A Hunger Artist
A Hunger Artist explores many of the themes that were close to him: spiritual poverty, asceticism, futility, and the alienation of the modern artist. (From feedbooks.com)
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It is widely believed that Franz Kafka burned about 90 percent of his writing. Why do you think he would do that? (This annotation contains an image)
A Hunger Artist, Franz Kafka
What did people with subscription tickets do?
In several sentences, describe the differences in reactions between the children and the adults.
At various times in history, political upheavals or disagreements have inspired hunger strikes. Click the link below to read an article about famous hunger strikes throughout history. (This annotation contains a link)
Think of different types of art. From painters to sculptors to dancers, people express themselves in various forms. Although the idea of "starving" as art may seem strange, it can be viewed simply as an act of self-expression.
Use the Define feature to discover the meaning of laxly. Which word below is the best replacement for laxly in this sentence?
Why does the hunger artist sing "during the time they were observing"?
Why do some of the observers select the shift that ends in the early morning?
Even though Kafka's piece is not very long, the main character is well-developed. (This annotation contains a video)
Determining the mood of this passage is an important part of careful reading. (This annotation contains a video)
Who is the only spectator capable of verifying the complete fasting?
What happens on the fortieth day?
Evaluate the reasons behind others viewing the hunger artist as "a publicity seeker or total swindler."
Imagine the perspective of the crowd in terms of this question: "Why did this crowd, which pretended to admire him so much, have so little patience with him?" Write several sentences that summarize the varied thoughts in the minds of the onlookers.
How are the impresario and the hunger artist different in their understanding of the purpose of the show?
Explain the meaning of the following quote from the text, "...and no one had the right to be dissatisfied with the event, no one except the hunger artist -- he was always the only one." Cite evidence from the text to support your response.
Images of starving people can be quite shocking. What details in this passage match with images of malnourished individuals that you have seen?
Consider this Emily Dickinson poem which is similar in topic and theme to the short story. (This annotation contains a link)
To those who read the Bible, 40 is a symbolic number. Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. Rain fell on Noah and the inhabitants of his ark for 40 days. (This annotation contains an image)
Imagine this scene was presented in first person point of view. How would that change the overall mood of the text? (This annotation contains a video)
What is the broader meaning of this quote, "It was impossible to fight against this lack of understanding, against this world of misunderstanding."?
There are many stories (as well as longer works of literature) that echo the theme "be careful what you wish for." Think of two or three stories that you have read which ask "What was there left for him to wish for?".
In several sentences, examine the reasons why the hunger artist "let himself be hired by a large circus"?
What would the hunger artist prefer to change about his location?
Consider this image of a circus scene in contrast to the imagery provided in this Kafka passage. (This annotation contains a link)
Evaluate the quote in terms of its connection to a theme in the story: "If someone doesn't feel it, then he cannot be made to understand it."
Use the Define feature to read the definition of the word innate. What is the best antonym, or word opposite in meaning, of innate?
Here's an example of a hunger strike record sign. (This annotation contains an image)
When the hunger artist says "I couldn't find a food which tasted good to me," is he speaking literally or figuratively? (This annotation contains a video)
What do they put in the hunger artist's cage?