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T. S. Eliot – Imagery of Preludes

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Introduction

T. S. Eliot - Imagery of Preludes In T. S. Eliot's poem Preludes he portrays the alienation of the individual from society. His imagery is sharp and clear and he uses many techniques to achieve this. A clear description of what something is, can be pictured in the mind by his precise use of imagery. For example, the words, "...withered leaves"(7) gives a clear image, as does, "...dingy shades"(22). The effect is achieved through descriptions of the human influence, word choice, syntax, and rhythm. Eliot uses descriptions like, "the faint smell of beer"(15). This definitely brings a smell to your mind. ...read more.

Middle

The mood is vital to understanding Eliot's vision of anguish and despair of the individual that is alienated from society. These moods are expressed throughout with the careful use of imagery, diction and repetition. His distinctive syntax and use of rhythm also enhance the effects of his poetry. Only in stanza III does he actually describe a person and not a body part, as Ratza 2 he does in the stanzas before and after. Example of this is "withered leaves about your feet"(7), and "one thinks of all the hands"(21). He also uses the human presence to describe them in the poem, an example of this is, "the smell of steaks"(2) ...read more.

Conclusion

In stanza III we go inside, where it proves that it is no cleaner, "or clasped the yellow soles of feet/ In the palms of both soiled hands"(37-38), than outside. Eliot writes of how the world is suffering and how nothing was done by them to deserve this with "wipe your hand across your mouth and laugh;/ The worlds revolve like ancient women/ gathering fuel in vacant lots"(52-54). Eliot has created a world of ugliness, dirt, and darkness. He uses many forms of imagery to convey this scene to the reader. He uses word choice, literal imagery, description of human extremities and presence, and rhythm. T.S. Eliot writes about a world of suffering and hopelessness and creates a physically powerful emotion with his readers that they feel the desperation of the world, through his imagery. ...read more.

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