The Secret Society Of The Hungry

1242 words - 5 pages

Leave me alone! It's a phrase often times used by teenagers around the world. During teenage years, many people fight to be left alone. They find comfort in being without the company of others. Many of them grow out of it and learn to deal with social interaction in a positive way. But some of them, don't. Instead they alienate themselves from society further. “The Hunger Artist”, by Franz Kafka, and “The Secret Society Of The Starving”, by Mim Udovitch feature the few people that prefer to stay in isolation. They illustrate the true extent that many are willing to go to be alone. They supplement each other. “ The Hunger Artist” helps us to see how far Anas, otherwise known as anorexics, are willing to go to stay isolated from a community that is their own.
To begin, The artist's cage directly represents the way Anas isolate themselves from society. This is shown by the example of the girl, Claire, in “The Secret Society Of The Starving”. The author writes, "Claire is 18...and team fundraisers are a regular part of her life, along with the typical small-town Florida teenage occupations..."(Udovitch 19). The word typical in this quote tries to portray a side of Claire that is normal. It shows her as normal in a way that conforms to the standards of the world around her. She is not powerful in any way, she has no mythical powers or anything that makes her extraordinary. She is not fictional, but instead portrayed as a 'real' teenage girl. By doing this, the author makes her more relateable to the entire teenage population. She represents many young girls around the world who seem to be 'regular' too. The article goes on to say that “Another regular part of her life, also a common teenage occupation, is anorexia”(Udovitch 19). Just like that, the article takes a dive from being a lighthearted read into a deep abyss of eye-opening, shocking and even frightening facts. She is no longer relateable. The author goes from a description that could fit many 18 year old girls, to one that is now specifically, hers. This shows distinction between Claire and many other women. The word “common” is a downplay to make the situation seem more cynical but at the same time emphasize that there is a difference between her and other average girls. The author also notes how she identifies herself. “She is, in her terms, ''an ana''” ( Udovitch 19). She labels herself much like how the US labeled immigrants and freed slaves in the past using Jim Crow laws. They, slaves and immigrants, were equal but, separate. They had their own form of society between their own groups and didn't associate with others unlike them. They isolated themselves. Claire is doing this by proclaiming that she is an Ana. She is saying that she not a part of the masses. She is different. The hunger artist does this same thing. He confines himself not only in a physical cage but also a mental one too. Both the Anas and the hunger artist are regular people who make a special effort to be...

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