The ten short stories contained in Heinrich Boll's The Mad Dog offer a sweeping glimpse into the aftereffects of those traumatized by the bloody carnages and mental wounds of war, in this specific case, World War II. Each story evokes an aura of bleakness and despair yet crossed with hope and a trounced upon faith. All the stories are written from a pre or postwar standpont, each exploring the element of postwar poverty, the ruining of human love and the dark side of human nature, which abounds when people are pushed to the limit. Two of the more emotive tales in this collection are "The Fugitive" and "The Tale of Berkovo Bridge". The former tells the story of a runaway soldier, desperate to flee the dark war torn atrocities of his environment, how he takes refuge in a rectory with a priest who just listens before the soldier's inevitable destiny manifests. The latter tale showcases the ingenuity, creativity, helpfulness and determination naturally imbued in man via the construction of the Berkovo Bridge. Though it is a simple story, it is one that shows the best of man. Conversely, the bridge, upon completion, is immediately destroyed by the idiocy of war. Boll's subtle use of symbolism and metaphores in expressly showcasing the black, animalistic impulses inborn in all of us is certainly not lost, for it is tragedy heaped upon tragedy just for the limited clasping of power that was never ours to begin with. All the stories in The Mad Dog are weighty, made so by the gut-wrenching acts that are forced to be performed in the name of survival and politics; they go against the conscienceness of desire. Thus, each story, with its own unique, horrific absurdity, is a caged tragedy for us to learn from.