The Unknown Citizen Analysis W.H Auden

Topics: W. H. Auden, Government, Irony Pages: 2 (595 words) Published: May 7, 2013
The poem the unknown citizen written by w.h Auden portrays from the point of view of the government what or how an ideal citizen should look like. This piece is written in third person omniscient to project a non-bias perspective and that way transmit the “truth” without being affected by feelings or personal point of views. 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. In addition to that significant turn of events in the culminating point of the poem, the tittle is also intentionally written in such a way to create a contrast with the development of the composition and transmit in an implicit way the question if what the government wants is the correct thing. According to the narrator, an ideal or saint citizen is that who follows the rules established by the government precisely, a person that doesn’t reveal or stand out of the multitude an “unknown citizen”. “That, in the modern sense of an old fashioned word, he was saint” this specific line portrays how the government has become the new divinity instead of god, how it is the one able to change the meaning of such a word and assign it to people aswell. A person that follows the commandments is considered a saint, so a citizen that follows the rules is considered a “saint” as well. In other words this line suggests that the government is replacing god. “and had everything necessary to the modern man, a phonograph, a radio, a car and a Frigidaire” this line is a form of criticism that the author employs protesting over how the identity of the man is essentially dehumanized by new technologies, society is worried about having all those kind of stuff “ that make them happy” instead or realizing that that is what the government want, conformity and shaping them into capitalism. In this poem, people have...
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