Is Erected by the State  He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be One against whom there was no official complaint And all the reports on his conduct agree That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
He was an Anglo-American poet. The poem describes an average citizen in a government controlled state and gives an account of the way a government keeps a record of all that a citizen does in his life time.
Keeping with the attributes of a modern poem, 'The Unknown Citizen' generates multi-layered meanings and can be interpreted in several ways. Auden's engagement with political issues, and his variations in tone, form and content are reflected in this poem.
The poem became widely popular after Auden's death and is often seen as a part of the course for those who study modern poetry. The poem is said to be a satire and is often taken as a satiric elegy. The poem is supposed to be a tribute to a deceased person for whom the 'Marble Monument' was erected, as hinted in the epigraph of the poem.
The satire in the poem arises when the praise meant for the unknown citizen turns out to be nothing more than a standard seal of approval by the government. It is a weak and half-hearted praise which hints the insignificance of the citizen and fails to draw out any noteworthy excellence.
The purpose of the satire is to draw out a social reality which Auden saw in America when he emigrated. A political and social realism emerges and blends with Auden's personal experiences in the U.
The poem carries the background of World War I and II as well as the issues related to immigration during that time. The speaker of this poem seems to be someone from the state committee or an official from the State.
He is someone who works according to rules and regulations. He ensures that the unknown citizen obeys the rules, did everything in order. He sounds monotonous in describing the events and records of the unknown citizen. To the speaker, the analysis from the Bureaus of Statistics, Social Psychology workers, High-grade living and other specialists are extremely important to grade and categorize the unknown citizen.
The poet's own level of thinking differs from that of the speaker and as a result much irony is created. The epigraph or the subtitle of the poem reads: The series of numbers and letters carved on a tombstone erected by the state is supposed to represent the identity of the unknown citizen.
The epigraph aids in understanding the theme of the poem and underscores the issue which Auden seeks to bring out.
The picture created by the poem is that of an average citizen who has been analyzed by computer and statistics but whose individuality is still unknown. The epigraph is also seen as a parody of the symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier commemorating unidentified soldiers; tombs of unknown soldiers were first created following the first World War.
In many big cities, there is a monument to the Unknown Soldier that stands for the thousands of unknown soldiers who die for their country.
The person described in the poem is seen as someone who led an average life as an American citizen. He followed the rules, he had the right number of children and he never got fired from his job. He had a steady social life and he was well-liked by his friends.The Unknown Citizen by W.H.
Auden The Poem “The Unknown Citizen” by W.H. Auden is a satire. Its narrator is the state. In this, the state pays tribute and describes a successful and positive product of its efficiency and effectiveness.
The Unknown Citizen by W. H. Auden. Home / Poetry / The Unknown Citizen / The Unknown Citizen Analysis. Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay. Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead.
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The Poem The Unknown Citizen by W.H. Auden is a satire. Its narrator is the state. In this, the state pays tribute and describes a successful and positive product of its efficiency and effectiveness.
In other words, it builds the character later described to the reader as the perfect cit. Feb 20, · The “unknown citizen” has no voice of his own in this poem – indeed, we suspect he had no voice of his own during the entire course of his life – and it would be tempting to hear what he has to say about his experiences in the war, as a worker, as a citizen, as a family member, barnweddingvt.com: In the Dark.
The Unknown Citizen by W.H. Auden: Summary and Analysis The Unknown Citizen, first published in the Listener on August , and later included in the Collected Shorter Poems, , 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 .
Jan 21, · 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 barnweddingvt.coms: 2.