Write about Auden's narrative methods in '1st September 1939'?

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Write about Auden’s narrative methods in ‘1st September 1939’

Auden uses the poem ‘1st September 1939’ to write a sort’ve farewell to the bright and prospering 1930’s and to greet the social and psychological affects that war brings. Auden uses this poem to express the desire for ‘universal love’ but wants the USA and neighbouring countries to wake up and do something constructive against the dominance of Nazi Germany

We can infer from the poem, that Auden is the source of the material in the poem. Therefore we can denounce that the poem is written in first person from the perspective of Auden. This enables Auden to directly address the audience so that he can engage and involve them. This therefore means that there are no official characters announced within the poem. However, during the course of the poem Auden utilises a very plain as well as neutral tone one similar to that of a news reporter, reflecting on the current events. Due to the fact, he possesses an unbiased opinion on the occurrences of war; this could suggest that he is the voice of the people. This is emphasised through the phrase ‘ uncertain and afraid’ which shows Auden’s uncertainty towards the consequences of war as well as the distrust in society to conquer the threat that war brings. Furthermore, the diction he uses to emphasise his feelings such as ‘anger and fear’ or ‘obsessing our private lives’ is ones, which are emotional, and ones that the audience can relate to at the outbreak of war. This promotes the idea that Auden is the voice of reason.

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From the poem, we can see that Auden changes the setting constantly throughout the poem. There are many setting transitions because Auden seeks the causes of the present condition of war, by looking at other historical scenarios where he feels the human race should’ve learnt from. However as the events of war have forecast over America and Europe he feels looking back into history for resolutions will help the human race act better and more affectively in the future. However, initially in stanza 1 Auden suggests the original setting for his thoughts to be expressed, is in ‘a dive’ ...

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