Preludes

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T.S Eliot’s Preludes, is one of his most prominent poems because it presents his view of society at that time using concrete objects and images to metaphorically explore the nature of life and society. In this poem, we discover society as corrupt and desolate going through a cycle of meaningless routine where people bare a false hope of a divine source overlooking and protecting humanity. The title itself holds significant meaning. A prelude in general and particularly in a musical sense characterizes an introduction to something. This is suggesting that the characteristics of society we are provided with in this poem are merely an introduction to what we should be viewing society like. The first stanza introduces the tone of the poem with a description of a typical street from an omniscient point of view. We are first given the impression of a desolate, corrupt and exhausted society through use of a variety of verbs like x is accumulation of verbs is heavily supported through a the use of alliteration of the “s” sound in words like x This technique evokes our sense of smell imagining the picture Eliot is describing. Throughout the first stanza, we are given the suggestion of the presence of people though it is not actually ever stated. This is evident in the mentioning of “smell of steaks…feet.” This effectively communicates to us that this is a fragmented world where nothing is whole. The darkness of the first stanza is concluded with a pause, creating anticipation followed by the line “then the lighting of the lamps…” This line gives us a feeling of hope as the darkness is contrasted with the mentioning of light. However, the start of the second stanza marks the next morning yet the tone is still identical to that of the first. Eliot stresses out the fact that it is now morning, the possibility of a new start, through the use of personification. But we are soon to discover that nothing has changed. The lines that follow it give us the feeling of a “hangover.”...
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