An Enemy of the People
We went to see An Enemy of the People at the Manhattan Theater Club this past week. This particular play was written by Henrik Ibsen in 1882. He wrote this play in response to the public outcry from another play he wrote that had indecent references to syphilis.
Knowing that the play was written in 1882 made it even more interesting. This play could have taken place today. It is essentially about the corrupt political system and the irrational reactions of the masses. The play focuses on one man who stuggles to do the right thing and speak out against the leaders of the town who want to turn a blind eye. The leaders of the town would rather not spend the money to fix the issues because it will destroy their livelihood. We have all seen this movie before and know how it ends. Those issues eventually come back to haunt you but the play does not end on that note.
The play is the pull between the Republicans, the Democrats and the masses who vote for them. That is how I saw it. The Republicans ran this town. They wanted to keep the money for themselves and were not so concerned that the effects were going to make people seriously ill because they didn't have to pay for it, they kept their pockets full and they could spin it if things went bad later on. The Democrats wanted to do good by fixing the problems even though it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars but it was the right thing to do. The masses just reacted to their taxes.
The play was a little long. The acting was good and some actors were fantastic. The most interesting thing is that nothing changes because if a play written in 1882 about how people react to issues is no different than how the masses react in 2012, it says something about humankind.
Best quote of the play "...the strongest man in the world is the man who stands most alone."