A Comparisoncontrast Of SelfDestructio Essay Research Paper

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A Comparison-contrast Of Self-Destructio Essay, Research Paper A Comparison-contrast of Self-Destruction in “A Hunger Artist” and Metamorphosis Thesis Statement: The protagonists in “A Hunger Artist” and Metamorphosis are their own antagonists and cause their own self-destruction. I. “A Hunger Artist” A. Plot Summary B. Character Analysis with self-destruction II. Metamorphosis A. Plot Summary B. Character Analysis with self-destruction III. Comparison-Contrast A. Similarities B. Differences The Metamorphosis and “A Hunger Artist” are both works by Franz Kafka. The stories are similar in theme and are probably reflections of the author’s person. The protagonists in “A Hunger Artist” and Metamorphosis are their own antagonists and cause their own

destruction. In The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa awakes to find himself transformed into an insect. The novel goes on to tell the day-by-day struggles of Gregor and details his alienation from humanity. Everyone, including his own family, rejects Gregor- “‘Mother, Mother,’ said Gregor softly . . . snapping his jaws several times in the air. At this his mother screamed once more, fled from the table, and fell into the arms of his father.” The novel ends in Gregor’s death- “‘Come on and have a look, it’s croaked; it’s lying there, dead as a doornail!” Gregor causes his own demise. He allows the rigors of his job and the pressures of his family to slowly eat away at his sole. He remarks shortly after his transformation, “To the devil with it all!” Gregor

despises his job as a traveling salesman where he must get up before dawn to travel- “‘Oh God,’ he thought, ‘what a grueling job I’ve picked! Day in, day out – on the road.’” Debt incurred by his family ties Gregor to his job- “. . . once I’ve gotten the money together to pay off my parents’ debt to him – that will probably take another five or six years – I’m going to do it without fail. Then I’m going to make the big break.” “A Hunger Artist” tells the story of a man who makes his living as a side-show type act where he starves himself. The man is put in a cage under constant watch without food for forty days. During that term people come and pay to see the marvel of a man starving himself. However, the artist remarks in the story that people

are not as interested in hunger artists as much as they once were. He ends up at a circus where people ignore him to see the more impressive lions and tigers. He goes unnoticed for such a long time, that no one notices when he disappears onto the floor of his cage. The hunger artist is a man with many inner demons. He is discontent with his profession because no one actually believes that he can go without food for such a long time- “No one could possibly watch the hunger artist continuously. . .and no one could produce first-hand evidence that the fast had really been rigorous and continuous; only the artist himself could know that.” He is also discontent because he knew in his heart, and openly attests to the fact that fasting was the easiest thing in the world. A time

comes where the people in the towns are no longer interested in the hunger artist. He takes his show to a circus in an attempt to find a new audience. There the people ignore him in the same fashion, alienating him. However, the hunger artist keeps fasting beyond the forty day limit as he had always wanted. He death comes with little dejection. After his death the overseer of the circus remarks, “Well, clear this out now,” and the circus workers bury him with his straw. He finally accomplishes what seems to be his ultimate aspiration. There are many parallels between “The Hunger Artist” and Metamorphosis. In both stories, the main characters cause their own destruction. In Metamorphosis, Gregor allows outside forces to dehumanize him. In “The Hunger Artist,” the