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The Hunger Artist Essay

  • Submitted by: thomashaze
  • on March 25, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 765 words

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Below is an essay on "The Hunger Artist" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

“The Hunger Artist’,’. Written by Franz Kafka in 1922; is a story that gives great insight on what Franz Kafka’s quality of life may have been like. Whether he intended to write himself in as the main character or not, there are many examples, moments, and similarities that the two share. They both seemed to be living a dark, contradicting duality for their art. Neither of them could possibly have survived without expressing themselves through their artistic vices, but these vices never let them feel at piece. Nor Kafka or the main character of this story could have a sound nights sleep. There was a monster inside both of them that had to get out, but when released, the monster would just be walking into another cage.
Kafka suffered from clinical depression, insomnia, migraines, social anxiety, and other aliments. The hunger artist tended to exemplify all of those. In 1917, just five years before “The Hunger Artist” was written, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. When his life is put into context with this story the picture becomes very clear. “he sat there pallid in black tights, with his ribs sticking out so prominently...” (pg. 327) The description of the hunger artist sounds similar to the symptoms of tuberculosis, especially the drastic loss of weight and a malnourished appearance. The main character’s final words even depict his ability not to eat as if it were a disease. He explains to a man that he must fast, that there was not a food that he found he liked, he wished that he could eat like everyone else, but just simply couldn’t. It’s something he had no control over, he couldn’t help it, just like the symptoms of tuberculosis.
“darkness from which the dark power emerges when it wills and heedless of my stammering, destroys my life. Writing sustains me, but is it not more accurate to say that it sustains this kind of life? By this I don’t mean, of course, that my life is better when I don’t write. Rather it is much worse then and wholly...

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"The Hunger Artist". Anti Essays. 12 Dec. 2018


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