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An Enemy of the People

An Enemy of the People

by Henrik Ibsen

Power Quotes Page 2

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

Dr. Stockmann: "every single day I will bombard them with one article after another, like bombshells […] I shall smite them to the ground--I shall crush them." (3.49-52)

Whoa, Doc. Is it just us or is Stockmann just a wee bit too fond of his high horse? Yeah, he's doing what he thinks is right, but it does seem like the good Doctor is enjoying his newfound power quite a bit.

Quote #5

Mrs. Stockmann: "(To Hovstad.) Please do realise that he loses his post at the Baths if you print what he has written." […]
Dr. Stockmann: (laughing). "Ha-ha!--just let them try! […]I have got the compact majority behind me, let me tell you!" (3.286-289)

Dr. Stockmann is under the impression that he's got a lot more power than he really does. Early in the play he really did have public opinion behind him, but now that his supposed allies have realized the amount of money his proposed renovations will cost they've totally turned against him. The Doctor has been made powerless without even knowing it.

Quote #6

(DR. STOCKMANN has put on the Mayor's hat and taken his stick in his hand.)
Mayor Peter Stockmann: "What does this tomfoolery mean?"
Dr. Stockmann: "Be respectful, my good Peter. I am the chief authority in the town now." (3.303-305)

Did you catch the symbolism here? The Doctor emphasizes the fact that he's taking power away from his brother, by taking the Mayor's official hat and cane. Of course, soon enough the Doctor realizes that he's the one who is now powerless.

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