Analysis of The Hunger Artist by Kafka Essay

Analysis of The Hunger Artist by Kafka Essay

Length: 1699 words (4.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Analysis of The Hunger Artist by Kafka


Hunger is a term that is often defined as the physical feeling for the need to eat. However, the Hunger Artist in Kafka's A Hunger Artist places a different, more complex meaning to this word, making the Hunger Artist's name rather ironic. The hunger of the Hunger Artist is not for food. As described at the end of the essay, the Hunger Artist states that he was in fact never hungry, he just never found anything that he liked. So then, what does this man's hunger truly mean? What drives the Hunger Artist to fast for so long, if he is truly not hungry? The Hunger Artist salivates not for the food which he is teased with, nor does he even sneak food when he alone. The Hunger Artist has a hunger for fame, reputation, and honor. This hunger seems to create in the mind of the Artist, a powerfully controlling dream schema. These dreams drive the Artist to unavoidable failure and alienation, which ultimately uncovers the sad truth about the artist. The truth is that the Artist was never an artist; he was a fraudulent outcast who fought to the last moment for fame, which ultimately became a thing of the past.

The food was never the issue. The Hunger Artist was never interested. Instead, what the artist hungered for was his fans that appreciated his talent of being able to fast for such long periods of time. Kafka writes, ? Back then the whole town was engaged with the hunger artist; during his fast, the audience?s involvement grew from day to day.? (Kafka, 255) In fact, the Hunger Artist was at first a spectacle. Some fans would come more than once a day to see the Artist perform, some even reserving special viewing seats to enhance the artistic experience. The Artist made eve...


... middle of paper ...


...and ridiculed, especially for entertainment purposes. Nonetheless, the Artist shows a hunger for fame, even if the fame and attention comes from a sick and wild point of view. The Hunger Artist dies a man of sorrow and failure, but is reborn as his opposite, a hungry, strong panther eating everything that comes its way. Maybe in some way the Artist represents a lost tradition of fasting which seemed to come and go, as well as maybe representing the desire that our generation today tends to eat too much and require too much. In the end, the Hunger Artist will be remembered as an outcast of society, and after all his years of fasting, his accomplishments are forgotten, easily replaced as if he never existed.

Works Cited

Kafka, Franz. ?A Hunger Artist.? Literature and its Writers. Ed. Karen S. Henry. 3rd ed. Bedford/St. Martin?s, Boston/New York 2004. 255-262

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Looking inside Kafka in A Hunger Artist Essays

- Looking inside Kafka in "A Hunger Artist" Thesis Statement: "The psyche of the people towards the hunger artist as a metaphor to the inconsistency, frailty and superficiality of human belief; through the eyes of Kafka as the hunger artist himself" The story's use of profound metaphors, symbolisms and allegorical abstractions, are too intricately bound and woven so that a singular interpretation of "A hunger Artist" is a total impossibility. Therefore, this paper will try to tackle only two of the possible interpretations: the story as an autobiographical representation of Kafka himself, and his commentary on the flaws and frailty of human belief....   [tags: Kafka Analysis Hunger Artist]

Free Essays
1297 words (3.7 pages)

Analysis Of The Poem ' Kafka 's ' Hunger Artist ' Essay

- As each decade passes what implies and defines 'conformity ' changes as societies norms grow and transform yet the strength of its influence remains constant when stood against the wall of rebellion. Individuals such as the artist in Kafka 's Hunger Artist who craved to be adorned for hid differences of normality were seen inhuman by the audience 's eyes. While people like the cashier from A&P by Updike; tried to cross the boundary of social class are view by society as momentarily confused in need of guidance to remain where they rank in class status....   [tags: Social class, Working class, Wealth]

Powerful Essays
1008 words (2.9 pages)

Metafiction: Kafka's A Hunger Artist and Santiago's The Somebody Essay

- Metafiction questions the relationship between fiction and reality. It is used as a way to ask the reader what does this fictional story say about reality, without literally stating the question. Challenging thoughts about the reality of the story, Franz Kafka and Danny Santiago are both authors who have utilized this technique. Through the stories the suffrages endured at the hands of art are made visible. “A Hunger Artist”, Franz Kafka, and “The Somebody”, Danny Santiago, are both stories in which the protagonist seeks public recognition and artistic individualism due to their separation from society....   [tags: literary analysis, kafka, danny santiago]

