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Book Response: An Enemy of the People| Ibsen's Play Adaptation|

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Arthur Miller, a writer who often used his work to talk about recurrent matters in society, chose to work on, "An enemy of the People," a play by Ibsen that portrays important subjects such as freedom of speech (of unpopular opinions), monetary interests, and complacency of the majority.

I believe that one of the most controversial subjects through history is the freedom of speech, especially in our country where little by little this right is being taken away. Take for instance the documentary seen last week in class, "Food Ink", where people were afraid to talk (talking meant to lose money). Likely in the play, freedom of speech is the line which takes the conflict between Peter and Thomas Stockman to its climax. Thomas discovered the bath's water system had been contaminated and needed urgently to be taken care of; otherwise it would cause numerous people to become sick or even die. However, when Thomas confronts his brother, Peter, who is the town's mayor, he finds out that his brother does not agree with the idea of communicating to the town or anyone else about the contamination because the people didn't needed to know the truth. This takes me back to the GMO issue. Many companies don't want to tell the truth about their products to consumers. These companies are fighting against the proposition 37 which requires companies to rightfully label their products. In the story, Peter tries to convince Thomas that his idea to warn everyone would be just too impetuous and that it could cause the town's down fall in the long run. Thomas comprehended Peter but, also understood that it was immoral to allow the baths to open as if nothing were wrong. Therefore, he urges into warning the town about the contamination issue and its consequences. Even though people in the town believed him, reason why the bath's shares went down in prices, they chose to close their eyes to what Thomas (Dr. Stockman) tried to say because they believed it wasn't going to benefit them or the town financially and that, if someone was promoting something that would not benefit them, that he should be considered, their enemy (the people didn't care if tourists became sick or died, as long as it didn't happen to the town's residents). In my opinion, this play clearly demonstrates how unwelcoming it can be to an individual who has an opinion or idea that dissents from the majority of the people, and because of that, the majority might try to shut these individuals down, rather than, defend or promote their right to freedom of speech. Remember what happened to Martin Luther King, or Mahatma Gandhi, and Rachel Carson for instance? This people were attacked because they stood for something that not many people wanted to stand for. These people believed in freedom in the most profound way and that's the reason why they stood themselves against the majority of their time.

This play also demonstrates

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