970 Spring 2019 Henrik Ibsen: An Enemy of the People
Tuesday, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 9
United Christian Parish Reston
Instructor: Vera Wentworth
An Enemy of the People is a political play as up-to-date now as it was in Ibsen’s time more than a hundred years ago. It deals with the pollution of the town’s baths which were infecting visitors with disease, and the combined efforts of the political and media elite to cover it up. When Dr. Stockmann, the medical officer of the baths and hero of the play, tries to correct the situation, he runs up against the political power structure. With the economic well-being of the town and its leaders threatened, corruption, manipulation of the press, opportunism, and back stabbing come to the forefront. At the end, Dr. Stockmann stands all alone and loses everything except the will to fight another battle another day. The truths that the play expresses are not dated and will exist as long as there are town councils and politicians.
Vera Wentworth holds a PhD in English and has taught at the college level for 30 years, mostly at the University of Maryland and Prince George’s Community College. She has taught a variety of literature courses at OLLI.