Thursday, August 22, 2019

“The Unknown Citizen” by W. H. Auden Essay Example for Free

â€Å"The Unknown Citizen† by W. H. Auden Essay â€Å"The Unknown Citizen† by W. H. Auden is a compelling piece of poetry that is multi-layered in thought. While it is poignant, it is also replete with tension. I have therefore decided to give three responses/presentations to this poem in the following executions: a) An MTV, b) A piece of Installation Art, and c) A Short Story. We shall tackle these one by one in the following paragraphs.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Although the poem was written in the late 1930’s, much of its message still resonates today especially now that we are faced with technology that enables the quick transfer of information throughout the world. To be able to reach a broad audience, I thought of coming up with an MTV as a presentation because this medium is vastly appreciated by a wide spectrum of people. The MTV will have an instrumental piece of music as background. I am quite inclined to use 1920’s jazz as the musical genre a la the musical score for the movie ‘Chicago’ – mainly because jazz especially of this era reflects the moods, emotions, thoughts, etc. of the working class.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The MTV’s visuals will consist of fast cuts of real people in real time doing a variety of daily chores/work. I would like to get visuals of factory workers at an industrial plant, rank and file employees at a Fortune 500 company, pedestrians at a busy street in a big city, etc. These visuals will be interspersed or dissolved on a background of a clock whose hour and second hands are rotating rapidly. This visual juxtaposition I think would be effective in imparting the message that we, as a workforce, have become slaves in the highly industrialized world.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The second presentation I would like to propose is an Installation Art. The installation will compose of different objects, articles of clothing, supplies, etc. that I will gather from different people and/or areas of work. These objects will be arranged at random to form a sculpture-like piece that can stand on its own. The objects then will be ‘washed’ with a gray paint or metallic finish. The rationale for this presentation is to link or remind the audience of everyday objects that we take for granted but are part of our daily life. Objects that will remind us of our daily grind or the ennui we experience at work. The finishing of the installation in gray or metallic color will further enhance the ‘coldness’ or routine nature of ‘The Unknown Citizen’. The tactile nature of the installation will hopefully entice the audience to take a closer look at the piece of art. Also, copies of Auden’s poem may be strewn on the floor of the exhibition area where this installation will take place.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The third response will be a short story that will basically deal with a man’s isolation from the world at large. Just like in the poem the main character in the story will be nameless, the readers however, will be able to get to know this ‘man’ by way of the descriptive manner that it will be written as well as the dialogue that will be included. The setting of the short story will be in contemporary times set in Middle America. I see the main character as a white male in his thirties, married with children. His wife is also a working mother. The isolation the main character feels will stem from his routine at the workplace, his ever-widening gap with his wife due to less time spent together as both are working, and his alienation from his teenage children who are caught up in a world of their own.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   The man’s catharsis will take form of his resignation from his work and goes on a long trip, alone, into the countryside in search of a connection with his past and a better understanding of his future. How the short story will end I still have to think about – however I will try to remain as true to Auden’s tone and intent as he wrote ‘The Unknown Citizen’.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Out of these three responses I hope to finally choose one with the following criteria in mind:   financial constraints in undergoing the project, feasibility in terms of time and resources, overall impact on the intended target audience. On the whole, I believe these three responses will best communicate Auden’s poem on a more contemporary manner. While art mirrors life, great art transcends time and space. The truths Auden spoke of during his lifetime still ring true today and will continue to impact the future generations to come.

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