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Written by Julia Wolf
A country doctor (symbol)
A country doctor is a symbol of a person who is a minister, a person who declared the Service to people as the main goal of life. He is absolutely sincere and selflessly ready to bear all hardships and privations for the fulfillment of his mission, he is ready to sacrifice what is dear for him (the maid Rosa). In this difficult field of service, he will not find assistants; he will be lonely and will nonetheless carry his voluntarily chosen cross. The people around will honor and worship him, expect a miracle from him. But this is not long. Until the first failure, before the first mistake.
Fur Coat (symbol)
The fur coat of Kafka is an image of the cloak of the prophet Elijah. The prophet ascended to heaven in a chariot of fire and gave his cloak to his successor Elisha. But unlike biblical legend no one hurries to pick the coat up and to continue the business of the country doctor.
Sacrifice and lack of gratitude (motif)
The motifs of lacking gratitude in the local people start from the very beginning – there was no horse to drive so the doctor’s maid was running about the village to find any; and the doctor knows it is in vain – as no one would give a horse in such a weather – people are so selfish and would not sacrifice what is dear for them. But the doctor has to sacrifice what is really dear to his heart – it is his servant girl Rosa who has lived with him many years. People tend to think only of themselves.
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The setting is very important to story, as is its time period. Note, the time and the place dictate the occurences. We have no concrete forms of communication, transportation is difficult, neighborly behavior is a must.