A Hunger Artist
In “A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka, comments on the life of the modern artist through the life of a hunger artist. Kafka comments that the modern artist is always dissatisfied with his or her art. The modern artist also is trapped in a harsh and capricious world, in which the artist struggles to maintain his or her audience by pushing the extreme, but is cheated because they do not receive his or her recognition. Finally, in “A Hunger Artist” Kafka refers to the modern artist’s struggle between the need for fame and the need for isolation. As a modern artist, Kafka has experienced the qualities that characterize the modern artist and his experiences have greatly influenced his work, particularly “A Hunger Artist”.
This short story is hard to understand at first, after a few readings you can understand what Kafka meaning of hunger. The “Hunger Artist” was a fast excitement everyone want it to see him at least once a day. People would want to see him from early in the morning to late at night. They sold season tickets for the last few days. The “Hunger Artist” will go as long as forty days without eating. His ribs will be showing, his bones were noticeable he look ill. They had “permanent watchers selected by the public”(Kafka 404).
Their task was to watch the hunger artist day and night. There were three of them watching him at the same time just in case he had something suspicious going on with one. The “Hunger Artist” was happy to have this job to entertain people all around the world. He was fine being in a cage like an animal without giving anything but water.
Artists play several important roles in today’s society. An artist uses his tools, whether it is paints, pens, pencils or any other median they enjoy and find effective to comment on the trends society has formed, an important subject to the artists such as political stances and views and areas that the artist feel need to be shown to different areas of society to get across a message, such ...
He approaches his work with passion and devotion. He takes pride in his work and is disappointed by the limitations put on him by the audience. The hunger artist held a record for the longest fasting time but he was unable to beat it because his impresario prohibited it due to the fact the audience would lose interest. The man only wishes to be honored by the public. As he continuously spirals downward in his health, he loses all forms of material nourishment. As the days go on, there is conflict between the artist and the audience, as they do not believe him honest in claiming not to have eaten. By searching for the audience’s approval, a symbol for spiritual nourishment, he loses both material and spiritual nourishment.
He travels the world, performing his fasts publicly, as a form of mass entertainment. Although he is the best of the best, the hunger artist continues to be unsatisfied with his performances. Even at the height of his career, he feels that his work is never adequately appreciated by his audience, who fail to recognize his true potential. Mostly his audience that he attracted was children because they were amazed of how this guy can fasts for weeks. Adults were starting to look at him as in a joke and not taking him serious. The hunger will tell the people that for him to fasts were the easiest thing in the world yet, people did not believe him. Most of them thought he was out just for publicity.
One of the allegories of the hunger artist was, how he perform and did his thing legit to try satisfied his audience and have a show for them but in return he got negative feedback. Sometimes when you are doing the correct thing people will always want to bring you down. There is times when you can not satisfied people because they assume you cheated your way to the position your current in. That can hurt a person’s ego because with hard work you just want to get respected or honor, depending the situation you are in. The irony of the hunger artist and the people were totally different, the hunger just want it to show his talent he had to fasts for weeks meanwhile, the audience just thought he was publicity and unreal.
Increasing the minimum wage may help hard working families make ends meat. The first federal minimum wage in 1938. Started at $. 25 an hour. In 1968 it reached its peak value. Since then the value has fallen thirty percent, so that today's minimum wage of $5. 15 is equal to $4. 18 which is equivalent to the value in 1995 (women, 4). Some states have decided to raise the minimum wage above $5. 15 ...
As time pass by the hunger artist was release from the cage he was in. The overseer told him he admires him by fasting for so long. The hunger artist reply by saying I always want it you to admired me but you shouldn’t. The overseer said why I wouldn’t admire you; the hunger said “because I couldn’t find the food I liked. If I had found it, believe me, I should have made no fuss and stuffed myself like you or anyone else”(409).
That’s why he will get upset when people said he cheated, and cannot get in the records, even though it came natural for him, he never cheated.