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Chapter 4.3 Extracts of Drama – An Enemy of the People

Chapter 4 Extracts of Drama - (A) A Midsummer - Night's Dream] 

Chapter 4.3 Extracts of Drama – An Enemy of the People

 An enemy of the people themes 

Question 1.
Mayor Peter Stockmann is a contrast to Dr. Thomas Stockmann. Justify.
Solution:
There are lots of good things you can say about Dr. Stockmann, the protagonist of ‘An Enemy of the People’. He is an idealist and a man having great love and care for his family. He is generous with his neighbors and truly cares for his fellow men. Despite his troubles, he wishes to make the world a better place. Most importantly, the doctor is a man of principles willing to fight for justice no matter what it costs.

On the contrary, Mayor Peter Stockmann, his brother is a practical man. He is the antagonist in the play who is less worried about the common men in the city. Throughout the play, the Mayor, Stockmann mercilessly tries to ruin his brother’s life in order to keep the truth from being revealed. He hardly shows any affinity towards his brother. He never shows any feeling of guilt for the fact that he’s totally messing up the life of a family member.

Question 2.
Write the character sketch of Dr. Stockmann.
Solution:
Dr. Stockmann is the brother of the Mayor, Peter Stockmann and the protagonist/hero of the play. He is a practising medical doctor and the medical officer of the town baths. He is an ideal person who has great love for family, fellow citizens and social values. Dr. Stockmann believes strongly in individual freedom and the right of every man to express himself freely.

He is a man of morality and truth and is ready to fight against injustice. He tries to raise his voice against the hypocritical ways of his brother and the members of conservative government. The play revolves around his struggle to give justice to common men of the city. Finally, his fruitless efforts lead him to such misfortune to ruin everything in his profession and life. However, he is not ready to give up his efforts for truth. We see him as a man of patience and strength when he remarks – “The strongest man in the world is he who stands alone!”


3. Read the given extract.  

Question [i]
Complete the following table. [Answers are given directly in bold]
Solution:
CharacterSupportive CharacterIncident
1. Dr. Stockmann(a) Mrs. Stockmann
(b) Petra Stockmann
(a) Ready to stand with him in every difficulty.
(b) Joins her father in his fight against injustice.
2. Peter Stockmann(a) Aslaksen
(b) Hovstad
(a) To stand in opposition of Dr. Stockmann
(b) Turned to the Mayor’s side in the final scene.
3. Aslaksen(a) Dr. Stockmann
(b) Tradesmen
(a) Trusted him for printing the article.
(b) Gave their support to him.
 
Question [ii]
Match the column ‘A’ with column ‘B’

Column ‘A’Column ‘B’
1. Dr. Thomas StockmannOpportunist
2. KatherineVulnerable
3. PeterHonest and upright
4. PetraCoward
5. HovstadTimid but supportive
6. BillingCunning and corrupt
7. AslaksenCourageous
Solution:

Column ‘A’Column ‘B’
1. Dr. Thomas StockmannHonest and upright
2. KatherineVulnerable
3. PeterCunning and corrupt
4. PetraCourageous
5. HovstadTimid but supportive
6. BillingOpportunist
7. AslaksenCoward

Plot: 

Question 1.
Describe the climax scene in your own words. Write your comments on it.
Solution:
In the final scene, Dr. Stockmann realizes that no one is going to support him to publish the article as no one is ready to take any step against the Mayor. So, Stockmann asks Hovstad to give him back his papers [article]. He announces in front of the Mayor that he will read out the article in a mass meeting for everybody to hear the voice of truth. But, the Mayor assures him that no one will lend him a hall in the city to do this.

Billing and Hovstad have also the same opinion. Mrs. Stockmann feels shameful to know the fact that no one is willing to give her husband a hall. She is rather shocked to know that everyone has turned against her husband. Dr. Stockmann is ready to hire a drum to walk on the city streets reading the article. It shows his determination to reveal the truth at any cost. All the family members are ready to stand with Dr. Stockmann in his sincere efforts to purify the society.

