Points of Discussion in Class

“Unknown Citizen”…

The title is ironical…despite all the claims of the state about the robustness of its surveillance system, the citizen remains ‘unknown’ to the state..

Modern connotation of the old-fashioned word “saint”: the citizen was not a sage or a devotee..he served the rich and the powerful (the Greater Community)..

Auden is concerned about the new heroism of modern life i.e. conformity…

With other elements of modernity, there comes the authoritarian state governing the nation through a hegemonic system of bureaucracy that undermines heterogeneity of the people..

This totalitarian system is satirised throughout the poem..

Language is marked by a sense of pseudo-journalislism..the apparent objectivity is undercut/punctuated by the mockery of various government agencies: “Public Opinion” researcher, “High-Grade Living”, “Social Psychology workers”…

The rhetorical questions asked towards the end evoke the satiric…

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