A Hunger Artist
Art Versus Life in A Hunger Artist
In his short story "A Hunger Artist," Franz Kafka uses the extreme example of the fictional hunger artist to discuss the dichotomy between art and life. Usually, an artist uses his life to create his art. Thus, an artist alienated from the world will use his art to represent alienation, which ironically might bring him closer to the world. Kafka did this by writing about his sentiments of isolation and frustrations with society in stories such as "The Metamorphosis" and his novel The Trial. By writing these stories, Kafka expressed some of his disappointment with the world, and leaves it to his audience to analyze them as such. In this cycle, the artist channels his problems into art to manage his difficulties, and the audience accepts the art, providing the artist social acceptance and relief from solitude.
Kafka sheds light on this healthy cycle by portraying the production of art in "A Hunger Artist," in which the artist's creation of art does not lead to a positive cycle, because his suffering begets suffering. His desire to be an artist is explained via "his inner dissatisfaction" (246) with the world. The hunger artist does not starve himself because he believes starvation to be...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 741 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4427 literature essays, 1449 sample college application essays, 183 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in