41 pages 1 hour read

Henrik Ibsen

An Enemy of the People

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1882

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Act IV

Act Summaries & Analyses

Act IV Summary

Thomas struggles to find a place to hold his meeting, as the townspeople are quickly coming together against him. Eventually Horster, the ship captain, agrees to hold the event at his house. A large gathering space in the house becomes the setting for Act IV. A large crowd has already gathered, many of whom look to Aslaksen to see how he reacts to the doctor’s proclamation. Discussion among the crowd reveals that the newspaper has published Peter’s article discounting the pollution, and that many people believe Thomas to be out of line. Horster chaperones the Stockmann family to a makeshift podium, which he has set up close to a door in case they have to leave quickly. Thomas is confused when Horster suggests that there might be unrest at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Aslaksen and Peter conspire to prevent Thomas from speaking. They quickly call a vote to seat Aslaksen as the meeting’s chairman, which passes without contest. With Aslaksen in charge, he, Peter, Billing, and Hovstad begin speaking to the crowd, telling them that Thomas is trying to ruin the town’s economy and his family’s reputation with his spurious claims about

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