Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured, And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured. And finally, Auden hands out two questions that make the reader rethink the story to give the audience an opinion of their own to determine whether the unknown citizen is a happy man. The poem can also be viewed as a spoof on certain aspects of the typical middle-class lifestyle. Lines 6-14 In the second set of lines the report continues. He has no independent personality. Bowling ball or Tennis ball b. The year was 1939, Hitler had plunged Europe into darkness and the young Auden was horrified.
In other words this line suggests that the government is replacing god. The poem is dripping with irony, as the speaker lists off accomplishments that aren't accomplishments at all. Thus the poem can be equally applied to societies that are liberal democracies as well as those that have a heavily centralised state control. It is delivered in, some might say, a boring monotonous tone, a reflection of the bureaucracy under which the citizen served. Auden during 1940, is a poem where the speaker, a representative of the state or government, directs a speech to the audience about a monument being erected for a citizen. Auden satirizes the United States as an entity, which restrains individual advancement. Auden: Summary and Analysis The Unknown Citizen, first published in the Listener on August 1939, and later included in the Collected Shorter Poems, 1950, is a satire, not on the citizen, but on the way in which the average man in the street is controlled by the conventions of bureaucracy and the Welfare State which ignore the need for a man to be free and happy.
This citizen is portrayed as a normal and average human being who is being honoured… 770 Words 4 Pages W. Auden was the founder for a generation of English poets, such as C. Really, the government has absolutely no idea how or what the well being of the unknown citizen is. Quote 2 For the Union reports that he paid his dues, Our report on his Union shows it was sound lines 10-11 In this society, there isn't just one over-arching bureaucracy. The unknown citizen is reduced to a mere number, a series of letters; there is no name, no birthplace or mention of loved ones. These sometimes use the same number of syllables, but they are not heroic couplets—no, they are not in iambic pentameter—they are often 11 or 13 syllables long, or of differing lengths.
The social psychology workers found that he was popular among his fellow workers and had a drink with them now and then. When you think about it, it's a pretty paltry payoff for a lifetime of straightedge existence. Auden describes, through the form of a dystopian report, the life of an unknown man. A rebellious person is someone who does not follow the rules that are given to them. Supporting Quotes: Quote 1 He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be One against whom there was no official complaint.
Everything about him could be understood in some kind of statistical formula put out by the government or its agencies. Even your town's Fourth of July parade is a staged political event. His most potentially heroic deed is serving in the army during a war, but does serving in a war automatically make you a hero, even if you were only doing what everyone else did? However, the fact that his name is never mentioned and a marble statue was built in his honor in very ironic. It's almost as if he were the subject of a scientific experiment, where things were being placed in front of him to see what he would do. It is impossible to escape the lighthearted nature with which intense subject matter is being tackled in the poem. He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Instalment Plan 20. He is made a representative of the mass society and had no distinctive qualities by which one could identify him.
This citizen is portrayed as a normal and average human being who is being honoured for being normal. Quote 5 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. Quote 4 Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Instalment Plan lines 18-19 The Instalment Plan! Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured, And his Health-card shows that he was once in hospital but left it cured. The government is ridiculous for recognizing an unknown citizen to turn him into a model for others by performing ordinary tasks to maintain the country the way the government wants. Instead of writing his full name the government chose to use the name they had given to him.
Consider, in comparison, the completely normalized protagonist Emmet in The Lego Movie. As a young man he was influenced by the poetry of and , as well as , , , and Old English verse. When there was peace, he was for. H Auden: The Unknown Citizen The marble monument erected by the state or town is usually of a hometown hero. The speaker never gets excited about anything. His poetry frequently recounts, literally or metaphorically, a journey or quest, and his travels provided rich material for his verse.
This makes the government appear unconcerned with the true thoughts and feelings of its people, seeing them only as statistics. He began to concentrate on religion and relationships in his poetry, as opposed to left-wing politics, and he also ventured into writing drama and libretti. But note that the speaker mentions the Eugenist - a person who investigates eugenics, the genetic make up of this man's family - and coldly says that his 5 children was the 'right number' for his generation. A group of rioting fans at a football match would be a great subject for a Social Psychologist. The final line is ironic: Since the bureaucrat is only interested in knowing about political and social views, as well as such pragmatic statistical information as how many offspring the citizen added to the population, there is no way that he would have heard about the man's frustrations or unhappiness. And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education. Once the identity of the speaker is a bit clearer though, one might come to recognize the faceless, seemingly lifeless person of a government worker or customer service representative.