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A Literary Analysis of The Hunger Artist by Kafka - Literature review Example

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The author analyzes Kafka’s story “The Hunger Artist” and states that the major themes in the story include alienation, loss of personal identity, and guilt. The hunger artist feels guilt because he has changed into a freak and can no longer work, and therefore he is no longer the family breadwinner …
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A Literary Analysis of The Hunger Artist by Kafka
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Download file to see previous pages The hunger artist especially guilty when the people who don’t understand watch him because he feels so guilty about letting everyone down (not fasting for long enough). He also feels alienated, obviously, because he has turned into something outside of society, and can no longer communicate with human beings in a way that does not involve extreme amounts of rage and fear. He has lost all of his moorings with humanity and has become completely alienated. In the process, he has also lost his personal identity; the strangeness of his situation in the cage consumes him at the same time it confuses him. Critics and scholars have been trying to understand Kafka’s works in unique ways since his renown grew after his death, and there are many theories that are associated with his different works in terms of critical scholarship. Overall, though, when one looks at Kafka’s words, the real story emerges: “And, in fact, he had a good reason. Experience had shown that for about forty days one could increasingly whip up a city’s interest by gradually increasing advertising, but that then the public turned away—one could demonstrate a significant decline in popularity. In this respect, there were, of course, small differences among different towns and among different countries” (Kafka, 2010). There also seems to be an ironic tone to the story, but primarily, its message is one of alienation and isolation.
In the story, the artist’s troubled relationship with his audience suggests that the hunger artist exists outside of society, and that is why society is wrong. If the hunger artist is an artist, it means to reduce the rest of the world and focus on the self, a finding reflected in the choice of the hunger artist to appear in a cage.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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