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Three Short Poems Analysis

Author: poem of W.H. Auden Type: poem Views: 16

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"The underground roads

Are, as the dead prefer them,

Always tortuous."

"When he looked the cave in the eye,


Had a moment of doubt."

Leaning out over

The dreadful precipice,

One contemptuous tree."


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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This poem is a satirical poem that exposes human weaknesses and stupidity. Auden uses sarcasm to express an obsessive and mindless state that only knows its citizens by numbers and letters. The poem is about a man who never does anything wrong and has the correct opinions about everything. The man lived a life so by the book that he is virtually unknowable other than in a statistical manner. Auden suggests the fact that having lived such a routine life the man was anonymous while alive as much as he is as a dead body. He tells us the Bureau of Statistics cites no official complaint against the man who was a saint. Everything the man did he did in service to the Greater Community. He worked in a factory, never got fired, owned a car and was liked by his peers. His response to advertisements was normal, he had everything necessary materially, he had the right number of children and he never interfered with his children’s education. Auden tries to influence the reader in order to bring about change. He ridicules our society, attitudes and our behaviour. He is satirizing the life of a man who had never done anything wrong.

| Posted on 2008-11-12 | by a guest

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