The text is full of natural imagery of the Yorkshire Dales, juxtaposed with clinical images of surgical equipment. The landscape is described as overwhelmingly beautiful: “The formless heights were resolving into high, grassy hills and wide valleys. In the valley bottoms, rivers twisted among the trees and solid grey-stone farmhouses lay among islands of cultivated land”(8-9). In particular, rural images of hills, paddocks, meadows, sheds, and farmhouses are evoked throughout the whole novel.
Images of surgical equipment such as stethoscopes, bandages, and needles also appear often. An example is when Siegfried first shows Herriot around the practice, and draws his attention to “rows of gleaming Winchester bottles … Sweet Spirits of Nitre, Tincture of Camphor, Chlorodyne, Formalin, Salammoniac” (18).