What do references to the body mean?
References to the body in most of Eliot's poetry have negative connotations about the sustainability and viability of the human race to continue and prosper. There are not many references to the human body in this poem, The "Preludes", but there are some. The feet are muddy, the hand is raising a dingy shade, the hair is rolled with papers, the soles of feet are yellow, and the fingers are short and square. Images of the urban scene are more abundant. Both are equally discouraging about the development of humankind. These fall in line with all of Eliot's other references. To say that he was pessimistic about the human race would be an understatement.