Individualism By Auden And Vonnegut

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Register to read the introduction… Where there exist no individual freedom; there cannot be a democracy. If there is no individual freedom then there will be no government. If everyone is average, then who is fit to govern? The society that Auden and Vonnegut portray is that of one with no individualism. Auden writes the first line of the poem as set of numbers, initials, and marks to show that there is no room for individualism in the ideal society of the future. Even someone as worthy as the citizen described in the poem is not known by his personal name. The last two lines of the poem that states that asking if the citizen is happy or free is absurd, "Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd: Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard." (Auden 29-30). These statements show clearly the non-existence of individualism. The citizen is only known by all the good things that he did to serve the state. Nothing about his personal feelings is known. This is not considered important enough to be known. In Vonnegut's story it is the same idea. Competition is the greatest sin in such a society. Nobody should be better than anyone else. This can be linked to the modern society that Auden and Vonnegut mocks at. People in our modern society are always striving for equality of some kind. The society in "Harrison Bergeron" succeeded in eliminating prejudices yet the result is fatal to the democracy. The people lost their …show more content…
The title of Auden's poem is ironic. Audens talks about how everyone knows everything about this citizen and then names the poem "The Unknown Citizen". If the citizen is so popular and worthy enough to have the state builds a monument to honor him, how could he remains unknown? The "unknown" part of the citizen is not only his name but also his inner self in a society that does not honor individuals being humble and honest. The "unknown" that Auden may want to address is the individualism that is unknown to this society of "the Modern Man". The irony in "Harrison Bergeron" is the need for highly intelligent persons in such a perfectly equal society. Everyone is supposed to be average and equal yet there is control in everything they do. This shows that the ideal, equal and perfect society that Harrison Bergeron belongs to is not a democracy at all. Rather, the ideal and equal society that government constantly strives toward is not attainable if it wants to remain a …show more content…
People should not always expect nor accept every government decision. Dictatorships and communist systems worked and still worked. Some countries in Eastern Europe are still under such systems of government. People are discouraged from thinking by themselves, discouraged from their own opinions. People were easily manipulated, which is the goal of the communist party. The ways of life of these citizens is very much like the one described in "The Unknown Citizen" and "Harrison Bergeron". This is probably what Auden and Vonnegut want to warn about by mocking the political system that existed now. The democracy system of the United States is sometimes depriving its citizens of individuality. If it continue to strive toward equality the society, much like that described in "The Unknown Citizen" and "Harrison Bergeron" will prevail and this could lead to the deformity of

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