Not So Perfect Essay

669 words - 3 pages

In W. H. Auden’s poem the “The Unknown Citizen”, the words portray a perfect man in society. As someone reads the poem a person can easily visualize a depiction of exactly what the poem is titled, a citizen that is not known at a personal level. That is why someone needs to read between the lines to unearth significance, animosity, and purpose to the poem. The poem, “The Unknown Citizen”, has no true struggle as someone reads through the entirety in literal terms. Yet when a person stops to think about the true meaning of the poem the substance becomes evident. The poem reveals conflict between individualism and what a impeccable society expects out of an optimal citizen by showing lack of feelings, identity, and original thoughts.
First, there is a great shortfall of feeling in the poem. There is no mention of the citizen’s inner thoughts. There is no acknowledgment of dreams, hopes, fears, or future prospects. The entirety of the poem is void of all feelings to the extent that the reader does not even know anything about the narrator of the poem. In line two, “One against whom there was no official complaint,” proves that “The Unknown Citizen” was to do as he was told and to not have any say in any matter. In the poem a citizen is about a person who is anonymous and just another number in the population and not caring to even give any mention of the worthiness of any actual feelings from the citizen.
Second, line five “For in everything he did he served the Greater Community,” or in other words, do not do anything for one’s self but only for what will better one’s community or government. This one line proves the inadequacy of identity and that the citizen does not have any genuine distinctiveness. The only character the citizen has is what is conventional of the perfect modern man. And that this man should not act as an individual, but should do...

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