The Use of Imagery in Preludes by T.S. Eliot Essay

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The Use of Imagery in Preludes by T.S. Eliot

In T.S. Eliot's poem "Preludes" he portrays the world as a dark and depressing with no future. His Imagery is sharp and clear and he exercises many techniques. He uses literal imagery, which is a clear description of what something is, so it can pictured it in the mind. His word choice is a big factor in that he uses words that bring a certain picture to the mind, he also describes humans by their body parts or their presence. His unique syntax and use of rhythm also heighten the effects of his poetry. His attitude towards this world is summed up in the last two stanzas. Eliot's imagery achieves its effect through his use of literal imagery, word choice, descriptions of the human
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He also uses an rhythm to play with the reader at the beginning of the poem, "[t]he winter evening settles down/ with smell of steaks in passage ways. Six o'clock." (1-3). He utilizes iamb tetrameter in the first two lines, and then, as if ripping us from our daze, he puts in "Six o'clock" (3). This warns us that this poem is not going to be a nice and calm. He continues this style in the lines which follow, "[t]he burnt-out ends of smoky days./ And now a gusty shower wraps/ The grimy scraps/ Of withered leaves about your feet. And newspapers from vacant lots/ the showers beat" (4-9). It is almost as if he is preparing the reader for what is to come later on in the poem.

Eliot also uses an interesting way to describe the people in the poem. Only in stanza III does he actually describe a person. In the stanzas that came before that and in the stanzas that come after that, he only describes body parts and not the whole person, and example of this is "withered leaves about your feet"(7), and "[o]nethinks of all the hands"(21). He only applies the extremities in the presence of actual human parts. Possibly because they're the farthest ones from the heart. He also uses the human presence or what humans built to describe the humans in the poem, an example of this is, "[t]o early coffee stands" and "[w]ith smell of steaks..."(2). He makes what we've done out to be more important then people or individuals.

Most of the poem is outside, where there's no
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