The Country Doctor: A Collection of Fourteen Short Stories

by Franz Kafka

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What is the setting of "The Country Doctor" by Franz Kafka?

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Franz Kafka’s surreal, dream-like, short story “The Country Doctor” begins on a cold, winter night at the home of country doctor who is attempting to make a sick call for a young man. The doctor stands at the door of his barn, in the freezing night, without a horse to hitch to his carriage. A groom appears out of nowhere with a team of strong horses who carry the doctor ten miles to a house in a country village. In the meantime, the groom enters the doctor’s house with the maid, Rosa.

Much of the story takes place in the sick room where the young man rests in his bed with his family around him. The room is smoky and dank from the cook stove. The family undresses the doctor and he ends up in bed with the sick boy before he manages to escape. As the story ends, he is escaping into the woods on one of the horses.

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