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But the sober, pseudo-scientific language of this first sentence tends also to suppress the reader's awareness of the essential oddness of the profession of hunger artists.
Thus we have only a vague sense of something unusual.
The result of this tension between the quasi-historical investigation and the strangeness of its object is irony. Full of meaning, this irony is the bridge between the story's factual style of narration and its abstract content. This differentiation between two levels of time also supports Kafka's main theme: It is here presented in terms of the continued confrontation of the hunger artist with his overseers and his audience.
From the audience's "diminishing interest" in hunger artists, to its "absence of interest" at the end of the story, Kafka uncovers the mechanism that deepens this alienation.
The more the story progresses, the clearer it becomes that this is a parable of the author's spiritual quest, as well as of his relationship with the insensitive world around him.
Like all parables, it has a firm basis but is open to more than one interpretation. That it is told from the point of view not of the hero, but of an independent personage outside the plot, is not an argument against this statement. The point where the hero and the world outside his own lie anchored is the narrator's mind.
Emotionally disengaged, the narrator's view is both ambiguous and absolute in its pronouncements.
Is it Kafka, the teller of the story, viewing the fate of Kafka, the hunger artist? There is no limit to the paradoxical situations the hunger artist is exposed to.
He, whose nature it is to abstain from food, "the very thought of which gave him nausea," suffers from the superficiality and callousness of the overseers who suspect him of cheating and, worse yet, from the greed of the impresario who forces him to interrupt his fasting in order to eat.
Most of all, he hates those overseers who want to give him the chance of refreshment, "which they believed he could obtain privately. These "butchers" belong to the realm of "raw chunks of meat" and the "stench of the menagerie," near which the cage with the artist is set up.
They literally prove the validity of fasting to him, simply by existing. A lifelong vegetarian, Kafka was, literally, the very opposite of a "butcher. He suffers in his cage, the symbol of his lack of freedom, but he prefers to starve for the eventual attainment of spiritual freedom rather than accept any of the pseudo-salvations of the realm of the "butchers" — that is, the world around him.
The overseers judge him by their own mediocrity and impotence and have no understanding of his professional code, which forbids him to swallow the least bit of food — were he ever to feel a need to do so which is impossible in the context of this story.
That his fasting may not be a virtue because it is the result of his nature rather than a self-sacrifice, is a different issue and certainly does not bother the overseers. As far as they are concerned, he remains virtuous and insane which, in their value system, is the same as long as he does not cheat, even though, as we have said, they do not expect him to live up to his vows.
At times, the artist even takes to singing for as long as he can to show that he is not taking food secretly.
Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, Scrivener” () and Franz Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist” () are short stories that deal with the complexities of man in the social setting. Ein Hungerkünstler; A Hunger Artist (written and published ) In this shocking, appalling short story, a man turns self-destruction into an art form by starving himself to death for the benefit of the public. Sep 06, · The hunger artist’s last statement, that he shouldn’t be admired because it was not will power which lead him to the accomplishment of his art, but it was necessity of his nature, suggests the idea that “art has become literally an act of self-destruction, not just a sacrificial death of the author, not just giving of one’s all in the.
The reaction of the overseers, however, is surprise at his skill to eat even while singing. Few passages in literature describe the fate of artists as solitary singers in the wilderness more dramatically.
This is, of course, one of the tragedies of life: As Kafka puts it here: Only the artist himself could know that. The impresario, "his partner in an unparalleled career," actively exploits him.
He arranges the hunger artist's life according to the whims of his audience and his own. When a spectator remarks that it is probably the lack of food that makes our hero look so melancholic, the impresario has nothing better to do but to apologize for the physical appearance of his performer, to praise his ambition and "self-denial," and to agree with the remark.
This is too much for the artist to bear because it literally turns upside-down the cause and effect of his fasting. He is melancholic not because he does not eat, but because he is continuously tempted to abandon his fasting and to accept the very food he tries to evade.
Sometimes he also reacts with outbursts of anger when the merits of his fasting are questioned or when a spectator tries to console him because he looks so thin. Here Kafka succeeds in driving to an extreme the paradox of the hunger artist subsisting on fasting. With it, he also achieves the purest form of irony.
The people — the overseers and the audience — have the feeling that something is wrong with the hunger artist. Being snared in the logic of their minds, however, they never see beyond one and the same suspicion: This limitation of their vision keeps them from uncovering his real cheating — namely, that of making a virtue out of his "misery.
His fasting is an art, though, and art requires to be acknowledged as achievement.A Comparison-contrast of Self-Destruction in "A Hunger Artist" and Metamorphosis Thesis Statement: The protagonists in "A Hunger Artist" and Metamorphosis are their own antagonists and cause their own self-destruction.
"A Hunger Artist" A. Plot Summary B. Ch. The hunger artist is able to construe a contemporary sense of body with his indifference to temptation and neglecting to be glutinous, therefore pushing his mind farther then his body.
The artist also shapes the new sense of body through building on the idea that there is a distinct difference between desire and need.
An Analysis of the Symbolism of the Cage in Kafka's A Hunger Artist. 1, words. 2 pages. A Self Destruction in a Hunger Artist. words. 2 pages. A Review of Franz Kaftka's "A Hunger Artist" words.
2 pages. A Biography of Franz Kafka the German-Language Writer of Novels. words. 2 pages. Company. Ein Hungerkünstler; A Hunger Artist (written and published ) In this shocking, appalling short story, a man turns self-destruction into an art form by starving himself to death for the benefit of the public.
A man who is known only as “the hunger artist” and fasts for a living travels from town to European town with the impresario (his manager). In each town, the hunger artist chooses a public location and puts himself on display in a locked, straw-lined cage, where he fasts for periods of up to.
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