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W.H Audens The Unknown Citizen. The poem is a piece of fiction that analyzes and criticizes the identity of a man

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Introduction

Khushbu Patel Grade 11 "The Unknown Citizen" by W.H Auden Routine is something that everyone follows. The question is that does the routine shape your life or does your life shape your routine. This question is addressed throughout W.H Auden's "The Unknown Citizen." The poem is a piece of fiction that analyzes and criticizes the identity of a man or maybe even a statistic. The speaker has written the poem with great description. Everything is described in great detail and many examples are provided throughout the poem. The poem is filled with sarcasm and literary devices. When a man lives in conformity, he seems to be free but he actually isn't. Auden portrays such a human being through his poem "The Unknown Citizen." Someone who lives with such conformity doesn't even have the time to question the life that he is leading. The issue of conformity is addressed throughout the poem. The man in the poem follows everything he is supposed to do. He is responsible, sensible, and cordial to all. ...read more.

Middle

The title "The Unknown citizen" itself is an extended metaphor. Every citizen has an identity but how can an identity be unknown. This comparison is addressed throughout the poem and an extended metaphor is formed. The man in the poem is a citizen because he fulfills all the duties of a citizen but he has no identity because he doesn't think or act for himself. The speaker uses rhyme in this poem. The rhythm adds to the sarcasm of the poet by adding a beat to it. Certain words used in the poem catch the attention of the reader because of the different meaning they can have. For example the word normal, used in the poem to describe the identity's response to newspaper commercial, adds to the sarcasm that starts to become evident in the poem. Another word that catches attention is "Greater" in line 5. The word is capitalized, which makes it seem like it is very important. It is a very important word because in the lines following this line, examples of the man serving the greater community are shown. W.H Auden was originally from Europe. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, as soon as someone does something wrong they will be recognized by everyone. In conclusion, to be known someone has to go against the rules rather than follow them. The speaker also seems to be introducing a society where everyone is referred to as a number or a statistic rather than a human with feelings. The speaker is trying to predict our lives in the future when a human will be only worth a statistic or a number in a pool of many others. In conclusion, the poem "The Unknown Citizen" by W.H Auden is a mystery which can be perceived by different people differently. The poem can be the future to some, portraying the values in society to some, and for some just a description of a statistic. This extended metaphor denatures a human and is filled with sarcasm. The speaker has magnificently used a rhetorical question and the sarcastic tone in the poem. The poem's main theme is conformity and how it affects a human's happiness and freedom. Conformity is a good thing until it reaches a certain extent, after that it just takes over your life and you have no freedom or happiness left. ...read more.

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