The Theme in a Hunger Artist

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A Hunger Artist: THEME

What is A Hunger Artist? Normally, I would make a lame joke and say that it’s an artist who is hungry. OK, well it sounded better in my head. It’s about a man, an artist who fasts in a cage. You can look at the story from the point of view of society. You can think about the story relationship to “hunger”, and you can rationalize why the Artist put himself through this whole absurd ordeal. The Hunger Artist has to be a troubled man for “society” to stand there and basically ignore him.” To fight against this lack of understanding, against a whole world of non-understanding, was impossible” [Kafka 227]. This can mean that the artists’ self-confidence is not worthy of bringing fame or superiority, but insignificance in the eyes of people. People who see this man in the cage don’t really believe he is going through with fasting. They believe that he is sneaking food while no one is looking. You can’t automatically say someone can’t do a certain task just because you can’t do it yourself. People soon start to pay him no mind. Well probably since animals were next to him. I mean, he is physically there. Why ignore him like he’s invisible? That’s looking at the story from society’s point of view. The artist holds on to the idea of “hunger”, possibly searching for some kind of message. That is futile. He still ends up hungry and empty mentally. He does not want food. He wants affection and perfection. He wants to do things spiritually but it’s inevitable. The “spirit” needs fuel, and he has none. “So he took leave of the impresario, his partner in an unparalleled career, and hired himself to a large circus; in order to spare his own feelings he avoided reading the conditions of his own contract” [Kafka 228]. This can mean that he know the feat he is trying to accomplish is futile. Basically starving himself to prove his point, which no one really cares about. No one wants to see someone starve themselves. It’s very inhumane to do so. His...
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