A keen, intelligent observer of the contemporary scene, Auden was one of the first to realize that the totalitarian socialist state would be no Utopia and that man there would be reduced to the position of a cog in the wheel. When there was peace, he supported it. How should we like it were stars to burn With a passion for us we could not return? He talked about how he grew up reciting T. What phrases does it use that sound like bureaucratic language? Except for the War till the day he retired He worked in a factory and never got fired, But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc. However, it was also this conduct that turned him into a follower, unable to make decisions for himself. He has taught at several Canadian universities and is the author of three collections of poetry, The Open What Do I Read Next? The use of words such as saint,popular,modern and normal ensures thier reasons for classing him as they have. Attacking the conformity of middle-class America has always been a favorite sport of intellectuals, and you can find tons of more contemporary examples, like the Oscar-winning movie American Beauty.
The reader discovers that the Unknown Citizen was a law-abiding veteran and union member who served his community through his very facelessness and his participation in a consumer society. Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard. After outlining the standards of normalcy dictated by society, questions regarding freedom and happiness are absurd. Who decides what the interests of the Greater Community are? Quote 6 He was married and added five children to the population, Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation. The poem concludes with a closed couplet—two successive lines that contain a grammatically complete statement. Auden laments the loss of individuality and freedom of the citizen.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content That he held the proper opinions for the time of year; When there was peace, he was for peace: when there was war,he went. And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education. The average modern man in a mercantile society is ridden heavily by the more of technocratic, bureaucratic and other regimented establishments. In this poem Auden shows that poverty and totalitarian regimes are not the only enemies of freedom. It is easy to see why the citizen would feel unconnected to his surroundings or feel alienated. It is the cause of these modern citizens that Auden depicts in the poem.
The question is absurd: Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard. Unfortunately, individual humans do care if they are happy: by definition, it is what humans seek, even those humans who find their happiness through suffering. Moreover at the end of the poem the author makes a relevant turn which effect is making the reader question himself if what was depicted before is the right thing, if that ideal or concept about how the life of a person must be indertaken is right or wrong. Without the experiment, he might never have found the hat. This is intensely ironic, for while the Bureau does not identify the citizen by name, such a Bureau does contain detailed data regarding every citizen.
In short, he affirmed with me later that if you are a born writer, you cannot help it, for being one is almost a pathological condition from which you cannot escape—you just have to write to breathe. Note that year is a slant rhyme with the other two, not full rhyme. We will be discussing these at the end of this presentation. Quote 4 Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Instalment Plan And had everything necessary to the Modern Man, A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire. In fact, many Caucasian friends in Korea also told me how we Asians looked the same during their first encounter although we both learn to differentiate the unique facial features as we live longer in other cultures. . Although we may sometimes identify the cause with Marxist revolution and early readers often did , we are not told enough to justify this identification; and the war is usually more intelligible as a conflict between inner forces of a Freudian kind, perhaps between a child and his elders.
The decline of the status of the individual has made him a cog in the machine. Conformity has created apathetic and obedient citizens which is exactly what the government wants. This poem is a wakeup call about the dangers of modern society which is allowing governmental agencies to reduce them into homologous numbers, an awareness that too much control is dangerous. He visited Germany, Iceland, and China, served in the Spanish Civil war, and in 1939 moved to the United States, where he met his lover, Chester Kallman, and became an American citizen. Monuments are usually erected as a memorial to a person with outstanding accomplishments who stand out from the rest of the population. As a young man he was influenced by the poetry of and , as well as , , , and Old English verse.
The effect is that of dream-symbolism; for Auden, in exploring the inner life, is trying to present objects and events which are strong in felt, not reasoned, significance. In this poem, people have become noting more than commodities that must fulfill their roles for the wheel to turn. The Unknown Citizen is both satirical and disturbing, written by Auden to highlight the role of the individual and the increasingly faceless bureaucracy that can arise in any country, with any type of government, be it left-wing or right-wing. Except for the war till the day he retired He worked in a factory and never got fired, But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc. That is to say, it is a poem written to mark a specific occasion or event.
This kind of derangement is constant in Auden; it enters almost always into his imagery and is largely responsible for the blur of meaning that both intrigues and perplexes. Quote 7 And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education line 27 This point is kind of buried near the end of the poem, but it's really important. However, this citizen does not do anything that makes him different from the rest of the population. It might also reflect the isolationism of America, which tried to go about its daily business as if the rest of the world were not in turmoil. It is delivered in, some might say, a boring monotonous tone, a reflection of the bureaucracy under which the citizen served.
Quote 3 The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way. Auden left England in 1939 and became a citizen of the. This brassy question visibly angered Mr. Take a minute to write a short epitaph. Auden is a poem with a strong message to a wide audience.