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Hunger Artist isa story by Franz Kafka it talks about a man called Hunger Artist whofasts and travels from town to European town with his manager to showoff. The physical separation of hunger artist and spectator mirrorsthe spiritual separation of the individual artistic ego and thepublic will. It is shown when he chooses a public place to displayhimself as he fast for forty days he allows people to come andwitness. He relishes in his hunger throughout the story, hoping thatit will lead to spiritual satisfaction although he never succeeded inany of the performances (Kafka328).
His failureresults in constant dissatisfaction, and he fails to understand thatthe spiritual satisfaction he yearns for relies on the physical life,and he feels that he can do much better. Hunger artist goes onseveral days wanting to be admired and appreciated although the crowdno longer gives him the attention. In the pursuit of perfection, heattempts to ride out the trend against fasting in believe that itreverses itself. He locks himself in the cage, not knowing how manydays he fasted. The cage represents the Artist’s body, which hefeels he is imprisoned. After all, Hunger Artist`s body and itsphysical needs are the ultimate constraint on his ambition to fastindefinitely (Kafka332).
Hunger Artist’sbody is a prison to him, and his effort to break out of it isactually death wish for his starved body. The manifestation of hispride is what ensures he will never be loved, appreciated andadmired by the public. Pride turns the hunger artist away from peopleand into himself, and he reinforces his isolation by imprisoninghimself in a pen and meditating. It is not clear how many days hefasted in the end although, pride guarantees the hunger artist notfame, love and transcendence, but obscurity. He dies after hisfasting leaves him empty both physically and spiritually (Kafka331).
Kafka,Franz, and Kevin Blahut. AHunger Artist.Prague: Twisted Spoon Press, 1996. Print.