The Issues Enveloping the Characters in An Enemy of the People, a Novel by Henrik Ibsen

The central problem that the characters face in An Enemy of the People is the contamination of the baths that are crucial to the town’s economy. The cause of the problem is the source of the bath’s water. It is filled with pollution and the polluted water seeps into the baths’ pump room. The pollution comes from tanneries and other industries that let their waste leak into the water supply. Dr. Stockman is currently working to fix the problem.

Many solutions were proposed by the characters. The doctor proposed replacing the water system. The problem with the doctor’s solution is that it would cost too much and take two years to complete. This solution would cause the town’s economy to fall for about two whole years. The cost would also be problematic because they would have to raise the taxes in that case. This solution would upset almost the entire population of the town.

The mayor proposes compelling the doctor to do more studies and then come to the conclusion that the baths are fine.

This would be a problem because since the water is teeming with bacteria, so are the baths and people bathe in them. Bathing in contaminated water can’t possibly be healthy. It’s bound to make people sick. There are huge health risks to this, and if the people ever find out, there would be an enormous outrage. Another solution that was suggested was to take a municipal loan that would cause the baths to shut down for two years.

The problem with this solution is that they would be in debt, and the town’s economy would plummet, since the baths are such a huge part of it.

As a solution, Kiil attempts to get the doctor to retract by investing all of Mrs. Stockmann’s inheritance in bath shares. This doesn’t work because the doctor just stands his ground. My solution, is to go and clean out all of the drains and pumps in the water system and clear them of bacteria. Then, they need to make sure that more polluted water doesn’t seep into the system. That may take some time to kill all of the bacteria, but it would be cheaper and quicker than some of the solutions offered. It would eventually lead to less sick people and less problems for their economy. I honestly like my solution best but if I had to pick one that the characters offered, it would be the doctors. I like his the best because you can’t have people bathing in bacteria infested water. That’s just disgusting and people will get sick.

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