The Hunger Artist Essay

1723 WordsMay 30, 20127 Pages
In Franz Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist,” the crucial point of the story is that the leading male character is craving attention. This idea brings upon a question: Why is the Hunger Artist dissatisfied when he has been fasting for so long? The Hunger Artist’s dissatisfaction comes from the fact that he is not hungry for food, but rather he is hungry for attention. After defining the Hunger Artist’s idea of hunger, it is clear that fasting is not an accomplishment, because he is not getting his favorite piece of nourishment: attention. Although he is fasting for food, the Hunger Artist is dissatisfied because he is not getting the attention that he needs. According to my thoughts of “A Hunger Artist,” attention and satisfaction are linked together in the story. When using the term attention, I am defining it as, that which the person knows that they are being looked at. I am defining the word satisfaction as, fulfilling one’s wishes or needs. The Hunger Artist appears to be hungry for something other than food. This seems to be clear when he states, “Because I didn’t find a food which I enjoyed. If I had found that, believe me, I would not have made a spectacle of myself and would have eaten to my heart’s content, like you and everyone else (pg. 7).” So what is the Hunger Artist so hungry for that he continues to fast until the day he dies? The Hunger Artist decides to extend his fasting, however he dies unsatisfied with this lack of accomplishment. The Hunger Artist is not satisfied with food and therefore is not hungry for food. After his forty days of fasting had ended, “he was supposed to stand up straight and tall and go to eat, something which, when he just imagined it, made him feel nauseous right away (pg. 3).” The Hunger Artist did not believe he was capable of moving back to his regular life after forty days. He could not think about putting any food into

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