A Hunger Artist Questions and Answers
by Franz Kafka

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How did Kafka describe alienation in "A Hunger Artist" ?

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In "A Hunger Artist," Franz Kafka explores isolation through the titular character. The hunger artist physically alienates himself from other people by putting himself in a cage and starving for weeks at a time. The cage becomes a symbol for how the artist separates himself from other people. In a cage, he is presented as a kind of freak of nature, not sharing the same zest for life as other people. (Later, this is contrasted with the ravenous panther that occupies the artist's cage after he dies, who captures the public's attention far more easily than the emaciated artist.)

At the beginning of the story, this isolation is not so terrible, since he receives fame and attention from the public for his dedication to his craft, strange as it is. Even though no one can ever appreciate the artist's art as much as he can, since only he is 100% certain that he is not sneaking food into the cage at any point, he still takes some small pride in his life's work. However, as the public loses...

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