T.S Eliot, Preludes. Analysis.

Topics: T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, 20th century Pages: 3 (1003 words) Published: November 1, 2014
Eliot's portrayal of urban life in the early 20th Century within his poem “Preludes” seems to paint a very bleak picture indeed, drawing to light the hopelessness of urban life in the opening years of the 20th century heavily, and with various different methods. Within Poem 1 and Poem 2 of “Preludes”, Eliot comments on the state of the setting, early 20th century London or Paris. Poem 1 is overflowing with adjectives with negative connotations such as “grimy”, “lonely”, “withered” and “burnt-out” in its description of the setting. With this description, combined with the dreary weather that can be heard throughout, “The showers beat/ on broken blinds”, Eliot has chosen to position his readers to feel uncomfortable regarding this time of day, that he frequently discusses. The “afternoon”, a literal end of the day, where the “thousands” of people of the city consider their repetitious schedules and how unsatisfactory the conditions and lives the people are in. Through the use of sharp breaks and a rhyme scheme of specific words, Eliot enhances the steady beat of the heavy steps of workers and citizens of the city, and the emptiness of life, highlighting how unpleasant the monotony of this life is. His use of iambic pentameter, present from the very beginning of Poem 1, however not flowing through the entirety of the poem, is repetitive and amplifies how these people seem to have resigned to their fate and are consumed by their purposeless routine. Eliot establishes that the cities constituents are allowed to cope, but not thrive as all are “[settled] down” and “burnt out”, much like their surroundings. Much of the tone and context of Poem 2 replicates the first; both are heavily melancholy in tone and subtly condemning the monotony of early 20th century lifestyles, and the strikingly similar purposeless lives being ‘lived’ “in a thousand furnished rooms”. By utilizing the word “thousand” Eliot successfully emphasises the commonality between the constituents of the...
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