When writing about conformity and rebellion, authors, Franz Kafka and Shirley Jackson take two different approaches to convey their ideas. In Franz Kafza’s, A hunger artist the story is told from the point of view of an omniscient narrator. In Shirley Jackson’s, The lottery the author uses more of a third-person narrative style. Although both styles are not noticeably different they do in fact have some small distinct differences. Both authors effectively uses fictional literary devices to express their ideas through language, but seem to both fail to have much literary conventions.

A hunger artist, Franz Kafka is essentially about conformity and rebellion. Kafka expresses to his reader how the world begins to get away from old traditions and begins to conform to whatever is the new fad. He shows through omniscient narrative that the Hunger Artist loves his craft because of the public interest and not because he loves to fast. The Hunger Artist refuses to conform to the times and rebels by joining the likes of circus folk just to have some on lookers watch him fast.

The lottery, Shirley Jackson is a work more or less about conformity. She sets the stage by using a third person narrator who tells the story and a kind of babbling manor. The narrator is used to show how the people of this town are dead set on tradition. Jackson writes (1948), “The lottery was conducted- as were the square dances, the teenage club, the Halloween program” (pg. 356), this gives the reader a picture of the lottery as being a kind of a holiday event, something that all would want to go to.

Despite the picture painted by the narrator the lottery was an event that someone like myself would find ridiculous and barbaric, which goes to show that a town such has this one has conformed to such tradition no matter how asinine they may seem. The difference and which both authors use to convey their themes is simple. Kafka automatically allows the narrator to tell the reader what a hunger artist is. Kafka writes (1924), “During these last decades the interest in professional fasting has markedly diminished” (pg. 342). Right away a person like myself can decide from the first sentence if I would like to continue reading or not.

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He allows readers to know what the story is about while on the other hand Jackson does not give readers that option. Her writing style is one where the story is boring throughout but the ending is so strong it makes the rest of the story worth the read. I believe that Jackson’s style of writing is relying on the readers’ curiosity, the wanting to know why she named the story The lottery. The use of literary devices helps the authors define the story so that the reader may be put into the story and see what the narrator may see.

Franz Kafka use of the character is what I believe to be his most used literary device. He allows us to see the character directly as if we were a fly on his shoulder. Although the story is not written from his point of view we are able to see, hear and feel everything that the character goes through. In Jackson’s case the setting may be her most used literary device. The author sets the reader up that something good and wholesome may be happening at the town’s lottery. Both authors uses climax in their writing showing readers something that they didn’t expect to happen, but all the signs were there.

In A hunger artist the artist narrator continued to point out that the artist didn’t fast because it was hard but because of the public interest, he points out that fasting was easy because he couldn’t find anything he like to eat. In The lottery, the narrator refers in different occasions that stones were being collected, and in the end he ties together that they are to be used for a stoning. Franz Kafka and Shirley Jackson both wrote stories displaying conformity ad or rebellion. They found used different techniques to accomplish the same goals. One author garbs your attention and the other pokes at your curiosity.


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