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Hunger Reflection

  • Date Submitted: 01/07/2015 06:33 PM
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Perry Gates
December 10th 2014
AP/IB Lit
Hunger Reflection
After all three presentations of Knut Hamsun’s novel “Hunger”, I now have a stronger sense of appreciation for the book itself. By scrutinizing the time period and economical changes of Oslo in the 1890’s, to analyzing key events in Knut’s life that correlates to the novel itself, and learning crucial facts about the body as it approaches starvation, are the three ways that I contextually and culturally understood the novel.
Both the authors background and setting of the story helped emphasize the importance of the protagonist’s journey within the story. An example is regarding culture, within the authors time period; psychological dramas were known to be a major role within the arts. This correlates to Hunger itself, by showing the effect Oslo had on Knut’s mentality when it came to writing an existential novel.
On a contextual perspective, the presentation that consisted of hunger and the effects on the body, was most valuable to my understanding of the novel. After learning about Ketosis, the process the body under goes after not eating 6-12 hours, to autophagy and the brains reliance on its own proteins (eating yourself from the inside), truly gave me a total perspective on the mentality the protagonist was going through. An example within the novel is when the man goes to the food shelter and blatantly lies to the police about his wealth, which made his unqualified to receive food from the shelter. So when it came to the issue of obtaining food he became very paranoid and resulted in him preferring he rather starve, due to the face he thought the consequences of getting arrested were more detrimental than hunger itself. After learning about all the emotional aspects that can occur to a person who is in the process of starvation, truly enhanced my understanding into why the protagonist acted the way he did.  
In conclusion, Hunger was a very unique book specifically dealing with one mans...

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