Among the many approaches one encounters is that of the autobiographical approach. This interpretation claims that Kafka's works are little more than reflections of his lifelong tension between bachelorhood and marriage or, on another level, between his skepticism and his religious nature.
How to Write a Summary of an Article? Similarly to his character living in a cage, Kafka always lived in small crowded housing, dealing with feelings of confinement and isolation.
Also, Kafka felt unappreciated by society, which resulted in very low self-esteem and a distorted vision of self-value. This is why he requested that his unpublished work be burned upon his death. This was considered a form of entertaining, which would gather large crowds of enthusiastic viewers, stunned children, skeptics irrespective of where the show took place.
This is how the world-famous performer, the hunger artist, becomes a world-known figure in mass entertainment. Despite his great success, the hunger artist never feels truly appreciated or understood by his audience, who look upon his art as merely a form of entertainment.
This is why he becomes haunted by feelings of isolation and alienation; he fails to obtain recognition from his audience, and at the same time, is appreciated for all the wrong reasons. People focus their attention on his frightening physical aspect, or on making sure that he does not cheat, and feed himself during the night or when they are not paying attention.
His performance is neither recognized nor appreciated as an art form, thus the artist can never be fulfilled.
His choice to perform in a cage is relevant to understanding his feelings: The cage is the barrier the hunger artist needs to separate himself from his audience, i. It is a tool of individualization, a process that every artist seeks during his lifetime, in order for his work to stand out.
To the hunger artist, no sacrifice is too big, not even having to spend most of his life inside a small cage, covered with straws.
The hunger artist does not even consider this option because he is faithful to his art. The suspicion of the audience symbolizes the historical mistrust of people in the purity of art, which requires a deeper understanding that the general public does not always possess.
The hunger artist enters a vicious circle because of his continuous need for validation from his audience. The pain and suffering caused by the absence of this validation is precisely what generated more pain, and less understanding from his public, which in turn, give rise to more profound suffering from the artist.
Days passed, and the crowds stop gathering to watch the fasting-artist. The admiration for his work is diminishing up to the point where it ceases completely, leaving the cage looking empty, and the circus overseers wondering what happened.
One day, they approach the cage and start poking the straw only to discover the artist barely alive. This is the point where the perspective of the narration is broadened thanks to the dialogue between the artist and the circus overseer. The latter asks the hunger artist if he is still fasting.
The artist asks the overseer to come closer and answers that his only option is to fast, that he has no other choice; that he would have eaten like his audience, and the rest of the people if he had found any food to his liking. These are the final words of the hunger artist.
He dies and is buried by the circus. His cage is removed, and a young panther is placed in it, to the delight of the public.
The public forgets all about the hunger artist and immediately embraces a new circus act. The act of consuming the performance of the hunger artist is characteristic to any audience: The panther is a symbol of the lust for life.
It also carries a reversed connotation than the hunger artist, in the sense that unlike the latter whose act consists of putting his suffering on display, the panther is admired due to its ability to inflict pain and suffering.
His inability to fit in society gives birth to his art. Surprisingly, is it not his desire to be different that leads him to such an art form, but the other way around.Franz Kafka's "A Hunger Artist" is, despite its length, rich in meaning. Examining the human condition from the absurdist. The Hunger Artist Is there anything Susan Sontag doesn’t want to know?
Don’t you miss the essay form?” She answered something like “Essays! Pooh! Forget essays! That was the past. In A Hunger Artist, Kafka presents a view on the deformity of the human condition by twisting generally accepted notions. Using simple, clear, and linear narrative, Kafka relates the story of the hunger artist and yet for all its simplicity it is laced with the absurd and at the same time with profound reality.
A Hunger Artist" (Ein Hungerkunstler)" A Country Doctor" (Ein Landarzt)" Critical Essays Understanding Kafka's Writing Bookmark this and to be a poet means to give artistic expression to the many levels and nuances of our kaleidoscopic human condition.
To see Kafka as a social or political revolutionary because his country doctor, for. In A Hunger Artist, Kafka presents a view on the deformity of the human condition by twisting generally accepted notions. Using simple, clear, and linear narrative, Kafka relates the story of the hunger artist and yet for all its simplicity it is laced with the absurd and at the same time with profound reality.
[In the following essay, Waidson disagrees with Meno Spann's interpretation of the roles of the occupants of the cage in "A Hunger Artist" and seeks to "restore the starvation-artist to his former.