Personification In Preludes

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In T. S. Elliot’s poem “Preludes,” society is presented as a wasteland because of the usage of concrete objects and descriptions that metaphorically explore life and society. Throughout this poem, the reader realizes society going through a cycle of meaningless routines. With the use of vivid imagery, T.S. Eliot shows that modern cities are beacons of decay. The speaker of “Preludes” is a city bystander who abhors urban life. He shows how city dwellers are blind to their ways of living. In the first two lines, the narrator says the “winter evening settles down” as the “smell of steaks” travel down passageways (1, 2). This makes the city seem inert and tranquil. However, this is proven untrue. In the second stanza it is sunrise. Eliot shows the possibility of a new beginning through the use of personification. But it is quickly discovered that nothing has changed. The poem states that the following morning smells of air polluted with “faint stale smells of beer” as well as the ground contaminated with “grimy scraps / Of withered leaves” (6-7). Lifeless, the city is dirty and littered with…show more content…
The speaker is very critical of them. He compares everyone’s “conscience” to “a blackened street” ( ). Their souls are polluted similar to the city streets. This idea is also shown during a description of a female prostitute in stanza three. The woman is poor with “yellow soles of feet” and “soiled hands” ( ). The bodily image of the woman is repulsive and grotesque. She has become polluted like the city streets as she lives her life in sin. City life causes decay to this woman who meets “The thousand sordid images” in her bed. The images could represent that a thousand men had come into her bedroom. The speaker says that these images established in her soul. Like other people in the urban community, the woman is lifeless. She has no purpose or
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