‘The Metamorphosis’ and ‘A Hunger Artist’

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There are many parallels and differences between Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” and "A Hunger Artist". Kafka portrays these differences and similarities very effectively through his utilization of elements such as transformation, dehumanization, and dedication to work. Through his works, Kafka communicates with the reader in such a way that almost provokes and challenges one’s imagination and creativity. Kafka is known for his highly symbolic and oblique style of writing. It is no surprise that several of his pieces contain the same major themes, just in different settings. The fact that he repeats his styles only makes the message that he is trying to convey much stronger. In both “The Metamorphosis” and “A Hunger Artist”, the main…show more content…
In "A Hunger Artist," the main character’s lack of fulfillment causes him despair. He reacts to this disparity by starving himself, almost as if showing resistance to the outside world. He views himself as separate from everyone else, thus confining himself in a cage (Bedford 636). Another evident similarity between the two works is the treatment of the characters. Both Gregor and the hunger artist are treated inhumanely. This is clear in “The Metamorphosis” when Greta begins to think of Gregor as an “it” (Metamorphosis 51). Although Gregor has transformed physically, he is still human inside. Everyone around him fails to see that though, and only regard him by what they see, which is a bug. Likewise, the hunger artist is not treated as a human being either. The hunger artist is infatuated with being the best faster in Europe. This obsession deprives him from forming any social or long-lasting relationships. His alienation eventually accounts for his demise, along with the fact that he is constantly misunderstood. The people who come to see him, as well as the people who guard him, do not understand that he is not fasting for amusement. Fasting beyond the forty-day limit is important to the hunger artist, but no one can comprehend why, which creates a barrier between the hunger artist and the outside world. Because of this barrier, people treat him as if he is just another animal in a cage. When he joins
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