Contemplation was a collection of eighteen of Kafka's short stories. Franz dedicated this book to his father, which was very embarrassing to him. He also gave this book as a gift to a woman named Gertude Thieberger. On the inside cover Kafka wrote dedication that included a quote from Prosper Merimée quote. It read: "'No flies will get into a closed mouth’ It has not been followed in the book. Therefore it is full of flies. The best would be to keep it closed."

Contemplation included short stories like "The Sudden Walk," "Resolutions," "Bachelor's Ill Luck," "Unmasking a Confidence Trickster." Most of these stories were about Kafka's life, tuberculosis, and self-image. Outside of Contemplation, Kafka had other short stories. Country Doctor, tissue paper, the burrow.

In Kafka's short story, "The Trees," Kafka compares trees to humans. Kafka states that the bases of trees in the snow look easy to push over. However when you try it is not easy to topple. Some people are the same. The easy, vulnerable looking ones are planted firmly in the ground.

Kafka probably thought that he might be able to change his father's views of him. However his father was very firmly rooted where he was


In Kafka's time it was a common to think that if a doctor could not save someone's life then they should crawl into the grave with the unfortunate patient. In Kafka's short story, "The Country Doctor," a doctor could not save a man's life. To please the family he hops into the grave with him. The family remains ungrateful.

Kafka spent time with his uncle in the country. During that time he wrote this short story. This story beautifully displays how ignorant some beliefs can be. It also describes how ungrateful people can be, even when they get what they want. "The Country Doctor" was not included in Contemplation.

An untitled story by Franz Kafka shows how he felt around women and how he thought that they viewed him. In this story a Kafka is talking to a woman. Suddenly she declares that he is made of tissue paper, and she can see right through him. The gentle tissue paper man will sway for any breeze to be let in through the door.

Although untitled and very short it is very symbolic. Kafka feels that a woman would see right through him, and that he would be attracted to the next one he saw. This story was not published in Kafka's life and was not in Contemplation.

Franz wrote "The Burrow" about his tuberculosis. A small animal is getting settled in his new burrow. The small animal hears a soft sound. The sound grows louder and more annoying. As the animal proceeds to look for it the reader realizes that it is coming from the animal itself.

Kafka always seemed to get tuberculosis when his luck started to run out. Especially after breaking up with women. This story was not published in Kafka's life.

The Burrow

"In The Penal Colony" is a short story about a man who caries out the death sentence on people. He operates a machine that carves words into victims’ backs. In curiosity he places himself into the device. The machine gets to work on the man carving in the reason why he deserves punnishment.

Kafka means to show is that we deserve the fate that we put onto others. This was especially relevant to the Nazis who killed innocent people for no sensible reason. "In The Penal Colony" was written during the war.