A Hunger Artist
How we cite our quotes:
[…] then again, he shrank completely into himself once more, concerned with no one […] (1)
Despite the crowds, the artist is still able to be completely absorbed in himself. Is the artist isolating himself? Is he responsible for his own loneliness?
[…] sometimes during the hours of the watch, overcoming his weakness, he sang for as long as he could so as to show these people how unjust their suspicions were […] they were merely amazed at his dexterity in managing to eat even while singing. (2)
The artist's loneliness partly derives from the fact that no one believes that he actually starves. Even when he is under constant watch, even when he tries to show that he is not eating (by singing, for example), no one believes him. Why do you think that is?
[…] he was prepared to joke with them, to tell them stories from his journeyman years, and in turn to listen to their stories, anything just so as to keep them awake, to be able to show them again and again that he had nothing edible in the cage, and that he starved in a way that not one of them could. (2)
The artist is eager to show the watchmen that he isn't eating, but he also seems equally eager for someone to recognize his uniqueness and the uniqueness of his achievement.