Powerful Essays
1010 words (2.9 pages)

Kafka's Hunger Artist Essay

- Kafka's Hunger Artist Kafka, in his masterpiece "The Hunger Artist," suggests that humans can never satisfy their desires. This is illustrated through the metaphorical hunger artist for whom nourishment is not being nourished at all. The viewing public's interest is derived from their desire to see the hunger artist cheating, but to view this would put an end to that desire. Finally, Kafka presents this idea while the artist is at the circus and describing when people wish to view the starved man....   [tags: Kafka Hunger Artist]

Powerful Essays
603 words (1.7 pages)

Artist Pain Exposed in Kafka's A Hunger Artist Essay

- Artist Pain Exposed in Kafka's A Hunger Artist       In "A Hunger Artist", Kafka comments on the life of the modern artist through the life of a hunger artist. Kafka comments that the modern artist is always dissatisfied with his or her art. The modern artist also is trapped in a harsh and capricious world, in which the artist struggles to maintain his or her audience by pushing the extreme, but are cheated because they do not receive his or her recognition. Finally, in "A Hunger Artist" Kafka refers to the modern artist's struggle between the need for fame and the need for isolation....   [tags: Hunger Artist]

Powerful Essays
795 words (2.3 pages)

A Hunger Artist by Kafka Essay

- A Hunger Artist by Kafka "A Man of Art and Spirituality" In Kafka's " A Hunger Artist," art is not used in its conventional context. Kafka illustrates the interdependency of the audience and the hunger artist, and especially his need for attention. It is through the audience that the hunger artist is fulfilled, but because he cannot communicate the sincerity of his performance he is always left dissatisfied. The definition of artist according to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language is "Any person who performs his work as if it were an art." This is a perfect example of the hunger artist as he approaches his work with passion and devotion....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
503 words (1.4 pages)

Exploring the Strange World of Kafka Essay examples

- Franz Kafka, one of the best known 20th century literary figures, has a unique writing style that has been widely influential and is worthy to emulate. The objective of this paper is to analyze and pull apart the various aspects of Kafka’s style, and concurrently critique my own attempt to imitate Kafka’s style. I will explore the aspects of Kafka’s work (primarily Metamorphosis) from the very basic elements of style to literary techniques, and explain my attempt to utilize these same elements in my own work of short fiction The Infinite Desert....   [tags: The Hunger Artist, Metamorphosis]

Powerful Essays
1442 words (4.1 pages)

Existentialism in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis and The Hunger Artist

- Existentialism in The Metamorphosis and The Hunger Artist     Existentialism is a philosophy dealing with man's aloneness in the universe. Either there is no God or else God stands apart from man, leaving him free will to make his own choices. From this basic idea of man being alone in an uncertain and purposeless world, many related ideas have developed. One great worry of existentialist writers is that life is becoming too complicated and too impersonal. People become more and more involved with their work, which is taking them away from their friends, family, and culture....   [tags: Metamorphosis essays]

Powerful Essays
1397 words (4 pages)

‘The Metamorphosis’ and ‘A Hunger Artist’ Essay

- There are many parallels and differences between Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” and "A Hunger Artist". Kafka portrays these differences and similarities very effectively through his utilization of elements such as transformation, dehumanization, and dedication to work. Through his works, Kafka communicates with the reader in such a way that almost provokes and challenges one’s imagination and creativity. Kafka is known for his highly symbolic and oblique style of writing. It is no surprise that several of his pieces contain the same major themes, just in different settings....   [tags: compare, contrast, comparison]

Powerful Essays
969 words (2.8 pages)

Bartleby The Scrivener And The Hunger Artist Essay example

- Alienation, the state of being isolated from a group or category that one should be apart of, exists in three forms; man’s alienation from man, man’s alienation from fellow men, and man’s alienation from the world itself. These three classes of alienation are fluid phases of the same process that exists to some extent within every member of society. The intriguing and complex nature of alienation has sparked the interest of many philosophers, artists, and authors around the world, resulting in works of art and literature that attempt to give insight into living life alone....   [tags: Short story, Fiction, Herman Melville, Scrivener]

Powerful Essays
980 words (2.8 pages)