This is a story of conflict in several forms. Emotional conflict for a variety of reasons, is a continuous presence, lurking within the characters throughout the story.It is a deep, brooding and depressing tale, but at the same time, a haunting sense of helplessness and bitterness emanates, as though the author is writing in a diary.
The “Country Doctor” is confronted with several challenges, which are all related and project him into a chain of circumstances, over which he has no control. He was first challenged as a Doctor and his consideration for a patient, whom he believed was in need of his urgent attention. A severe snow storm and the death of his own horse interrupted his mission. Circumstances and developments are now almost beyond his control. By apparent good fortune, a mysterious groom and horses are revealed, which will enable the Doctor to continue his journey.
Strong conflicting emotions now become apparent. The Doctor, whilst grateful for the delivery of his transportation, must now face another challenge, this time from the groom. A physical conflict is now introduced, as the groom imposes himself upon Rosa. This is seen as a reward for the horses and carriage. It is now apparent the Doctor has strong, romantically inclined feelings for Rosa! He is again challenged and refusing to admit any failings or weakness on his part, he is mysteriously conveyed away from the scene by horse and carriage!
An inner conflict now prevails for the Doctor! As a doctor he had a duty towards a patient and as a man, to protect Rosa. He believes that by his attendance at the patient’s house, he is justifying the decisions he has made. In his mind, his position as a medical doctor and a man of importance has been restored and he can again exercise control of himself. The bizarre setting at the patient’s house however, reveals strange characters, particularly the patient. The Doctor once again appears to have lost all sense of reality by events that have taken place and is in the depths of self pity. In addition, because of his betrayal of Rosa he is suffering deep remorse and guilt.
Fact or Fiction
A “Nightmarish” atmosphere prevails within this story, which is written with a surrealistic and dreamlike quality, that at times can be considered exotic and romantic, but then transposes into a scenario that is both horrific and psychotic. The characters are in many ways extreme, but although there is no actual physical violence, apart from the incident between Rosa and the groom, there is a premonition that the catalyst of circumstances will explode into confrontations.
a) The story and characters is at the same time, gripping, disturbing and confusing.
b) A reader can have mixed emotions regarding the Doctor, which vary with the character changes in the plot. One is left with the sense of awakening from a bad experience, which is difficult to determine is the result of a disturbed mind, or is a fabricated story?
1)A basically good and decent person, trying hard to follow his path of duty as a family doctor, when he is confronted with situations and circumstances, imagined or otherwise, that tests both his medical beliefs and his basic instincts as a man.
2)This man, who has seemingly practiced as a doctor all his life, is now forced to make critical decisions, of an emotional and violent nature. They bear no relation to previous experiences and he is thrust into a surreal, dreamlike world
3)This is a man, lost and helpless in abnormal situations, by reason of his attempt to perform his duty.
4) How this apparently unworldly and possibly mentally disturbed, but caring man is manipulated by various people for their own purposes.
5)The end result is viewed as the mental destruction of this man. He becomes lost and confused, in strange and tragic circumstances, which are beyond his control!
Compiled in MLA format
a) Bregman, Etti. “No Rose without Thorns”. Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing. June 12th 2010 http://www.pep-web.org/toc.php?journal=aim&volume=46&PHPSESSID=b4mnv0higrngi3n9siu4q39si5#77.
b) Librett, Jeffrey. “Project Muse “. The Johns Hopkins University Press. June 12th 2010 http://muse.jhu.edu/.
These citations were considered for their overall perceptions of the author. Their observations of this interesting character, indicate a complex person, within whom a conflicting personality exists.