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A Hunger Artist

A Hunger Artist


Franz Kafka

A Hunger Artist Analysis

Literary Devices in A Hunger Artist

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory


The story doesn't give us much in the way of specific geographical or chronological details, but we do learn that the hunger artist and his manager seek out various cities in Europe to put on their...

Narrator Point of View

The narrator is a third person omniscient, able to weave in and out of different characters' thoughts. This omniscient perspective also enables the narrator to make generalizations about the public...


Kafka's story is typical of the fiction we associate with Modernism. Like other Modernist works from the same time period, such as James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man or Virginia...


The story starts off in an almost journalistic way, as the narrator makes some very general observations about the rise and fall in the popularity of hunger artists. But this almost journalistic vo...

Writing Style

You won't have to dive into your SAT vocabulary flashcards to get through "A Hunger Artist." The style and language is simple and clear, and it is easy to follow the action. You do have to be on yo...

What's Up With the Title?

Pop quiz! What's the title of this story?If you answered "A Hunger Artist," you're kind of right. If you answered "A Starvation Artist," you're also kind of right. Heck, if you said "A Fasting Arti...

What's Up With the Ending?

In the end, the hunger artist dies, unappreciated and nearly forgotten. The circus workers clear the cage of his body and his straw. Then they put a frisky young panther in the cage. To pile insult...


On the surface, the story is written in a simple, clear style, and the plot itself is not complicated. But peek beneath that deceptive simplicity, and you'll find the thorny philosophical dilemmas...

Plot Analysis

The Latest CrazeAt the beginning of the story, the hunger artist is at the height of his popularity. He's drawing huge crowds to his performances and hopes to be the best hunger artist ever.Impu...


Kafka may have been inspired by actual hunger artists, who were quite popular during his lifetime. The hunger artist in Kafka's story combines two freak show acts: the "skeletal man," who was visib...

Steaminess Rating

There's nothing steamy in this story. The main character is a skeletally thin guy in a black leotard – hardly dating material.

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