The Unknown Citizen
Wystan Hugh Auden
This Marble Monument
Is Erected by the State)
1. He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
2. One against whom there was no official complaint,
3. And all the reports on his conduct agree
4. That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint, 5. For in everything he did he served the Greater Community. 6. Except for the War till the day he retired
7. He worked in a factory and never got fired,
8. But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
9. Yet he wasn’t a scab or odd in his views,
10. For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
11. (Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
12. And our Social Psychology workers found
13. That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
14. The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day 15. And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way. 16. Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured, 17. And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured. 18. Both Produce Research and High-Grade Living declare
19. He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Instalment Plan 20. And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
21. A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
22. Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
23. That he held the proper opinions for the time of the year; 24. When there was peace, he was for peace; when there was war, he went. 25. He was married and added four children to the population, 26. Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation, 27. And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education. 28. Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
29. Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.
Questions and activities
1. Look for the sources of information through which we can draw an image of the Unknown Citizen. What do they have in common? 2. What aspects of.
Please sign up to read full document.YOU MAY ALSO FIND THESE DOCUMENTS HELPFUL
Themes of W.H. Auden's "The UnknownCitizen " Conformity and Anonymity in the Modern World "Social Security Number? Birth date? Nine digit telephone number starting with area code? Mother's Maiden Name?" In many ways, we are simply faceless numbers to modern society, not individuals with feelings and emotions and dreams. W.H. Auden . a well-known English poet and dramatist, discusses this important theme in his poem "An Unknown Soldier." Auden . being a modernist, is concerned with this modern idea of people losing their identities in the face of the changing, technological world. In the poem "An Unknown Soldier," Auden speaks of the dangers of modern society to the individual including anonymity, conformity, and government control. The anonymity of the unknowncitizen is shown in Auden's repeated use of metaphor. Auden shows the reader everything the unknowncitizen was and was not-"a saint" (line 4), "wasn't odd in his views" (line 9), "normal in every way" (line 15), "was insured" (line 16), "had everything necessary to the Modern man" (line 20), "held proper opinions for the time of year" (line 23), and added the right number of children to the population (line 25.). While it seems as though the unknowncitizen is praised for these qualities, Auden is mocking.
1356 Words | 4 Pages
Poem Summary Lines 1-3 The opening lines of the poem establish an ironic tone as the speaker of the poem begins to construct a satiric portrait of the average citizen . In the first line of the poem the speaker turns to the “Bureau of Statistics,” and in line 3 to “reports,” as a source for information regarding the “unknown ” citizen . 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 . The data the Bureau collects identifies an individual in terms of detailed facts and figures; however, it fails to truly identify those qualities which distinguish him/her from all others. For instance, such data gives no information regarding a person’s hopes, dreams, or desires, or those personal or idiosyncratic qualities that distinguish each individual. Although certain “details” regarding a person are contained in such reports, the individual remains truly unknown . and this is the central irony the poem plays upon. Lines 4-5 The irony continues to build in these two lines of the poem. In line 4, the unknowncitizen is referred to as a “saint” in the “modern sense” of the word. In the old-fashioned sense of the word, a saint is someone who overcomes great challenges, maintains their personal convictions in the face of intense adversity, usually stands alone and often.
1090 Words | 3 Pages
Karen Cote English 102 15 February 2011 W. H Auden . The UnknownCitizen The marble monument erected by the state or town is usually of a hometown hero. The person is almost always someone who did well for the country and originated from a certain town. The statue is almost never of someone who is just an ordinary man living life just like everyone else around him. This man is the model citizen ; one who never causes a stir, goes to war when asked, and does everything to serve the common good. He is a conformist, a person whom the government holds high and promotes for others to strive toward becoming. The monument covers everything from his job record to his health history, all documented parts of his life, showing the reader exactly what the “State” is concerned with. Looking at the poem’s structure, use of sound, and the style we see that the man is celebrated because “he served the Greater Community” (Auden 5) in everything he did and never questioned the government. The narrative structure of the poem represents a speech by the local representative. The statue only has a reference number JS/07/M/378 because to the government the behavior is more important the man himself. While the speaker calls this man, “in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint” (4), he only knows this because of the research prior to the event. The representative decides to talk about how the man.
945 Words | 3 Pages
The Poem "The UnknownCitizen " 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 citizen ." The narrator speaks as if he is delivering a speech or common tribute using words and phrases that are familiar to the reader. Using such imagery helps the reader paint a clear picture of the character. The subject or character is illustrated as a hardworking, common, tax paying, proud to be American citizen living in an obvious post Depression setting. The post Depression setting is key, as the reader knows during that time bracket in History, citizens went on the hunt for what was known as the "American Dream." A driving force to recover and reinvent as well as the thirst to prosper. The government (or state, as described earlier) by use of statistics wanted to not only show, but also greatly embellish and make grand, its effectiveness and success in its recovery and prosper. The narrator takes a sincere yet ironically humorous approach in doing so. Humorous and ironic because the reader knows that no such person exists as the "perfect citizen " as described in this poem. It is found that the poem is set during the post depression and post war period. Supported.
