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Existentialism in 'the Country Doctor'

  • Date Submitted: 11/04/2010 09:06 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53 
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Existentialism in ‘A Country Doctor’

In “A Country Doctor”, several principles of existentialism are demonstrated via changes that takes place in doctor, the main character. Being an anti-existential character, the doctor has no control upon the situations that he is in. Even when he is given the opportunity to choose, he selects to fulfill the expectation his community has upon him then doing what he truly feels needs to be accomplished. However, a gradual transition takes place as he is faced with a number of absurd situations. Anxiety dominates him as things become unmanageable. Subsequently, notion of selfish human nature disgusts him which causes him to feel alienated from the entire community that he belongs to. Thus, plot and character development plays a major role in illustrating the existentialist point of view upon life as revealed in the story.
Absurdity of events that occur to the main character causes him to feel helpless and insignificant. As mentioned previously, the doctor is an anti-existential character in the beginning of the story. Even when in position where he can decide upon what to do, he habitually does what the society expects of him. For instance, he abandons Rose in the hands of the groom whose sexual intent for her is obvious in order to save a patient. This demonstrates his tendency to primarily accomplish his responsibilities as a doctor no matter in what horrid problems he may find himself at the time. However, he grows tired of adhering to such obligation as series of strange events occur. A groom who is found in supposedly empty sty provides him with two horses in extremely good condition. And because the groom enables him to accomplish his duty as a doctor, the doctor loses his ability to prevent the groom from approaching Rose by making him accompany him on his journey. Despite his concern for Rose, the doctor has no choice but to leave her with the groom. This frustrates the main character to the extent where he cannot...

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