Franz Kafka as a Hunger Artist

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Through much of Franz Kafka’s writing, the reader can see how his personal experiences and viewpoints are clearly worked into his many stories. One of which stands out is his story A Hunger Artist. In this story Kafka speaks through the hunger artist of the alienation and isolation he feels in his own body, as well as the emptiness he feels as a result of the disconnected relationship he and his father share. Ironically this emptiness manifests itself quite literally at the end of Kafka’s life, when he dies as a result of tuberculosis of the larynx, which causes him to literally starve to death, just as the hunger artist in the story. It was said about his writing “the early manifestations of authentic originality were nurtured in solitary…show more content…
Like the hunger artist, he too lived in a state of constant want for both food and recognition, as he longed for his father’s acceptance. From the very beginning of Kaka’s life, his family had been organized by, around, and for the benefit of his overbearing father. As a result of his father’s constant criticisms, Kafka began to criticize himself, as he felt crushed by his ever present burden of guilt, which he turned into self-hatred. “One of the most significant influences on Kafka’s life and work was his domineering father. Kafka’s stories often contain themes drawn from the burden of his father’s tyranny in his home life, depicting settings of confinement as well as convoluted systems of punishment and other expressions of seemingly all powerful authority.” (Miline 100) He blames his father for having robbed him of his childhood, never giving him the attention he is starving for, and like the hunger artist, he spends his whole life seeking it. The most sustained account of Kafka’s childhood is seen by Kafka himself, contained in the fifty-page
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