Kafka`s Hunger Artist Essay, Research Paper
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 that he was fasting. They saw how skinny he was and they
still thought that he could have had been eating on the side. This shows the
lack of trust people have in other people. The two stories should be compared
because of their similarities in the way the public treats the main characters.
The public was just interested in the ? Hunger Artist ? because he was an
entertainment for them. They watched him for a couple of years, but it then got
to a point when people started saying, ? that they would not watch him anymore
because they were not with him all day, so how could they be sure that he was
not eating anything on the side. ? The public in ? The very old man with
Enormous wings ? were interested in the old man because they thought he was an
angel. They stopped being interested in him when they saw that he could not do
miracles for them. With this we can see that the public in both stories were
only enticed by the two characters as long as they thought that they were
getting something from them. The public tried to use the characters for their
own benefits. I think that the two writers are focusing on how the public reacts
to the characters in ? The very old man with Enormous wings ? and the ?
Hunger Artist ? because they are trying to show how the world has changed when
it comes to having faith in other people or in a religious matter.