Franz Kafka\'s: A Country Doctor

The short story, �A Country Doctor� was written in 1919 by author, �Franz Kafka�. �A Country Doctor� is a short story about a doctor who gets an alarm in the middle of the night about a boy who has fallen very ill. Throughout the story the doctor encounters many challenges. The challenges include: a snowstorm stuck in between the doctor and the village where the boy lies ill, the fact that the doctor�s horse has died and there are no available horses in site, peoples belief that doctor�s work is miracle working and that a doctor can cure anything, and last but not least a groom wanting to give his horses to the doctor for the price of the doctor�s helper. Although the many challenges the doctor must face throughout this adventurous story he must deal with his own state of mind.

The first challenge that the doctor in the story, �A Country Doctor� comes to face is the ever lasting snowstorm. With a fierce look into the snowy winds the doctor dreads the ten mile trip that is ahead of him. This challenge is frustrating because of the fact of being out in the cold for the ten miles. In the story the doctor eventually second guesses his decision to go ahead and go to the village and help the ill boy. This automatically leads to the doctor�s next challenge.

The doctor�s next challenge is even more frustrating. The challenge the doctor must face is to find horses to pull his carriage. See the doctor had a horse, but he sadly died the day before. So in order to get to the ill boy the doctor must find a horse, but there in lies a problem. The problem is that no one in the doctor�s town will loan the doctor a horse because of the fearful snowstorm. Eventually after the doctor enters an unused pigsty his helper named Rosa and he meets a stranger, horses, and his groom. After the groom�s attraction to Rosa becomes apparent he agrees to let the doctor use his horses. Thankfully after the groom let�s the doctor use his horse�s he is able to make it to the village and examine the ill boy.

After a full examination of the ill boy he discovers a wound on the boy�s right side in the hip region the size of a hand. The wound�s description is disgusting when the doctor finds that it is infested with slimy worms. The doctor tells the family and the boy that he will die. Not being able to accept the doctor�s observation the village people and elder�s gather to torment the doctor on the fact that since he is a doctor he should be able to help the ill boy. In reaction to the doctor�s observation the village people and the elder�s want to put the doctor into the ill boy�s position as they strip his clothes off and lay him in bed with the ill boy then surround him with the school children�s choir. Later after everyone leaves and the singing stops the doctor manages to escape.

The final challenge the doctor faces is that the groom is taking Rosa as his own for the price of the horses the doctor now has. This is a challenge because it is a cruel thing to sell a person for something you want or need. Another reason is because Rosa seems terrified of the groom and don�t like him at all. Finally it would not benefit a doctor to sell his only helper. The doctor couldn�t make up his mind of how to handle this situation so he escaped into the darkness between the village and his own home.

Some might say this story is considered a nightmare for the doctor. I can back that up with three different reasons. For one at the beginning of the story it seemed like nothing could go right for the doctor. I mean the snowstorm, no one lending a horse, his own horse dying the day before. Next, the site of the ill boy�s wound could be a nightmare all in its own. You have to imagine the wound large and blood gushing out with worms sliding in and out, how disgusting? Finally the doctor escaped to nowhere because of the fact of letting Rosa to fend for herself. And also so he wouldn�t encounter the village people or elders again.

Throughout this story I located five themes. One theme is medical, because the main character was a doctor and also because the story was around a call in the night for the doctor to help an ill boy. Problems are another theme used because the doctor encounters many throughout the whole story. Next are animals because one of the problems the doctor faces has to do with the horses needed to get to the ill boy. Families is number four because after observing the ill boy the doctor is put into a position by the ill boy�s family for not being able to help the boy. And last but not least weather is a big theme in this story due to the major snowstorm.

Throughout this project I used three sources to get my information. I used the online story, �Franz Kafka: A Country Doctor� for most of my information. Next I used � Country Doctor� to uncover the exact year the story was written. And finally I used for a somewhat explained version of the story.

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