Essay About The Theme Of A Hunger Artist

Essay About The Theme Of A Hunger Artist-29
It is the author's objective to discuss Franz Kafka's Ein Hungerknstler from a psychodynamic perspective to demonstrate that it is a metaphor of conflict because the short story is a conundrum.I shall demonstrate that there is no relationship between the hunger artist's practice of his art with his reason for not eating other than conflict.The hunger artist sings and tells jokes to ensure them that he has not eaten, and boasts that "fasting is the easiest thing in the world." When asked if he would like to eat, he would become enraged and rattle the cage.

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Yet, Karl (1991) notes Kafka's disclosure to Milena about "his sexual disgust when he was with prostitutes" (87).

Kafka's promiscuous behavior can be related to Don Juanism, which is evidenced in an "unusual or talented man, who is still not unusual enough to make his mark as a creator, a thinker, etc.

The connection between food and marriage is further evidenced in Julie's attempt to have Felice Bauer coax Kafka to a more hearty diet in the same way that the passerbys coaxed the hunger artist to eat.

Since the hunger artist would become enraged when asked if he wanted to eat, no one knew what he wanted.

In a sense, both Kafka and the hunger artist exhibit a "primal scream" for understanding.

And both Kafka and the hunger artist not only torture others, who are horrified by their refusal to eat and to be sociable, but they also torment themselves by blaming others for their suffering and the inability of others to know what they want. The masochist disavows his own need and will to suffer by turning the execution of his suffering over to someone else by means of a contract.Although Kafka's difficult relationship with his father, Hermann, is evident in his Brief an den Vater, means of producing defiance, dislike, or even hate in me, Mother canceled that out again by kindness, by talking sensiblyand I was again driven back into your orbit, which I might otherwise have broken out of, to your advantage and to my own.The boy represses the love for his mother by putting himself in her play, by identifying himself with her, and by taking his own person as a model through the similarity of which he is guided in the selection of his love object. The evidence that Mecke provides in Kafka's writings might well support the fact that Kafka's homosexual tendencies, if it can be called that, might very well have been his coming to terms with his sexuality.Despite Mecke's claim, Detsch (1985) argues there is no evidence to support it (346).He concludes that the gaze in Kafka is a means of protagonists to "seek orientation, contact, and affiliation" in a patriarchal society to compensate with conflict about sexual orientation.Thus, I shall elucidate the dilemma of the hunger artist by reconstructing Kafka's personal conflict.His conscience had so internalized parental authority that he was fixated on a way of life that if transgressed would involve retribution from his parents.and turns to sexual conquest to achieve self-respect."To get married, to found a family, to accept all the children that arrive, to maintain them in this uncertain world, and even to lead them a little on their way is, in my opinion, the utmost that a man can ever succeed in doing (139).Hermann's opposition most likely fueled Kafka's inferiority to be a suitable husband characterized by his vacillation between commitment and broken engagements to reveal a conflicted sensibility toward a monogamous relationship.Since the contract still implies his consent, the masochist attempts to undermine the volitional element by signing a "blank paper," like the hunger artist, who, upon joining the circus, avoided reading the conditions of his contract (437)The masochistic significance of fasting is complicated, however, by the fact, that it represents the desire to suffer masochistically at the same time it expresses the suffering of the failure to find real fulfillment in this direction (150).The hunger artist's dilemma is that he is bound to a contract, which not only binds the hunger artist to his "art of hungering," but is also in conflict and denial of human limitations.


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