The World Is Too Much With Us And The Unknown Citizen

2049 Words Nov 22nd, 2016 9 Pages
Social Irresponsibility: “The World Is Too Much With Us / The Unknown Citizen”
This is a critical analysis of two poems – The world is too much with us by William Wordsworth, and The Unknown Citizen by W.H. Auden focusing on how the two poems highlight the mundane drudgery of life. It is a drudgery, and one that people do not even recognize because they are consumed in leading materialistic ways of life, conforming to the state and the society or both.
The text proceeds from analyzing each poem individually, and later draws parallels between the two. It tries to answer the questions whether the poems are a call to social irresponsibility, and if the object of the poem, the common man should be scorned or pitied. That the common man who is busy conforming to the norms of the state and the society has lost connection with his natural surroundings evokes sympathy for him. Materialism has subsumed his capacity to think to an extent that he cannot even decide whether he is free to do as he wishes – can he say no to enlisting for war? Or can he hold an opinion that did not coincide with the larger public?
The tone of the authors, however, becomes scornful in places where they try to cajole the man out of his complacent reverie so that he can notice the beauty in nature, at the same time think critically about the issues of the day and take a stand after judging the right from the wrong.
Wordsworth is enraged at the total isolation between the man and the Nature, while Auden…
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