The Unknown Citizen Questions and Answers

The Unknown Citizen

W. H. Auden, an English author, wrote this poem while living in the United States. “The Unknown Citizen” is a satirical poem based on the very serious military unknown soldier which is a tribute...

Latest answer posted June 25, 2013 1:02 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

Auden wrote "The Unknown Citizen" in 1939 after he moved to The United States. It was published early in 1940. At this point, World War II had begun in Europe, but the US would not enter the war...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2021 11:48 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Unknown Citizen

Dramatic irony is employed throughout the poem, drawing attention to the empty way of honoring of this "Unknown Citizen." In general, dramatic irony is created when the reader or audience knows...

Latest answer posted July 3, 2020 3:03 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Unknown Citizen

It is ironic that the ideas and themes presented in 'The Unknown Ctizen' by W H Auden are starting to become almost even more relevant to us in our internet world than they were in Auden's own...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2009 11:49 pm UTC

5 educator answers

The Unknown Citizen

The unknown citizen, like all citizens in this regimented society, isn't supposed to be happy or free. He's expected to conform, to do what the government wants him to do. And throughout his life...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2020 5:36 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Unknown Citizen

W. H. Auden answers the question: “Who is the unknown citizen?” Where is the statue dedicated to this character described as “The Unknown Citizen”? The poem was written in 1940 after Auden moved...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2013 8:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

This idea of the unknown citizen is also an allusion to the "Unknown Soldier." This is a reference to the unknown, unidentified American soldiers who are buried in Arlington National Cemetery....

Latest answer posted June 18, 2016 4:58 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Unknown Citizen

I think that Auden holds a variety of attitudes in his poem. Yet, I think that he feels a particular sadness of the state of affairs that envelop the modern body politic, "the unknown citizen."...

Latest answer posted July 18, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

The poem itself is pretty direct; the increase in technology in the world, and the ability of government to be able to "track" a man's life based on that data gathered from that technology, is all...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2009 3:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

In his poem, "The Unknown Citizen," Auden set forth an inscription upon a monument dedicated to this unknown man, much as we dedicate a monument to an unknown soldier. The poem describes the man...

Latest answer posted May 6, 2016 11:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

W.H. Auden was a man dissatisfied with the general state of the world when, in 1939, he left his native England for the US. The title of this poem, which he wrote around this time and which was...

Latest answer posted June 19, 2018 8:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

We learn in the poem that this unnamed individual was a well-adjusted social conformist who did everything his culture expected of him. The poem's speaker offers a host of details about this...

Latest answer posted March 17, 2019 2:42 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Unknown Citizen

The fourth line of W. H. Auden's "The Unknown Citizen" is the following: That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint. In the context of the poem, this line could be viewed...

Latest answer posted July 17, 2016 11:17 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

Wounded Knee is a symbolic moment in the relationship between Native Americans and White Settlers. In 1890, the forced relocation of Native Americans had become governmental policy. The United...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2009 8:34 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

W.H. Auden's poem, The Unknown Citizen, begins with an interesting epigraph: To JS/07 M 378This Marble MonumentIs Erected by the State) The meaning of the alphanumeric inscription on the marble...

Latest answer posted January 8, 2016 7:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

The title of W. H. Auden's poem, "The Unknown Citizen" matches in satire the theme of his verse. Like the monuments erected after the World Wars that were perfunctorily dedicated by politicos to...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2011 4:12 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

Despite the fact that this man went to such great lengths to be a model citizen, doing everything just as he was asked and expected to do by his government, his employer, his family, and so forth,...

Latest answer posted August 11, 2017 2:04 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Unknown Citizen

What Auden is doing here is to emphasize the relative unimportance of the ordinary individual in relation to the modern state. The modern, bureaucratic state as presented by Auden thinks of itself...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2018 9:40 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Unknown Citizen

The epitaph of W.H. Auden's "The Unknown Citizen" reads (To JS/07/M/378 This Marble Monument is Erected by the State) First of all, we know that this line is part of the poem because it rhymes...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2011 7:02 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

According to the Bureau of Statistics, the unknown citizen was a model worker who served the greater community well. He was a good worker who never got fired, and he "satisfied his employers"...

