A Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka

Start Your Free Trial

Can you explain the symbols and the ironies in the story "A Hunger Artist"?

Expert Answers info

Vivianne Deckow eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write1,817 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

In Kafka's classic short story "A Hunger Artist," the main symbols are:

  • the hunger artist vs. the crowds of onlookers: establishes the themes spirituality vs. decadence; individualism vs. conformity.  Is being a hunger artist a profession (by which one makes money and a name for oneself) or a spiritual fasting to eliminate desire?
  • "the all-important striking of the clock that was the only piece of furniture in his cage"...: establishes the theme of time; the hunger artist was in vogue, but no more (which is to say that spirituality is a thing of the past).
  • food :...

    (The entire section contains 303 words.)

    Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial