Creative Writing On The Poet Uses Visual Imagery To Highlight The Poor Conditions That Exists In The City.
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Eliot’s striking use of contrast draws a rich imagery to the poem and gives the reader a clear picture of the hazards of the city.
Eliot’s use of imagery is outstanding as he draws a desolate picture of an intimate moment that imitates the movements of a cat.
Speaks about the effectiveness of the image of the cab – horse as a helpless rage that leads to frustration and alienation.
Compares the streets and maintains the image throughout the poem.
Compares the desolation of the city to the possibility of hope
Speaks to the impact of simple language to bring across figurative and literal imagery in the poem
Conclusion: Shows how Eliot6’s personal feelings influences his ideas in the poem
Eliot’s The Winter Evening Settles Down
Eliot’s “The Winter Evening Settles Down” is a reflection of the pointless, boring, and poverty ridden city and the random image of the events that occurs within the cityscape. Winter settles just as a cat settles peaceful and gives the reader the tranquility that contrasts the broken city. The title draws the reader into a cold, desolate evening and the settling of evening does not give a literal picture of the events in the poem. In fact, one expects a calming and quiet evening but instead one is treated to the harsh realities that exist within a developed city. Eliot’s striking use of contrast draws a rich imagery to the poem and gives the reader a clear picture of the hazards of the city.
Eliot’s use of imagery is outstanding as he draws a desolate picture of an intimate moment that imitates the movements of a cat. The synthetic image of the “smell of steak” (Eliot, line 1) and “the burnt – out ends of smoky days,” (Eliot, line 3) adds to the dreary visual picture created in the “withered leaves about your feet,” (Eliot, line 6). Clearly there is the connotation that there is boredom and a feeling of exhaustion in the mind of the readers. Conversely, there is the indication that Eliot wants to draw the reader to the feeling that the persona sees the ease I which one eats and then smokes as the smoke mingles with the smell of steak. Clearly, the poet suggests that the day comes to an end as the title suggests that the scene is that of the end of a cold evening.
Additionally, the poet uses visual imagery to highlight the poor conditions that exists in the city. He points to: “The showers beat/On broken blinds and chimney pots,” (Eliot, line 8 – 9). The sporadic showers and the grimy landscape further add to the disarray on the streets as the “withered leaves,” (Eliot, line 6). In fact, this visual imagery is symbolic of the lifelessness and the hollowness of the technological changes in the society. This technique characterizes Eliot as a poet even as he criticizes the changes in the modern society. While one may embrace the ease that technology brings to the city, one must be cognizant of the fact that the technological changes in the modern city destroys the beauty and leaves the distaste of the destruction of the society.
Similarly, the cab – horse is lonely and suggests that there is a helpless rage that leads to frustration and alienation. Nonetheless, Eliot’s image of the ending of the day indicates that one accepts the conditions of the city and moves on with life. In contrast, the single line at the end of the poem: “And then the lighting of the lamps,” (Eliot, line 12), adds contrast to the previous desolation poem. Critics suggest that the image of the lamp light suggest that the issues in the city are not problematic as light offers hope at the end of the desolation. The switch from the darkness fleshes out the fact that city life is bearable despite the harsh conditions.
Eliot quickly turns the events at the start of the poem into a striking image that continues throughout the poem. The bodily sensations that reek of the smell of steaks in the passageway of the city add to the reader’s common picture of Eliot visualizing a number of burnt-out smoky days. Still, the gusty shower begins and the poet draws the readers to visualize his immediate surroundings. The torn newspapers lie carelessly around and suggest that people have become immune to the desolate conditions to the point where they have no care for the beauty of the surroundings. Additionally, Eliot draws on the smoking chimneys to create a mood that forces one to want to cuddle near a fire in the cold evening.
With the start of the winter season, the town is empty and leaves the reader feeling a sense of emptiness and desertion. The “vacant lots” (Eliot, line 7) and the “broken blinds and chimney pots” (Eliot, line 9) further adds to the visual desolation even as the tranquility of the winter evening seeps through the imagination of the poet. Conversely, line nine reinforces the image of the relentless and merciless rain even as line ten implies that the setting is desolate. Nonetheless, Eliot shows that behind every dark setting, there is light as the horse and the street lamp brings hope and some amount of liveliness to the otherwise desolate poem. Eliot gives the reader the clear contrast in the way modernization destroys the peaceful environment.
The language in the poem is simple and adds to the effect of the imagery in the poem. The literal meaning of the winter sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The “gusty” rain and the dirty scraps around the streets of the city give a literal and figurative meaning to the imagery in the poem. The dirty streets suggest a negative and harsh environment that allows the reader to delve into pessimism. Yet, the "smell of steaks" and "burnt-out ends" literally suggests that the setting is around dinnertime. In contrast, the image can also lead the reader to see the figurative implication of the smoke and the steak as impurity and pollution that exists in the cityscape.
In concluding, Eliot disapproves of the desolate life in the city. He is cynical as he uses a number of figurative devices to create the image of the total desolation of the city in the modern society. His use of metaphors adds to the comparison between the broken city and the calm, serenity of winter. One can easily conclude that his cynical views symbolizes the end of the beauty of life as the showers not only falls, but beats down on the city amidst the clear destruction that mankind forges in the city. Nevertheless, Eliot is optimistic that hope comes through as he contradicts the image of the desolation with the city lights and the firm movements of the horse.
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