Do any of them understand him or his art?
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The hunger artist's art is, at a metaphorical level, suffering. The pleasure and artistry of fasting comes from the free will he exercises in his self-denial and masochism. Though he is confined to a cage, he has complete control over his pain and hunger (except when the impresario manages him), pushing himself past human limits in his constant search for a new masterpiece of starvation. Kafka romanticizes the hunger artist as an alienated "starving artist" who flouts capitalist society and concentrates solely on his own art from his virtual one-room apartment.