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A Country Devastation

People would never accept the way the doctor in Franz Kafka’s “A Country Doctor” performs. The Doctor acts completely unlike a genuine doctor. The whole story is based on a situation that is completely unlike that of an authentic house call made by a real life country doctor. A doctor would never leave one of his employees after being injured, a doctor would not go to tend to a patient and not ask what is wrong, and a doctor would never perform as crude of an act as the one in this story does. Kafka’s story proves nothing to be at all like the factual existence of a country doctor.

In the beginning of the short story as the doctor finds that he has no horse, he goes to borrow one. As the mysterious stable groom returns with two of the most magnificent horses the doctor has ever seen, the dwarf man hands the reigns to the doctor’s assistant and he bites her on her cheek leaving bloody red teeth marks. She obviously is injured, though the doctor shows no sign of caring about her injury. A doctor would never leave an injured person to stand by and bleed, especially if that person was one of his or her employees. This doctor, however, does not take heed to this event and keeps on his way to his house call. This shows that he is not at all like a real doctor because he is not willing to help someone who is in immediate need.

As the doctor walks in to the house of the supposed patient, there is a boy lying on the bed covered in a blanket. After a few moments of examination from several feet away he decides to himself that the boy is faking being injured. He feels that the boy is only trying to gain the attention of the community. This shows the unprofesionalism of the man that tries to be a doctor. After a short while the reader discovers that the boy has a Christ-like wound on his side that is crawling with worms. Upon discovering the boy’s wound, the doctor does feel uncomfortable about his first assumption, but still delivers no help to the adolescent.

While the doctor is thinking of what to do, people of the community come in to the house. As the people enter the doctor strips down to his birthday suit, while the people around him have no reaction. If a doctor were to come to a home and get completely naked his medical license would be revoked and most likely sent to jail. In this episode however, no response from the family or friends is given when the doctor acts so obscenely and gets into the bed aside the injured boy. They have no reaction for he is the doctor and is supposedly doing right for the child. A real doctor would never commit such an act that would be so horribly shameful to themself.

In this anxiety filled story the showing of a country doctor is a misrepresentation of how a country doctor would perform his duties. His actions reflect nothing of a true doctor as well as going over the line with his strange ways of dealing with people and patients. The man, in my eyes, is nothing of a doctor at all. He is simply a foolish old man that pretends to be something that he is not. The pretending seems to only be in his head though, because he is nothing at all like a real doctor to those who observe his behavior. Kafka portrays a doctor with little more realistic content than a man waking up to be a bug or a land surveyor called to duty that never goes to the place of his job.


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