 
Question 2.
Describe in your own words the incident when Hovstad’s real intention to help Dr. Stockmann is exposed.
Solution:
When Dr. stockmann reached Hovstad’s office, he notices the Mayor’s stick and hat and suspects him of hiding in the next room. Dr. Stockmann enquired if Hovstad was going to publish the article in ‘People’s Messenger’. Hovstad answered him that he had to wait for publishing the article.

Hovstad didn’t refuse him but was not ready to publish it. He was under the influence of the Mayor and had personal interest. In addition, both Billing and Aslaksen supported the editor. Dr. Stockmann approached to Aslaksen for requesting him to atleast print the article as a pamphlet. However he denied doing so. Finally, Hovstad refused to print the article saying it would ruin doctor’s family. Here, the Dr. realized Hovstad’s real intention of not printing the article as he was doing everything to protect himself.


3. Write down the consequences of the following occurrences, with the help of the play.  

Question [a]
Dr. Thomas Stockmann wants an article exposing social evils to be printed in the newspaper.
Solution:
Dr. Stockmann was an idealist and a lover of truth. When he came across the unhygienic condition of the baths which was a direct threat to the health of the people, he decided to publish the article in the newspaper exposing the Mayor and his cronies. This would directly affect the ruling government to lose their seats. In addition, it would raise public outcry against the social injustice of the Mayor and his stakeholders had to pay a large amount to rectify the issue.

Question [b]
The Mayor, Peter Stockmann persuades Mr. Hovstad and Mr. Billing from printing the article.
Solution:
The Mayor entered Hovstad’s office through the back doors. He didn’t want to let Dr. Stockmann know about his visit to Hovstad. When he met Hovstad and Billing, he told them that Dr. Stockmann is a headstrong man and had some wrong informations about the condition of the baths.

He also praised both Hovstad and Billing and assured them that he had another article to publish which would clear the doubts of all regarding the baths. He indirectly assured them to have their favour in this matter if they supported him. As Dr. Stockmann came to know about the Mayor’s visit to Hovstad’s office to persuade them, he was of the firm opinion that they would not publish his article.

 
Question [c]
Aslaksen declares that he would not print Dr. Stockmann’s article.
Solution:
As the Mayor told Aslaksen his idea of raising the money from the small tradesmen, Aslaksen thought that Dr. Stockmann’s idea of extensive alternation of the baths was unrealistic. So he decided not to print the article in the newspaper and save the small tradesmen from this unnecessary burden. As Aslaksen denied printing the article, Dr. Stockmann assured them that he would read the article in the mass meeting or raise the issue on the streets of the city. He would anyway expose the ruling government and give justice to common men.

Question [d]
Katherine encourages Dr. Stockmann to proceed in his attempts in the cause of public attempts.
Solution:
When the Mayor and his supporter opposed Dr. Stockmann, Mrs. Stockmann felt shameful that all of them turned against her husband. She put her arm onto his neck and told him that she was ready to stand with him. She encouraged him not to give up his idea and she and her children would help him in his mission. She finally promised to support him till the end. She added that her children Morten, Ejlif and Petra would follow him on the streets of the city.


Setting: 

Question 1.
The setting of the act is the office of the newspaper ‘The Herald’. Explain how it is the proper background for the theme of the play.
Solution:
This act is set in the editor’s room at the office of ‘People’s Messenger’. One door leads to the printing office and another to the rest of the offices. There is a large table in the middle covered with books, papers and newspapers and there is a desk at the window. The room is described as ‘dingy and cheerless’.

The setting of the play is appropriate to the theme as the single door opening shows that truth is the only way to be followed by everyone. The dingy and clumsy atmosphere and old furniture urge need of change and renovation in the existing situation. The table covered with books and newspapers is a symbol of chaos and anarchy in the government.

The window stands for a ray of hope in the darkness of injustice. A few closed chairs symbolize time to wind-up prevailing conservative government and bring in new liberal governance. The glass panels stand for transparency and clarity in every section of the government.

