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The Unknown Citizen Anaylsis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By madewel628
Words 348
Pages 2
After reading The Unknown Citizen by W.H. Auden I was a little confused about the context of the poem. After rereading it a few times I began to think it was about establishing the American Dream after the War because of the description the speaker gave of the citizen. The speaker says “ But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.”, I knew that this was an allusion to Ford Motors which had been a huge factory job, which had been what most men did.
Later when the speaker says, “And had everything necessary to the Modern Man, a phonograph, radio, a car and a frigidaire.”, it really helped back up my theory because he was working hard to acquire the nicest things which was huge after the war due to having to scrape and save everything.
Overall, I enjoyed the poem. The slight satire caught my interest and enticed me the entire poem.

Part Two: After our discussion
After our class discussion I found out my theory was completely off. The poem was actually satirical about the “Big Brother” and the mold society tries to push everyone into. We discussed how the speaker capitalizes “the Bureau of Statistics” and how that was the first hint of the satire. The speaker used this to show how the government keeps track of everything. As the poem went on, more fake government organizations came up to show how simple and ordinary the citizen was. The last line “Was he happy? Was he free? The questions is absurd; had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.”, emphasized that the government keeps people content by giving the belief there is a choice in our lives.
After our discussion I really enjoyed this poem and it possibly became one of my favorites. I never have been one to fit into a mold, I’m even going to travel after I graduate college. This poem’s satirical look on society really brings to light all the possible things that need work in our society....

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