Analysis Of The Unknown Citizen

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“The Unknown Citizen,” written by W. H. Auden, is a poem that describes a man who lived a life most people would see as ideal. The man illustrated by this poem did what society expected him to do, which resulted in a model life. This poem, however, can be seen in more than one way. Some may see the story in the poem as a description of a man who had an unfulfilling life because he did exactly what was expected of him. Instead of trying something new, exploring the world, or making a change, the man did what everyone else regarded as acceptable. W. H. Auden’s poem can be seen from two perspectives: the man who lived an ideal life that many people sought to have or the man who lived an unfulfilling, ordinary life which caused him to blend in with the rest of society. The first interpretation to consider from the poem is the man described lived a perfect, ideal life, and fulfilled society’s expectations. Since the speaker of the poem shares everything the man did right, the man appears to be someone that everyone in society would strive to be like. For example, the man had the number of children most people believed one should have. The speaker says, “He was married and added five children to the population / Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation” (25-26). He did his job by having the necessary number of children, which society saw as right. His children were probably raised how most people raised their children at the time, and the man
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