In W. H. Auden's poem "The Anonymous Citizen", he uses irony to make the reader consider what the unnamed man considered his life. "The Mysterious Citizen", was written during World War II in the 1940's. During this time period a man's possessions and status described who he was. The unnamed man set up a name for himself within his community and is apparently living the American Dream. He is praised throughout the poem as though he does not have any flaws. Auden uses irony, allusion, and unusual rhyme in his free verse poem "The Undiscovered Citizen" to analyse the fulfilment of the America Desire.
He was found by the Bureau of Reports to be
One against whom there is no official complaint
And all the reported on his carry out agree
That, in the modern senses of the old-fashioned phrase, he was a saint. (1-4)
This quote proves that his life is looked at by the Bureau of Information as being a man who does what was right for himself and the community. He didn't worry about the life span around him; he was a guy who performed what he previously to do to manage. However, the poem never explained his feelings about his life. His thoughts about his life remained a mystery throughout the poem. Although he was viewed as living the North american Dream: "And acquired everything essential to the Modern Man" (20), it might not have been the life he wanted. In this time, the twentieth century, the state had an expectation of the modeled citizen. They thought that it was necessary to have particular requirements to be considered a well round modern man: "This conviction is made possible by modern tools that can amass these details and by statisticians who can analyse these details. The consequence of this deposition of facts is an imperfect picture. These statistics don't get to the fact of the person" (Nanda 2). After the reader grasps the reality about the unfamiliar man, Auden opposes questions that make the audience rethink this is of the poem: "Was he free? / Was he happy?" (29). These questions are responded to in a statistical way: "The question was absurd: / Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have been told" (29-30). This verse in my own opinion claims that if the unnamed man had not been happy that he would have resided his life differently and could have obtained into trouble. They might have known if his betrayed perfect life could have been not so perfect. The poem never demonstrated if the unnamed man loved the stereotypical perfect life the state created for him.
He worked well in a factory and never received fired
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or strange in his views
For his Union reports that he paid his dues. (7-10)
This verse demonstrated that he was a guy of dignity and implemented the guidelines. Auden implies that the unnamed man was a hard employee and it proved in his work ethic. He was respected in the Union and was not considered a "scab". He was a worker who would not work under conditions unauthorized by the Union. Auden wanted the reader to understand that the unnamed man could be any man at that time in which the poem was written. This poem had not been written about one specific man: "The poem then details all the meant characteristics that the state finds important to identify and to keep in mind him" (Nanda 2). He was respected by his co-workers and was a guy whom was very positive. The compliments he received from others demonstrated that he was working toward success.
Auden uses unusual rhyme in this free verse poem to prove the inconsistent emotions the unnamed man has with contemporary society: "Perhaps the Unidentified Citizen is not in exact tranquility with the state of hawaii, as the information suggest" (Nanda 2). The repetition of two or more vowel tones in successive words created a rhyme. However, the lines in the poem were sorted out without meter. While reading the poem the reader believes that the unnamed man is living his life to the fullest with everything he desires, but the last two questions make the audience doubtful. By the end of the poem Auden rhymes just a few lines at a time to through off the reader.
Although the unnamed mans thoughts were not revealed, I believe that he was happy at how he resided his life. He was a modelled citizen who not only does what contemporary society thought was best, he did what he needed to do to create a good life for his family. The way he lived his life was exactly how he desired it to be. He performed hard to live up to the American Aspiration. He previously modern materialistic that symbolized success: "A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire" (21). He took benefit of the requirements available and was admired for it because he did what everybody else wished to do in those days, live the America Dream.
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