The Hunger Artist, which is described as Franz Kafka’s best work, begins with a general description of “the hunger artist” and then narrows in on a single performer, the protagonist. The artist, Robert Crumb, was able to effectively represent The Hunger Artist by Kafka by capturing, through cartoon comics, the attitude people have towards the hunger artist, their facial expressions and the way the hunger artist’s passion affected him personally. To start with, the hunger artist was very devoted to his art, the abnormal art of starvation. Not many people understood the extent to which he cared for his art or respected him. He was just a trend they believed would die down in a matter of time. Despite the hunger artist being popular, no one ever understood or admired his art as much as he did. Robert Crumb was able to reveal this by having the spectators have smiles on their face as they questioned his dedication to his work in order to show that they made mockery of him. He also highlighted this point at the end of the comic after the artist had died, when the spectators referred to the area the hunger artist displaced his art as a mess and they immediately replaced him with panther. Also, Robert Crumb was able to capture main parts of the story in the comic. For example, he was able to state the reason the hunger artist decided to starve himself as a form of art. He displayed how the hunger artist was suffering by using different shading techniques to show how his body was degenerating and how unwell he was. Robert Crumb also included how much the hunger artist wanted people to admire his fasting, but his want was never satisfied which caused him to be lonely and angry. The comic also suggested that the hunger artist might have not been starving out of devotion to his art, but simply because he’s a picky eater and can’t find any food he likes. This might cause confusion to the audience because they might not know whether he is fasting because it is his passion or because he cannot find anything he likes. Moreover, Robert Crumb was able to display the facial expressions of each character in the comic and also how they responded to each others actions. For example, at the beginning of the comic the spectators wanted to check on the hunger artist to see if he was still fasting, so they poked him with a stick in anticipation to see whether he was awake or alive. That was to show how much they disrespected the artist, they poked him as if he was an animal in order to get his attention. Robert Crumb also displayed how the spectators were smiling to each other as the hunger artist asked them to forgive. Robert Crumb was also able to show how broken, but still determined, the hunger artist had been before he passed away. In conclusion, I believe the artist effectively represented the story in the comic because he was able to capture the main points of the story, highlight certain aspect and also the expressions of the people in the comic.
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