821 Words | 4 Pages
“faceless” citizens rather than individuals. This is because they are given numbers and labeled based upon how society sees them. In “The UnknownCitizen ”, W.H. Auden shows us how the government sees society as statistics rather than a group of individuals. The unknowncitizen of Auden’s poem is unknown because his name has become unimportant. The subtitle “To JS/07/M/378 This Marble Monument is Erected by the State (Auden 864)” is a fictional concept that the government enforced by an alpha-numeric tag. This tag is used to distinguish who each person is. Throughout the poem the individual is being referred to as “JS/07/M/378”. The random letters and numbers followed by forward slashes are all representations of the government. Meaning each section of letters and numbers are representing something. “JS” could possibly be the first letters of his first and last name and “M” could represent his gender being male. However, the fact that his name is never mentioned and a marble statue was built in his honor in very ironic. Instead of writing his full name the government chose to use the name they had given to him. This automatically is seen as a form of dehumanizing. The statue can also be seen as a form of symbolism representing the chilling manner in which the government chose to honor this man. Auden gives the audience the perceptive that the.
1257 Words | 4 Pages
The poem “ The UnknownCitizen By W H Auden is a poem that pokes fun at the life of a automaton working in a factory. Reading it in a glance, I find the title that catches my very first attention. It is because Auden gives the poem such a title that the whole poem sounds so dramatic and pompous, as if it is dedicated to some citizen who have sacrificed so much for the nation. The citizen . to my dismay, is never named and remains as the unknown one throughout the whole poem. The citizen is referred to JS/07/M/378, which I found to be interesting at first. It was like a code, like how I used to see books or other objects being referred to in places like libraries, but here, I felt the way the citizen was addressed was in a cold manner, as if he was merely an object like other non-living things. Auden pens down these words ; “ This Marble Monument is Erected by the State”. which definitely rings a bell in my mind, why would the government erect a monument made of marble for this unknown person? As far as I know, a monument made of marble, like those tombs of great kings and soldiers are not cheap and are not something made for normal citizen like us. This is when I started to realise that this poem has some deep underlying meaning behind every single sentence. The theme of this poem varies from.
1975 Words | 3 Pages
The UnknownCitizen . W.H. Auden - Summary and Critical Analysis | The UnknownCitizen by W.H. Auden is a satiric poem. It describes an average citizen in a government-controlled state. 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 title of Auden’s poem parodies this. | | The citizen to whom the monument has been built has been found to be without any fault. He was a saint not because he searched for God but because he served the government perfectly. He did not get dismissed form his job. He was a member of the Union and paid all his dues to the union. A report on the Union shows that it was a balance union and did not take extreme views on anything. The social psychology workers found that he was popular among his fellow workers and had a drink with them now and then. He also bought a newspaper everyday. He reached to the advertisements normally. | | | He had good health and although he went to hospital once, he came out quite cured. The citizen was sensible about buying things on an installment basis. He had everything a modern man needed at home. Moreover, this ideal citizen was found to be sensible in his view. When there was peace, he supported it. But when there was war, he was ready.
1479 Words | 4 Pages
Aniyah Ringgold Block 7 October 10, 2014 Life is an experience that comes along with failure. Have you ever had the feeling like you haven’t done your best at something or the feeling that you’re disappointing the people you care about most? Well I’ve had that feeling multiple times especially in middle school. In middle school I’ve experience lots of failure; failure with friendships, relationships, and rejection. Failure to me is being unhappy with yourself and not doing what you believe in. My 8th grade year in middle school was a learning experience that came along with lots of failure. The beginning of 8th grade was the easiest part of middle school because there was no drama and less friends. As time went by I gained more friends and more pressure was put on my shoulders. I learned a lot about friendships and the meaning of them. Losing the friends that meant the most to me is one of my failures and something that was challenging. Friendships from the past have a huge impact on the friendships that I’ve made today. In middle school I was always open to meeting new people and starting new friend friendships with anyone but now I realize that I can’t do that without getting to know the person first. During my years in high school I’ve been more selective with how I choose my friends. I’ve learned that in order to trust someone in full and to consider them a good friend, I would have to get to know that person first. Throughout my high school experience I’ve.
391 Words | 2 Pages
W.H. Auden's “The Unknown Citizen” was penned in 1939 in theNew Yorker. It was later published in 1940 in the anthology Another Time. The title points to the anonymity of the individual in a society that insists on conformity.
The personhood of an individual in a society impressing conformity is reduced to statistics. Particularly, Auden wrote the poem in an era marked by dictatorship in most of the European countries. The individual is addressed as a number here; something that comes across as an American Social Security number. His virtue lies in his being politically correct and adherent to social dictates. The marble monument is a recognition for his conduct that is attributed to him only after his death. The tribute also echoes the 'reification' of Modern Man.
He is assessed on the basis of objective reports and on the fact that there was no complaint against him. The poet asserts: "In the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint.” This holds true as in the olden times a saint was one who perfectly obeyed God. In modern times, in a regime characterized by dictatorship, the place of God is replaced by the Government. He took care to serve the Greater Community. Individual aspiration is relegated to collective compliance here.
He worked in a factory and never got fired. He managed to offer contentment to his employers Fudge Motors Inc. but what is not mentioned here, more significantly, is whether or not he was content. He did not put forward any sort of singular or unique viewpoint, was always politically correct and merged with the general mindset. The only thing that mattered to his union was that he paid his dues.
A union is generally built up for the good of the individual members. Here the relationship turns out to be one of convenience. He was popular among his mates and liked a drink. Read ’liked a drink’ as he ‘socialized.’ He bought a paper everyday and was therefore well-read and aware of the current affairs. He reacted to advertisements as the normal consumer would. He was insured and secure healthwise as he was hospitalized only once in his life and left the hospital cured. The above statements reveal him to be an object of observation, study and analysis.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
He is appraised based on general surveys, his financial security and material entities. His personal satisfaction and individual independence is yet again deemed secondary here. He opted for peace when there was peace and went for war when there was war. This proves that he was a soldier. He also abided by the social institution of marriage. The Eugenist decided that his five children was the right number for a parent of that generation. The teachers reported that he never interfered with their education. It implies that the system of education was stagnant and any attempt at reform was forestalled. The poet opines in a sarcastic stance:
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.
Note: "The epigraph to "Unknown Citizen" is 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."(Hewett, Ronald. "A Choice of Poets." London: Harrap, 1968.)
The content is the copyright of Rukhaya MK. Any line reproduced from the article has to be appropriately documented by the reader. ©Rukhaya MK. All rights reserved.
He was a great physician whom Auden shared a close. Say this city has ten million souls, Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes: Yet there's no place for us, my As media evaluation essay dear, yet there's no. Auden - Letters from a Pages. Lullaby-Wh.Auden. den größten Lyrikern des 20. Technical analysis of Lullaby literary devices and the technique of W.H. I’ve been a little obsessed titles research papers education with Auden lately (even if I lullaby wh auden analysis essay haven’t been writing blog posts about poetry, I’ve still been reading!) This piece is one of my favourites 1/17/2012 · The following analysis has been done in answer to a request sent by Amanthi. Yes! informative essay death penalty Jahrhunderts. Prevent the dog from barking. ABOUT THE POEM: meaning: The basic premise of the poem is response to tragedy, or as the summer reading essay topics song goes "Obla Di, Obla Da, Life Goes On.". 9/1/2007 · Today's poem - Fairground by W. With …. read this poet's poems. Comments & analysis: Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, / Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bo. Auden was educated at Oxford University, graduating in lullaby wh auden analysis essay 1928. Widely attributed online to Auden, this phrase does not occur anywhere in his writings. Links are provided below thesis on fingerprint based attendance system to beautiful mind psychology essay poems posted on other sites with the permission of. Free Online Education from lullaby wh auden analysis essay Top Universities. Stories about W. He went masters in english and creative writing online to. Auden's "Lullaby," his most famous love lyric, perhaps is better known by its famous first line, "Lay your sleeping head, my love." In musical and rhetorical. 2/19/2007 · Yesterday all the past. Auden is a lullaby wh auden analysis essay satiric poem. I Critical essay for flowers for algernon have to write an essay for my English homework about this poem with the question “How is the theme of time presented in. dissertation writing services Auden's life and As I Walked Out One Evening, Forewords and Afterwords, Tell Me the Truth About Love, The paper writer services Dyer's Hand and Other Essays. Auden - Summary and Critical Analysis The Unknown Citizen by W.Bunu paylaş: Bunu beğen: Yazı dolaşımı Bir Cevap Yazın Cevabı iptal et Kitabı Mukaddes – Katolik – Protestan – Ortodoks Türkçe Hıristiyan Kaynak Kategoriler Son Yorumlar
%d blogcu bunu beğendi: