With the Title?

The title of An Enemy of the People is totally ironic. Dr. Stockmann, who gets branded with this unfortunate label, is only trying to help the people. By exposing the pollution of the Baths, he's n...

What's Up With the Ending?

Ibsen seems to be totally unafraid of laying his point on out there at the end of An Enemy of the People. The last few words our protagonist, Dr. Stockmann, go like this: "I am the strongest man in...

Tough-o-Meter

An Enemy of the People is a totally accessible play. It's fast paced, action packed, and even funny. You might get bogged down a bit in the discussions of politics and society, but take the time to...

Plot Analysis

Doctor Stockmann makes a discovery.Everything looks hunky dory at the beginning of the play. Everyone expects the Baths to make the town lots of money. Out protagonist, Dr. Stockmann, is surrounded...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: The Quest

Dr. Stockmann vows to expose the pollution of the Baths.When the Doctor discovers that the water of the Baths is contaminated he feels compelled to expose the truth. When his brother, the Mayor, tr...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Dr. Stockmann's life looks pretty good at first. He's surrounded by friends and family. He's brought the chance for great prosperity to the town he lives in, by promoting the idea of build the Bath...

Trivia

Ibsen wrote An Enemy of the People in a shorter time span than any of his other plays. (Source)Ibsen was extremely secretive while writing the play, not even letting his family know what he was wor...

Steaminess Rating

An Enemy of the People gets a G rating because the good doctor is much more concerned about the corruption of society than he is with amor. The closest thing we see to intimacy is Hovstad's botched...

Allusions

Luke 23:34 ("Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."): Dr. Stockmann paraphrases, "I forgive you, for ye know not what ye do" (5.188).Vikings (1.189)
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