– The Peoples Enemy Essay, Research Paper
The most powerful man in the world is the one that stands alone
Throughout Western literature, one dominate theme besides the epic tale of good versus evil exists. This theme reaches beyond tragedies, mysteries, and dramas because it is the underlining theme in integral literary works that have shaped our society from the beginnings of civilization. The most powerful man in the world is the one that stands alone. To have the conviction to stand alone on an issue takes courage, fervor, and passion for what one believes is right. One cannot be successful in his endeavor to change society regarding any issue without moral conviction, pursuit for the truth, and public announcement of grievances. These three elements are the essentials to a strong base for conviction. These are the three elements that Dr. Stockmann incorporates into his life in order to oppose the mass majority of the people. He stands alone in his conviction even though, morally; he knows that his convictions are the truth. He sees that way that the bureaucracy tries to disillusion the people in order rape the truth.
There lies the moral conviction that Dr. Stockmann feels that is beyond correct. I for one believe that it is better for the people know the truth even though it might eventually hurt their community. Issues need to be resolved not ignored until they escalate into greater tribulations. Moral conviction has been a theme in Western Literature since its establishment. Even in this day and age, this moral dilemma has crossed every human mind. Whether it is nobler to let the fellow man know the truth but hurt him, or to save his peace of mind but disillusion him? This classic theme cannot be answered in a simple resolution, but for Dr. Stockmann this issue was resolved through his belief that science is the essence of truth. To ignore science is to ignore the truth. Dr. Stockmann s conviction derives from his love of his community and town. He cannot disillusion the people by living a lie, and thus he must tell the people of the truth.
Dr. Stockmann s pursuit of the truth is obtained from his work in the science field where constant change is echoed by theorems that are then proved to be correct. His search for the truth drives his convictions. However, to prevent disillusionment of society Dr. Stockmann in turn disillusions himself. He believes that the compact majority will be on his side, the side he believes to be the truth. However, we know that in society, the truth is not always the most beneficial. To society it is easier to live a lie, than hassle with the truth. Dr. Stockmann only recognizes this at the end of the play where it is too late to save himself and his family. Throughout Western literature, the pursuit of the truth has fueled debate and controversy as it does in this play, even though it is a precursor to modern literature. Upton Sinclair s The Jungle is an example of this relentless pursuit of the truth. This novel introduced to the public the truth about the meatpacking industry that led to legislation regulating its actions. It is this relentless pursuit of the truth that Dr. Stockmann applies to his life and this situation in particular.
This public announcement of grievances was the essential key to the regulation thus changing the meatpacking industry forever. This is an integral ingredient in order to reveal the truth the public. Dr. Stockmann tried revealing grievances that would affect the public, but forces out of his control limited his impact on the compact majority . Yet, he responded in a way that is not only honorable, but also legitimate of the position he took against the bureaucracy of the community. The rebel always has a better answer than conventional thinking. In this way, Dr. Stockmann is a rebel, but a rebel with a just cause with the well being of the community at heart. It is only through the public meeting called, that he was able to tell the community the truth about themselves, yet this was confrontational. The compact majority does not take well into attacking their insolence, thus disapproved of the doctor, limiting his purpose for the ultimate truth.
Dr. Stockmann employs all of these techniques in his plight for the truth, yet, there was one man with the right idea. Aslaksen put is best, All in moderation Doctor, all in moderation. If Dr. Stockmann has incorporated Aslaksen s advice into his strategy, his effectiveness in the community might have been different. His lack of effectiveness in the community derived from his impulse to solve problems and his disillusionment. The most powerful man in the world is the one that stands alone, and Dr. Stockmann is the most powerful man because he not only had the drive to pursue the truth, but he also strived against odds for the betterment of the society which he grew to love: love the community along with its imperfections.