Kafka's Hunger Artist


Kafka's Hunger Artist
I will try to demonstrate what the public’s reaction was to the angel in "

The very old man with Enormous wings " and Kafka’s " Hunger Artist "
from what the authors wrote in the stories and the characters point of view. I
will also try illustrate how the public has more of a meaning in both stories.

In " A very old man with Enormous Wings " the public goes to see the old man
because they wanted to see what he was. The owner’s of the house where the old
man was at, thought that he was a lonely castaway from some foreign ship wrecked
by the storm. They thought this because they spoke to him and he answered in a
incomprehensible dialect with a strong sailor’s voice. The public tossed him
things to eat as if he weren’t a supernatural creature but a circus animal.

When Father Gonzaga went to see the old man there was less frivolous onlookers
than those who had arrived earlier. The simplest among them thought that he
should be named mayor of the world. Others of sterner mind felt that he should
be promoted to the rank of five-star general in order to win all wars. There
were other people that hoped he would be put to reproduce, so there would be a
race of winged wise man who could take charge of the universe. Father Gonzaga
suspected that he was an impostor because he did not understand the language of

God and did not know how to greet his minister. He did not think that the old
man was an angel, he instead felt that it could of been a trick of the devil.

Curious people came from far away because they thought that he could cure them
and change their misfortunes. During all this time, the old man was the only one
who did not take part in his own act. During those days a carnival attraction
arrived with a woman who had been changed to a spider. The old man’s
reputation was already ruined by this time. After this people stopped going to
see the old man. Months had past when the old man got new wings and just flew
away. I think that the angel in " The very old man with Enormous wings "
might have actually stayed. He left because no one treated him right. They did
not believe in him just because he did not give them what they wanted, so they
did not have faith in him. The public could of just believe in him and treated
him well maybe he would have gotten well and then he would have gaven them what
they wanted. In the "hunger Artist ", the artist wanted the public to
appreciate his fasting abilities by watching him and giving him fame. We know
this by the following passage; " Why stop fasting... ?, ... why should he be
cheated of the fame he would get for lasting longer. " Professional fasting
had diminished remarkably the last decade. For elders he was often a joke, while
for children he was a special treat. There were different kinds of watchers that
watched the artist. There were groups of watchers who would huddle to together
in a corner to play cards. They intended to give the artist Some space, because
they thought he would appreciate to be alone. He did not, instead it made him
miserable and made his fast seem unendurable. Then there are the watchers more
to his taste. The watchers that would sit close up to the bars because they were
not content with the dim night lighting on the hall. The artist would not sleep,
he was happy at spending sleepless nights with such watchers. People began to
get uninterested in watching the " Hunger Artist " because no one could
produce evidence that the fast had really been continuos; only the artist knew
that, therefore he was his only satisfied spectator of his own fast. Years past
and still no one took his trouble seriously. People felt that his depression was
do to the fasting. They also felt that fasting made him react with an outburst
of fury; he would shake the bars of his cage like a wild animal. More years
past, suddenly the hunger artist found himself deserted by the amusement seekers
and by this he died. In the " Hunger Artist " the public could not have just
been content in knowing

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