Authors often represent events or personalities that have had an impact on their lives through their texts. Auden’s move to America in 1939 presented a different culture and societal view for him to explore through his text’s. Furthermore, the death of an inspiration on his writing W.B Yeats sparked an allowance for him to change his writing style. ‘The Unknown Citizen’ and ‘In Memory of W.B Yeats’ were both written in 1939, shortly after Auden’s move to America. Both poems have representations on the multifaceted nature of human immortality and the effects that those depictions have on the individual that they were modelled off and how those interpretations can varying depending on context.
In Auden’s poem ‘The Unknown Citizen’ the…show more content…
Who are the social psychology workers? Who are the researchers? Who is the Eugenist? Who are the teachers? Why is it in this highly documented society that no one is identifiable as an individual? Auden’s main message reflects his anti-collectivism perspective as he portrays that the loss of individualism is fundamental to bureaucracy, as individuals in a bureaucratic society are represented through numbers in statistics. Although, this man was physically immortalised through a statue, to the bureau, he is just another number with no individuality.
“In Memory of W.B Yeats” is an elegy to the poet who had influenced Auden’s writing style.The poem is split into three sections,each with a different form and interpretation on the impact of poetry on society. Throughout the three sections of the poem Auden uses an extended metaphor likening poetry to nature, since Yeats is known for his affiliation to nature.
The first section addresses the day that Yeats died and the impact that his death would have on his poetry. Auden writes “Far from his illness / The wolves ran on through the evergreen forests/The peasant river was untempted by the fashionable quays” the extended metaphor in this part says that the death of Yeats will have no influence on his poetry. He continues this by saying “But in the importance and noise of tomorrow” which implies society’s insouciance to Yeats’ death. That is, Yeats’ death