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An Enemy of the People

An Enemy of the People


by Henrik Ibsen

An Enemy of the People Pride Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used R. Farquharson Sharp's translation.

Quote #1

Hovstad: "[The Baths ] owe their existence to [Dr. Stockmann].
Mayor Peter Stockmann: "To him? Indeed! It is true I have heard from time to time that some people are of that opinion." (1.46-47)

The Mayor gets really offended whenever people give all the credit for the Baths to his popular brother. His pride can't take the fact that his brother had a really good idea. It is true that Mayor Stockmann, and not his brother, had the skills necessary to actually get the Baths built. Of course, as we find out later in the play, the Mayor had them built incorrectly. His pride won't allow him to admit this. His stubborn refusal to admit the truth drives the action of the play.

Quote #2

Dr. Stockmann: "whether it is a demonstration in my honour, […] whatever it is, you most promise me solemnly and faithfully to put a stop to it." (3.269)

The Doctor seems to be showing a good bit of humility here, by insisting that the town not do anything to honor him. This line is great example of dramatic irony, or when the audience knows something that a character doesn't. Stockmann is completely unaware that the whole town is about to turn against him.

Quote #3

Dr. Stockmann: "There is going to be a revolution in the town tomorrow, let me tell you.
You [Peter Stockmann] thought you could turn me out; but now I shall turn you out--" (3.310)

The Doctor seems to be taking great joy in humiliating his brother, the Mayor. Is it possible that the Doctor's determination to expose the contamination of the baths is partly motivated by pride? How much does sibling rivalry come into play in the conflict between the brothers?

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