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Analysis of "Preludes" by Thomas Sterns Elliot.

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Preludes By Thomas Stearns Eliot "Preludes" is a poem by T.S Eliot about what life was like in the beginning of the twentieth century. The poet pictured a typical city which represents all others in the western world. The pictures portray society as it is today lacking morals and ethics and fear of god which is religion. The poet portrays his point in four parts. The poet introduces the technique of montage in which consecutive pictures that are linked are presented consecutively. The first two scenes or rather images depict the cityscape as it is in the evening and the morning and the scenes in the third and fourth parts portray modern women and men. Through this poem the poet conveys his thoughts on the modern western society as it turned out to be in the beginning of the twentieth century. Part I THE poem begins with the line "the winter evening settled down". Here the winter and evening symbolize the dying part of the year and day respectively. It is an unusual way for a poet to begin a poem- it could have begun with a picture of morning but the poet deliberately doesn't do so to set a decaying tone and create an image of something breaking down and decaying. This is how the poet sees the modern world. ...read more.


The poet probably says this to indicate the sins that she has committed. A woman who is the embodiment of kindness, love, care and motherhood is now filled with immorality as all the goodness has been striped off of her. There are many indications of her character in this part. In the first line which is "you tossed a blanket from the bed", the poet shows how modern people are restless and unable to sleep peacefully. In the next line we see that she is literally waiting for something to happen. The word "dozed" in the line "you dozed, and watched the night revealing" once again suggests that she only had a short and not deep sleep. The word "sordid" as in the line "the thousand sordid images of which your soul was constituted" suggests ugliness and moral corruption. Her soul has become a part of the sordidness in which she takes part. Images of decay flicker against the ceiling, occurring again and again. The world comes back in the morning the way it has been described in the previous part. The word "crept" as in the line "and the light crept up between the shutters" tells us that even the sun's rays enter her room unwillingly because of her sordidness. The image of the room being dimly lit by the sun's rays portrays a pathetic condition of the modern world in which even nature is affected and reduced ...read more.


And so according to the poet there is a ray of home left which we see in the line "and the light crept up between the shutters" where "light" is hope. Structure and tone: there are four parts in this poem. The first two show the cityscape in the evening and then in the morning from an objective angle of vision. In the third part the poet goes closer to the subject and describes the sordid life of a modern woman and in the fourth part he describes a modern man. Modern man is described as being a slave to the routine of life and at the same time he is linked to the evils present in the world. The woman has a life which is full of immorality and corruption. Eliot says that he has been inspired to write about these images and looks at modern man as victim of infinite pain and suffering. Life has reduced man to the level of an object. Conclusion; Eliot goes back to his earlier stand of objection. The last line of the poem is a link to the beginning of the poem where the poet establishes two main images which are of decay and oppression . The ancient women find decayed and withered leaves and newspaper which serve as fuel. The ancient women represent the human will to survive. The poet introduces the montage technique in this poem. The poem has a melancholic, sober and uninviting tone. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This essay makes some very good points and analyses language well. I would like to see further exploration of structure and tome and consideration of these points alongside the observations made on language.
Some contextual factors are considered which is good and they could be developed further at points in the essay.

4 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 13/05/2013

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