Explain the realism in Preludes.in short and simple answer

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Preludes", T.S. Eliot depicts desperate, spiritually and mentally exhausted people living in an impersonal, sinful city. The stark language evokes images of a lonley, dismal, debauched culture. Note how the city is described in Part I. You can almost feel like you are there smelling the "steaks in the passageways." "Burnt out ends of smoky days" - evokes an image of a burnt-out cigarette and compares this to the lives of the city dwellers - burnt-out. The buildings have "broken blinds and chimney pots." In Part II, When morning comes, so does the "stale smell of beer" that comes from drunks who are lining up early to get coffee to sober up. In Part III, the author switches to addressing a person. The person is just waking up from having dreamt about "a thousand sordid images." As you read through this poem, try to envision a bustling city and look for words that the poet uses to depict this city and its inhabitants. They are very negative. We know from T.S. Eliot's personal life that he went through a period of extreme crisis and suffered a nervous breakdown and loss of faith. His earlier works, such as PRELUDES, and THE WASTE LAND ("April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land............") reflect his suffering.