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‘Compare and Contrast the ways in which cities and city life are portrayed in Wordsworth’s ‘Upon Westminster Bridge’, Blake’s ‘London’ and T. S. Eliot’s ‘Preludes’, referring closely to the language and st

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Introduction

'Compare and Contrast the ways in which cities and city life are portrayed in Wordsworth's 'Upon Westminster Bridge', Blake's 'London' and T. S. Eliot's 'Preludes', referring closely to the language and style of the poems'. The three poems, Wordsworth's 'Upon Westminster Bridge', Blake's 'London' and T. S. Eliot's 'Preludes' contain many similarities but also many fundamental differences. These differences and similarities cover style, structure and language. In this piece of writing I am going to 'Compare and Contrast the ways in which cities and city life are portrayed in Wordsworth's 'Upon Westminster Bridge', Blake's 'London' and T. S. Eliot's 'Preludes', by referring closely to the language and style of the poems'. 'Upon Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth has a bold start and immediately creates a positive image of London with 'Earth has nothing to show more fair'. The octet of the sonnet is celebratory whereas the sextet is reflective. The sextet of 'Upon Westminster Bridge' values the city as it mentions that the city is 'smokeless', 'silent' & 'so touching'. It is a patriotic piece as it fails to include some of the negative aspects of the city. One such instance is when Wordsworth writes 'The river glideth' which makes the river sound majestic, as if it goes where it likes, is on air and beautiful whereas the Thames was actually filthy at the time at which this poem was written (1802-1803). ...read more.

Middle

While Blake makes very little use of personification both Wordsworth and Eliot use personification to express their feelings about the cities which hey wrote about. Wordsworth talks about the city as if it is human at many points during his sonnet. The fact that the format that he chose was a sonnet could imply personification. This is because a sonnet is usually reserved for the love of a man for a woman and so Wordsworth is expressing his love in a personified format. Wordsworth uses such phrases as 'This city doth like a garment wear'. Eliot Uses personification many times during what some would say was his greatest poem ever. He says that 'the winter evening settles down' and that 'the morning comes to consciousness'. He then, like Blake, talks about the people of the city, but in more detail than in Blake's 'London'. Wordsworth does not talk of the inhabitants of the dwelling for many reasons. Firstly his poem was written at a time of the day when very few people were around. We know this through his use of the phrase; 'the very houses seem asleep'. As his poem took the format of a sonnet Wordsworth was limited to what he could include in his fourteen lines of intensified thoughts. Blake refers to no particular collection of people and so the faces are anonymous, but often uses the people of the city collectively. ...read more.

Conclusion

The phrase 'you had such a vision of the street' suggests that she sees the street in a different way to other people, as she knows the evil that lies there. This is another form of masquerades. The curls in her hair, 'you curled the papers from your hair', suggests innocence as children often have curls in their hair. Blake uses the prostitute as a symbol of the corruption that has gripped London. He tells us this with his use of the words 'but most thro' midnight streets I hear...the youthful Harlot's curse'. Midnight is the first point in the poem that Blake has mentioned a time and this suggests that he wants to emphasise the evil and corruption of London by using midnight when all is dark and a prostitute who is a symbol of corruption as she corrupts herself. He makes the reader more sickened by mentioning that the Harlot is young and so would have had a life in front of her had corruption not taken hold. As Eliot's poem is a great deal longer than either Wordsworth's or Blake's in the penultimate paragraph of 'Preludes' Eliot is able to give a personal opinion of the city of Paris and says that the city has a gentle thing, which has infinite suffering thrust upon it. This description could be likened to Mother Earth who gives, yet does not receive, and so will suffer infinitely for the damage that humans have caused her. ?? ?? ?? ?? Phil Cox- U4 KJM Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

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