The Hunger Artist Essay

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Kafka’s “The Hunger Artist” is a compelling piece of work that refers to a starving artist, who is but on display for his unnatural look by fasting. After gaining fame from his circus acts, he soon becomes less amusing to the audience which eventually leads to his death. “The Hunger Artist” displays the conflict between a misunderstood artist and his audience, who can’t see or understand the reasons of the artist’s actions. The unappreciated nature of the audience is one of the key factors that lead the artist to his demise. In the reading the Hunger Artist appears to be a complex character because the reason of why he staves himself is never brought to the audience until the very end of the story. As misunderstood as the artist is, he seems to enjoy the life of being the “circus freak.” His love for his talent is described, “he lived for many years, with small regular intervals of recuperation, in visible glory, honored by the world, yet in spite of the troubled in spirit, and all the trouble because no one would take is trouble seriously ( A Hunger Artist 272).” This quote displays the double edge sword of his fame that is honored for its extreme effect it has one the body and unique style, but the artist is still not understood why he continues with this. The audience continues throughout the story to remain incomprehensive with the actions of the hunger artist. The audience has specific role in the story as the nutrients of the artist because there ability to keep the Hunger Artist to keep continuing his actions in this sickly state. The artist self-denial leads him in another type of nourishment which is symbolized as the public. After the accusations of the public believing the artist is faking the hunger act he is motivated to prove them otherwise. The complaint with the artist against his audience comes out with the Hunger Artist saying, “Just try to

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