- Literary Analysis. “The Unknown Citizen”, a poem written by W.H. Auden, reflects a period of vast change in Americas history, making “The Unknown Citizen” an example of the governments view of the perfect modern man in an overrated, unrealistic society. During the time period that this poem was written, in the late 1930s, The United
What are the main themes of the poem unknown citizen?
Auden’s unknown citizen is a model of conformity in a society where everyone must follow the rules if things are to run smoothly. He does all the right things. The government can produce reports to show that he did all the right things.
How does the state identify the unknown citizen?
How does the state identify the unknown citizen in the poem’s subtitle? What do these numbers suggest? It identifies him as numbers. It implies an impersonal nature and that the state knew nothing abt him but statistics.
What is the tone of the poem The Unknown Citizen?
The tone of the poem is impersonal and clinical, the speaker more than likely a suited bureaucrat expressing the detached view of the state. The unknown citizen is reduced to a mere number, a series of letters; there is no name, no birthplace or mention of loved ones.
Who is the subject of the poem The Unknown Citizen?
Interpretation. “The Unknown Citizen” by W.H. Auden describes, through the form of a dystopian report, the life of an unknown man. By describing the “average citizen” through the eyes of various government organizations, the poem criticizes standardization and the modern state’s relationship with its citizens.
What is the irony in the unknown citizen?
The main type of irony used in “The Unknown Citizen” is situational irony. It is ironic that the state is honoring the situation of a man brainwashed into lockstep conformity. It is also ironic that the state is so indifferent to the citizen it is “honoring” that it does not know his name.
Why is the unknown citizen unknown?
In the case of the unknown citizen of the poem, someone has died unknown because of the conformity that was imposed upon him by the government and society, a conformity he seems to have embraced, not worthy of our respect. This particular person is unknown because he is a complete conformist to social norms.
Is unknown citizen free and happy?
The citizen in “The Unknown Citizen” was neither happy nor free. Had the unknown citizen been either of these things during his lifetime then the government would’ve known about it.
Who is speaking in the unknown citizen?
The speaker of “The Unknown Citizen” is a bureaucrat who works for the State, or government. Or at least he’s a big fan of bureaucracies.
Why does the citizen remain unknown in this modern world?
Although many facts about the citizen are known, he remains unknown because details highlighting his individuality are ignored. He is simply representative of all the citizenry who conform to set standards and practices, standards which are dictated by the mass organizations and institutions that shape society.
What is the mood of the unknown citizen?
The ironic tone is made clear with the detail that the unknown citizen, who is having a monument erected to him, has never done anything brilliant or even heroic. In fact, he has done nothing to differentiate himself from the average person.
What did the unknown citizen do for a living?
According to the Bureau of Statistics, the unknown citizen was a model worker who served the greater community well. He was a good worker who never got fired, and he “satisfied his employers”
Why does the speaker refer to the unknown citizen as a saint?
Why is the citizen referred to as a saint? the Unnamed Citizen is a “modern” saint, which means that he always served the “Greater Community.” Why is the speaker sure that the citizen felt free and happy? Because the Bureaucracy would have heard if he wasn’t happy.
When there was peace he was for peace?
When there was peace, he was for peace; when there was war, he went. He was married and added five children to the population, Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation, And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.
How does the unknown citizen relate to 1984?
The poem “The Unknown Citizen” by W. H. Auden is a satirical reflection of the effects of a totalitarian government upon it’s population. The poem can be compared effectively to the work of Orwell in “1984”. Both point out the effect of such a government upon it’s people.
What does the poet want to convey while telling the story of the unknown citizen?
Through the poem “The Unknown Citizen,” Auden wants to convey the idea that modern society is overly regimented and controlled by the state. As a result, people have become dehumanized, treated as nothing more than cogs in a gigantic machine.