Modern Man - The Unknown Citizen (auden) Essays and Papers

This essay has a total of 479 words and 2 pages.

Modern Man - The Unknown Citizen (auden)

The English-born American writer Wystan Hugh Auden was one of the most important poets of
the 20th century. Educated at Oxford, he attracted attention as a prominent member of a
group of young leftist writers who generally expressed a socialist viewpoint. The poem I
have chosen for this essay is "The Unknown Citizen". I felt the time period reflected W.H.
Auden's views, making the unknown citizen an example of the government's view of the
perfect modern man in an overrated unrealistic society.In the time period that he wrote
this poem in the late 1930's America was going through tremendous changes. This is the
period in history in which The Great Depression was in effect. Most people living in the
United States values, morals, and ethics were rapidly diminishing. The Great Depression
fundamentally changed the relationship between the government and the people, who came to
expect and accept a larger federal role in their lives and the economy. Throughout this
time period Social Security was created.Back then this poem must have had a different
meaning than today, it shows the value government has on issuing Social Security numbers.
They make people believe it's for your own benefit when in reality they have the best use
of it to track and retrieve information about your personal life. We see government as
people we elected to represent our views they see us as a number. "Was he free? Was he
happy? The question was absurd: Had anything been wrong we should certainly have heard
(Auden 212)".I also felt he was expressing the fact that government makes it seem that
everyone else is doing the "right thing" so you must follow him or her, and if you do so
living a quality life will reward you. Their standards are so high that you will never
reach the optimum point, so you work hard your whole life trying to improve. "His poems
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