Hunger Artist

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The story of “A Hunger Artist” takes place in the early 1920’s and is about a young man who fasts not out of pleasure but because he wants to. He enjoys the fame that he gets from the fasting, but the people do not understand that he only fast because he cannot find a food that he likes. Foreshadowing is used on when the hunger artist says “they made him miserable; they made his fasting seem terribly difficult...” talking about those the guards who would give him a chance to sneak food. Symbols are used throughout this story such as the clock representing his biological clock and his body’s limitations. Also another symbol is the cage which represents the artist’s alienation from society which prevents spectators understanding. The name of the story “A Hunger Artist” is a allusion is a allusion in itself telling us what the story will be about. The hunger artist savors in his hunger throughout the story hoping that in the end it will lead to his spiritual stratification, but in the end his fasting only leaves him empty both physically and spiritually. Although he refuses food, his self-denial shows us another kind of nourishment he longs for: public recognition and artist perfection. Since his hunger is not satisfied through the two things he longs for the most, fasting becomes “the easiest thing in the world” for him to do, but spiritual nourishment still remains out of his reach. Questions raised by spectators are why won’t the hunger artist eat? But the author answers this when the artist replies “because I have to fast, I can’t help it,” later to explain he couldn’t find the food he liked so that’s why he fasted. The author supports Christian worldview, we pick and choose what we want to hear from the bible and if it’s not what we want then we simply starve from what nourishment we need the most.
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