 
Question 2.
Explain the use of the following property in the development of the play.
Solution:
[a] Hat – Hat plays an important role in the development of the play. It stands for the city’s authority, ‘the Mayor’ as it was a part of the official uniform. When Dr. Stockmann put on the hat, he told his brother that the entire city was in his hand. He also added that with that supreme power he would throw him off the existing government. Dr. Stockmann saw the Mayor’s hat in the editor’s room and could realize that the Mayor was hiding in the next room, listening his conversation with the editor. This made him understand the Mayor’s plot of ruining his article.

[b] Stick – The stick at certain instances was a symbol of assertiveness, commitment, new ideas or sticking to the old things. The stick in Dr. Stockmann’s hand suggests his assertiveness, commitment and new ideas in the existing government with the support of everyone. But the stick in the Mayor’s hand, suggests that the whole situation was groomed by him to turn against Dr. Stockmann. The stick in the hand of the Mayor also proves his authority and command over other people.

[c] An envelope containing the letter – The envelope of the letter focuses over the issue of grievance which everyone keeps by hiding a secret. Dr. Stockmann took various efforts to expose the issue but finally Hovstad returned the envelope to him, which suggests how everyone tried to conceal the burning issue. The issue needed immediate attention, but was hidden from the public as the letter was hidden by the envelope.


3. Explain the following statements with reference to the context. 

Question [a]
And then, once the ring is broken, we’ll get to work and show the public every day just how incompetent the Mayor is!
Solution:
When both Hovstad and Billing read Dr. Stockmann’s article, they were shocked to know that the article would bring a revolution in the city. Hovstad was ready to publish that article the next day in ‘People’s Messenger’. Billing thought that if the Mayor didn’t like it then it would be a great trouble for them. But Hovstad was ready to take the risk as the problem was acute.

The Mayor would be in trouble from either by the small tradesmen and the householders’ association or by the shareholders in the bath. Anyhow the ring would be a broken and they would get a chance everyday to expose the Mayor through the newspaper and the entire government would go in the hands of the liberals.
 
Question [b]
From now on The Herald shall be my artillery.
Solution:
Billing, Aslaksen, Hovstad and Dr. Stockmann were discussing about the article. Hovstad was ready to publish the article in the ‘People’s Messenger’ on the next day only. Seeing this Aslaksen agreed with Hovstad to print whatever he wished to print. Dr. Stockmann was of the opinion that it would disrupt on the entire system.

Dr. Stockmann told them that the Mayor and his cronies tried to persuade him by all means but he was determined to publish the article at any cost. Now, Dr. Stockmann considered ‘People’s Messenger’ as his sheet-anchor [additional support]to use it as an artillery to attack on the Mayor with one article after another.

Question [c]
You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
Solution:
Petra visited Hovstad and she told him that she could not translate the novel he had given her. Hovstad asked the reason why she could not translate that book. She answered that the book was unrealistic and she didn’t find it to be read by the common men. At that time, Petra came to know Hovstad’s original intention not printing her father’s article revealing the truth. She thought him as a loyal person but he turned a traitor. So she said that he ought to be ashamed of himself.

 
Question [d]
Because your father can’t do without my help.
Solution:
Petra did not wish to translate the book as it was unrealistic. When she asked Hovstad about her father’s article, Hovstad told her that he was not going to print the article. She sensed the intention of Hovstad and his behaviour. She did not like his way of looking at the truth. She got upset when Hovstad told her that she was fighting against it as it was only a matter of her father. She became furious as she heard his remarks that her father couldn’t do anything without his help. She got to know the attitude of Hovstad to support the Mayor in the issue.

Question [e]
And it’s by no means the small sacrifice the town will have to make.
Solution:
The Mayor tried hard to persuade Aslaksen and Hovstad that they should not support Dr. Stockmann in his attempts to publish the article as it was not in favour of the small tradesmen and the householders. If the Mayor would go for the extensive alteration of the baths, the town would have to sacrifice. It would incur great expenditure on the municipal.

As a result, they would have to put extra burden of taxes over the tradesmen and commoners. In addition, the baths would be shut down for two years. In such condition, the householders would have to suffer a lot. Eventually, the city would have to be ready to make the sacrifice but Aslaksen was in no mood to put the additional burden over the tradesmen and householders.

Balbharati solutions for English Yuvakbharati 11th Standard 

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