Tag Archives: Franz Kafka

Kafka and the Starving Artist

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The Hunger Artist” is one of Franz Kafka’s most well-known short stories. It’s about a man who is a hunger artist—that is, he sits in a cage and fasts for upwards of forty days as crowds walk by to watch and admire his feat. The story is often viewed as an allegory, though interpretations vary. In my opinion, Kafka’s story of the hunger artist is a metaphor for Kafka’s own life as a “starving artist.”

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12 Kafka Quotes that Explain Social Anxiety

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Franz Kafka is often cited as a famous figure who suffered from social anxiety. Kafka was never officially diagnosed with social anxiety disorder during his lifetime, as such a diagnosis didn’t technically exist yet. The social anxiety speculation comes from Kafka’s personal diaries and letters. I’ve already written about the themes of social anxiety present in Kafka’s novella, The Metamorphosis, but if you still have any doubts as to whether or not the author actually had social anxiety disorder, look no further than these following quotes of his. Continue reading

Social Anxiety in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis

Die Verwandlung a.k.a. The Metamorphosis a.k.a. The Transformation

by Franz Kafka

Published: 1915

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The Metamorphosis is a novella about Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman who wakes up one day to find himself transforming into a giant insect. As his transformation progresses, Gregor locks himself in his room, quits his job, and isolates himself from his family and the rest of society. Gregor’s parents and sister are repulsed as he becomes less and less human and more and more insect-like, until finally in the end… 

(SPOILER ALERT)

…he dies.

Based on Franz Kafka’s diaries and letters, scholars agree that the author suffered from depression and social anxiety throughout his life. The Metamorphosis could therefore be interpreted as Kafka’s way of writing about his mental state. With that in mind, could the “metamorphosis” in The Metamorphosis be a metaphor for someone developing social anxiety? (Talk about meta…) Continue reading