A Country Doctor Literary Elements

A Country Doctor Literary Elements


Parable, surrealism, Kafkaesque

Setting and Context

The setting is a country road, a pig barn, a sick house, and outside the doctor’s house; an unspecified nation in Eastern Europe probably in the Early twentieth century—dystopic.

Narrator and Point of View

The Country Doctor is the narrator, and the story is told in 1st Person POV

Tone and Mood

The tone is overwhelmed and the mood is grave.

Protagonist and Antagonist

Country Doctor (Protagonist), Groom (Antagonist)

Major Conflict

The major conflict is when the doctor’s horse has died and the only person who lends him a horse is the groom, who wants to keep Rosa his maid, and he feels an obligation to protect her, but is obligated to save his patient ten miles away, but cannot save him, despite the expectations of his family.


The climax of the story is when the doctor is naked in bed with the patient, then leaves, betrayed by his patients, and finds in groom with Rosa, and he cannot reach his fur coat.


The red mark on Rosa’s neck foreshadows that she was be “raped” (and have her clothes taken off)—and the doctor will see the red wound on the patient and will be naked in bed with the patient is an example of foreshadowing.


The quote, “My fur coat hangs behind the wagon, but I cannot reach it, and no one from the nimble rabble of patients lifts a finger. Betrayed! Betrayed!”, is an example of understatement.


Weather conditions to the doctor’s state of mind; horses to patients—examples of allusions. The text also alludes to the Metamorphosis in the characters of the patient, father, mother, and sister (also Kafka's illness and Kafka's family), the existential horror, “the castration complex”, and the state of final illness/wound.


Worms, as thick and long as my little finger, themselves rose coloured and also spattered with blood, are wriggling their white bodies with many limbs from their stronghold in the inner of the wound towards the light.





Metonymy and Synecdoche

The patients and horses represent metonymy; The quote, “What am I doing in this endless winter?”, is an example of synecdoche.



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