R. Gray

German 390/Comp Lit 396/Engl 363/CHID 498/JSIS 488/Lit 298

Freud and the Literary Imagination


Short Writing Assignment 4


Write on one of the following topics in 150-200 words! Support your ideas with at least two examples from Kafka's story.


A. According to Freud, dreams and day-dreams function by translating abstractions into visual images. Can you find examples for this in Kafka's story? How would you interpret these images?


B. It is generally accepted that Kafka's works are either consciously or unconsciously influenced by Freud.  However, Kafka spoke out against the therapeutic nature of psychoanalysis.  Can we say that "A Country Doctor" has therapeutic potential?  How is the theme of therapy (healing, curing) dealt with in the text?

C. According to Freud, childhood has a formative influence on our lives—think, for example, of how he begins "Creative Writers" by taking child's play as a model for the life of the imagination. In Kafka's "Country Doctor," children also play a significant role as motivators of the plot (the patient, his sister, the children's choir). Discuss the role of children in relation to the world of "adults" in Kafka's story.