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Word Count: 712
In 1917 TS Eliot created a poem dealing with spiritually exhausted people who exist in an impersonal crude modern society This poem Preludes captures the poor spiritual lives of those living in a lonely sordid corrupt culture Eliot focuses on imagery to bring this poem alive in the minds of the reader The central theme of the poem is about the feeling of despair at the decline and dissolution of modern civilization Due to many factors especially the First World War and the economic depression many artists and poets felt that modern industrial civilization had lost its sense of meaning and direction Preludes falls within this realm In this poem Eliot describes the modern city as a vacuum of meaning and uses imagery to strengthen this feeling The winter evening settles down With smells of steaks in passageways Six oclock The burnt out ends of smoky days Preludes lines 1-4 The first lines suggest a feeling of decline and despair The use of winter in the first line is associated with a lack of growth and a loss of liveliness The poem is suggesting that the modern city is in a state of winter and has lost its direction and vitality Eliot builds on this image to suggest a further explanation of the modern state of mental community depravity The image of smell of steaks paints a picture of a polluted and mundane environment The fourth line emphasizes this feeling of loss of vitality tied together with urban filth The day and the society is associated with an image of a burnt-out cigarette end Preludes brings together in decadence the images that we usually associate with the modern urban surroundings like steaks and cigarettes Eliot places these ordinary images into a context that suggests a criticism of the modern world and lifestyle The point is again emphasized with another image of decadence and dirt in The grimy scraps line 6 The
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