The Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka
We discussed the hunger artist in class today. All of Kafka’s work has a religious undertone. The hunger artist in the story is very christlike in his refusal to give in to natural physical needs, denying his hunger and connections with the outside world. The art is how the hunger sculpts his body and in denying a physical need that could potentially lead to death.
I proposed that it had a parallel with the passage from the bible that its not food alone that man needs. Meaning the hunger artist is hungering for something other than a physical need. Maybe this need is spiritual, perhaps it could also be a self fulfillment. However I definitely felt that the hunger artist had a faith that helped him endure. The hunger could even be a representation of the roman perfection except in an opposite way stripping the man down to his bare bones to show the perfection of his soul.