A Hunger Artist Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What has happened to the interest in fasting at the beginning of the story? How has this affected the artist?

Interest in professional fasting is declining. The professional, or hunger artist, is becoming as disillusioned with his audience as they are with him. He watches from the barred cage where he sits in straw with only a clock for company.

2. Describe the hunger artist. What does he look like? What does he wear?

The artist is rail-thin, and has gotten older in age. He sits in a barred cage on straw with nothing but a clock inside the cage. He wears black tights and nothing else. His bare ribs protrude.

3. What does the artist "do" in the cage? What is his interaction with the audience?

He sips from a glass of water, answering questions "with a constrained smile." Occasionally, he stretches out an arm so a visitor can feel how thin it is. Occasionally he'll share jokes or tell stories.

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