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An Enemy of the People | Study Guide

Henrik Ibsen

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An Enemy of the People | Characters

Character Description
Dr. Thomas Stockmann A doctor and the medical officer for the Baths, Dr. Stockmann is the one who discovers the pollution in the water. He is determined to publicize his findings, and he and his family suffer the consequences. Read More
Mayor Peter Stockmann, the town's mayor, is Dr. Stockmann's brother. He is conventional and cautious. He finds it easier to cast doubt on his brother's research than to take responsibility for fixing the Baths. Read More
Hovstad Hovstad is the young editor of the newspaper The People's Messenger. He initially supports Dr. Stockmann but changes his mind. Read More
Petra Petra is the Stockmanns' oldest daughter. She is a "freethinker" who teaches at the local school and occasionally translates English stories into Norwegian for Hovstad's paper. Read More
Aslaksen The town printer, Aslaksen is a man known for his moderation. He appreciates Dr. Stockmann's research at first but then quickly sides with the mayor. Read More
Mrs. Stockmann Katherine, Dr. Stockmann's wife, spends a lot of her time handling the realistic details of the family's life the doctor can't be bothered to worry about. Read More
Billing A newspaper reporter who works for Hovstad, Billing claims to be a radical but, like Hovstad, is interested in improving his own situation. He is willing to take a political post to earn more money, and he is also interested in the Stockmanns' daughter, Petra.
Captain Horster A sea captain and friend of the Stockmanns, Captain Horster is not concerned about town politics, and he helps the Stockmanns because he thinks the doctor is a good man. Captain Horster may also be romantically interested in Petra Stockmann, but he does not express his feelings directly.
Morten Kiil Mrs. Stockmann's father, Morten Kiil ("The Badger"), is a poorly educated and crude man who made a lot of money running a tannery. He doesn't understand Dr. Stockmann, but he enjoys seeing the town in an uproar.
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