This physical separation of hunger artist and spectator mirrors the spiritual separation of the individual artistic ego and public will. This gap in mindset leads to a critical gap in understanding. Set apart from others, only the hunger artist realizes the importance of his ambitions and accomplishments, and only he knows that he is not cheating.
He is known for his novels and short stories and is regarded as one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century. He is best known for his novel The Trial and his novella The Metamorphosis. Through his works, Kafka also conveys his disgust for existentialism and his unease in society.
The style of his writing has been interpreted in different ways by Freudians, Marxists, Existentialists as well as Religionists, while Kafka himself was an autonomous writer, independent of any such attitudes.
Franz Kafka died from tuberculosis at the age of forty. Like nearly all of his works, Franz Kafka combined fantastic elements with the realism of ordinary life in The Hunger Artist. The plot itself is not difficult, but looking more closely, there are layers of philosophical themes hidden beneath the deceptive simplicity.
Symbolism is used to give a greater meaning and depth to the literary work, beyond which is being described by giving a highly visual detail to the themes and the plot. Some symbols that Kafka uses to represent these themes are the cage, the panther, the hunger and the clock.
The cage represents the division between the hunger artist and the spectators on the other side of the bars. The hunger artist made this choice of being locked up in a cage.
In a way, it ensures his own safety from those people who are against him and do not understand his desperate yearning for artistic perfection.
Being on the other side of the bars, they feel that the hunger artist is somehow cheating on his fast and observe him only to find faults and loopholes by which he could somehow eat, and not to actually understand and appreciate his situation.
His only wish was to achieve artistic perfection, which in his mind, meant to be able to fast indefinitely. But this desire of his was unimaginable due to the constraints that his mortal body placed on him. Even if he yearned to be able to fast forever, his body was like a cage, preventing him from achieving this dream as it was impossible for him to live for a long time while his body was slowly decaying due to lack of nourishment.
The only way out of the imprisonment by his body, was death. The next symbol is that of the panther. The hunger artist dies at the end of the story and he is replaced by a young panther. The panther is a complete opposite of the hunger artist.
He seemed to carry all the joys of life in his jaws which caused the onlookers to remain transfixed watching him, never wanting to move away. While the hunger artist was powerless and slowly became weaker and weaker as his fast progressed, the panther was the complete embodiment of power and vitality.
But what is ironic here is all the life, power and happiness that seemed to radiate from the panther was the perception of the audience from outside the cage, on the other side of the bars.
We cannot know what the panther actually felt when he was put into the cage. The way he pranced about could have been because of his agitation at being confined in the cage and not because he was happy. The omniscient way in which Kafka ends the tale leaves us wondering about the turn of events and emotions involved.
It also implies that people seek entertainment only from a caged spectacle. The restriction of freedom causes some kind of elation within the audience and they do not even try to understand the plight of the creature within the cage.
Hunger, in A Hunger Artist, does not merely represent the necessity for food. To the hunger artist, hunger is a form of art. To him, it is a performance that needs to be perfected.Themes The Separation of Artist from Society. In “A Hunger Artist,” the hunger artist’s troubled relationship with his spectators suggests that the artist exists apart from society and must therefore be misunderstood.
A LIFE OF ITS OWN: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ARTIST, IDEA AND ARTWORK. This does not mean that the relationship between the artist and developing artwork can simply be mapped onto that between mother and child with the artist in the role of mother to the artwork as offspring – the relationship is complex and may at times be .
The hunger artist fails to enlarge the audience about his suffering, as it is interested in his suffering only as an entertainment (see The audience's fascination with suffering, below), and he selfishly tries to inflict suffering on his watchers (to make them "endure" what he must "endure").
Artwork description & Analysis: Serra has explained that the Splash series grew out of his interest in an implied, reciprocal relationship between the artist, the work of art, and the subsequent viewer: "I was interested in my ability to move in relation to material and have that material move me."Place Of Birth: San Francisco, California.
His father was born close to Mongolia, while his mother was a Muscovite, and his grandmother was from the German-speaking Baltic. The bulk of Kandinsky's childhood was spent in Odessa, a thriving, cosmopolitan city populated by Western Europeans, Mediterraneans, and a variety of Nationality: Russian.
A summary of Themes in Franz Kafka's A Hunger Artist. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of A Hunger Artist and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.