Latest answer posted August 26, 2016 6:06 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

The state’s perspective of the unknown citizen is made absolutely clear in the poem’s subheading, where the state addresses the citizen by a selection of letters and numbers, “JS/07 M 378.” The...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2020 12:12 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Unknown Citizen

"The Unknown Citizen" is a satirical poem that cuttingly criticizes the idea of a so-called Nanny State that collects every conceivable number and statistic about its citizens without ever...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2017 8:16 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Unknown Citizen

W.H. Auden's poem "The Unknown Citizen" critiques the limits of vocabularies of human surveillance and data collection, suggesting that they fail to fully capture the human subject under scrutiny...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2019 3:12 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Unknown Citizen

The marble monument is actually a symbol of the modern society's true values. Monuments are usually erected in honor of the (un)known fallen soldiers who courageously gave their lives for their...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2019 4:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

The monument being erected for the Unknown Citizen is probably similar to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and other monuments praising those who have fallen and died in the line of duty. It should...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2011 12:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

To answer this question, it is important to understand W. H. Auden's intention in writing this poem. "The Unknown Citizen" is humorous, but at the same time, it depicts a dystopian society in which...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2020 1:16 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

Auden's poem "The Unknown Citizen" is written in the form of a government report about a citizen who is, in death, commemorated by the State but remembered only by numbers rather than by his name....

Latest answer posted February 2, 2021 11:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

This is a difficult question, because Socialist Realism really only applies to a select group of Soviet artists in the early 20th century. There are 4 elements to Socialist Realism: 1....

Latest answer posted January 15, 2010 3:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

W. H. Auden's poem is a caustic satire against modern society's methods that categorize and catalogue its citizens. In a parody of the "Unknown Soldier," the unknown citizen, JS/07/M/378, is...

Latest answer posted April 28, 2012 4:35 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

To be honest, I see elements of Socialist Realism as well as what we might call Capitalist Realism. In fact, I see more of a challenge to Socialism than a satirical poem in support of socialism....

Latest answer posted January 16, 2010 2:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

In the modern setting, government bureaucracy is more dominant than anything else. Even in the most liberalized nations that are predicated upon a theoretical notion of individual freedom and...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2010 8:33 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Unknown Citizen

You must remember that Auden was not describing, or satirizing, today's society, but the society of 1939 at the time of his writing the poem. Nevertheless, there are issues that were of concern to...

Latest answer posted January 23, 2019 3:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

The poem is about the lack of freedom. The monstrous thing is that our numbered citizen doesn't seem to be particularly concerned that he has any. He did what he was told by the authorities; he was...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2012 2:55 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Unknown Citizen

Both Hardy's and Auden's poems concern themselves with an ironic observation about life and the power of each individual. With the subject of "The Man He Killed" being the death of an unknown...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2010 2:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

In "The Unknown Citizen," we know there is state, because we are told that the monument is was erected by the State before the poem begins. But as we read the poem, we see that the State and this...

Latest answer posted December 28, 2015 2:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

The lines quoted from W. H. Auden’s poem “The Unknown Citizen” are more easily interpreted when the largest context is considered. The citizen was declared “sensible” in one particular capacity,...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2019 11:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

The man that W. H. Auden describes in "The Unknown Citizen" is what many companies would characterize as a model worker. He had no "official complaint" lodged against him, and his public conduct...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2020 1:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

The unknown citizen is given the number JS/07 M378, the precise significance of which is unclear. However, that's not what's important here⁠—what matters is the fact that the unknown citizen has...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2019 6:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

Auden is communicating the connections between the "alienation" of modern life and the loss of "personal identity" which has been brought on by modern technology. The title,...

Latest answer posted December 7, 2008 3:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

It is ironic, first, that the unknown citizen is praised for being a nonentity, a person exactly like every other ordinary person in his society. He goes to work faithfully until the day he...

Latest answer posted August 4, 2021 5:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

As you read the poem you are immediately struck by the unusual nature of the discussion of one who has died. A couple of definitions will help to answer the question at hand. "Eulogy" - A speech or...

Latest answer posted August 26, 2015 4:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

Auden is being very ironic in this poem. Although it appears to be a glowing tribute of this person whose name is never mentioned, it is actually just the opposite. If he were such a...

Latest answer posted November 29, 2008 9:16 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

This has to do with the fact that the soldier was a person serving his country. His deeds are what will be remembered, not his name. When one joins the military, one agrees to serve one's...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2008 3:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

W. H. Auden's poem "The Unknown Citizen" is in brief a memorial to a symbolic, but unknown citizen who is being praised for his excellent consumerism and expertise in acquiring goods along with...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2010 7:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

Only you can describe your reading process because only you can decide how you're reading. As for a summary, you can find a very good one at the link pasted below. This article includes not only a...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2008 7:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

The citizen's accomplishments are his conformity in society. He felt what he should feel, he bought what he should buy, and he married and had the right number of children. According to the state,...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2008 10:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

Probably the point of this poem is that the state, represented by the speaker, doesn't give a second's thought as to whether or not this unknown citizen was fulfilled. Fulfilment, or happiness, is...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2019 3:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Unknown Citizen

"The Unknown Citizen" by W.H. Auden is a very familiar satirical poem based on the irony that even though he is extremely well identified, his true innermost needs and desires are unknown. The...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2016 12:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer