Despite being unknown by name, the citizen is known by his social identification, the number, "JS/07/M/378." This number is much like a social security number. It leads investigators to various data banks which provide details regarding the citizen's life, and this is the irony upon which the poem turns. 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. The lines preceding the body of the text underscore this irony and together with the poem, satirically suggest that the "monument" is not a celebration of such an existence, but rather a condemnation of the system and the complacent individuals who support it.
"The Unknown Citizen" follows a somewhat erratic rhyme scheme: ababaccdeeffdgghhijjikmknnnoo. The poem concludes with a closed couplet, two successive lines that contain a grammatically complete statement. The final word of each of these lines rhymes with one another. The statement is considered "closed" in that it does not depend on what precedes it to complete its grammatical structure or thought. In other words, its meaning is contained within the two lines, and it is within these two lines that the climax of the poem is reached.