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A Hunger Artist

A Hunger Artist

by Franz Kafka

Life, Consciousness and Existence Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

[…] the starvation artist might respond with an outbreak of rage and, to everyone's horror, begin to rattle the bars of his cage like an animal. (4)

The artist's animalistic behavior here looks ahead to the end of the story, when he is replaced by a panther.

Quote #8

[…] the starvation artist did not lose sight of reality and accepted it as perfectly natural that he, with his cage, should not be placed as, let us say, a showstopper in the center ring but installed outside at a quite easily accessible spot, close to the animal sheds. (7)

That word, "natural," has to be loaded with irony. What's natural about anything in this passage? The artist's proximity to the animal highlights his increasing dehumanization.

Quote #9

[…] the radiance of [the children's] searching eyes betrayed something of new, more merciful times to come. (7)

Even at the low point of his popularity, the children still view him with wonder (see Quote 2 in "Art and Culture").

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