This sample essay on In A London Drawing Room Analysis provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
Upon Westminster Bridge sets the scene with the title. The view from Westminster Bridge is what the inspired the poet. From a London Drawing Room gives us the location but also an insight into the poet’s lifestyle, as only the wealthy had drawing rooms so it shows the poet is quite well off.
The location (being the drawing room) means the room is possibly quite dull. As drawing rooms were often used as quiet places for knitting or smoking. This could have influence on the poet’s negativity during the poem. The setting is very different from Upon Westminster Bridge, Both from the poets writing location (The drawing room) and also the view from the window the poet is looking out of, which could have influence on what the poet sees or hears which effects the poem overall.
Upon Westminster Bridge is a 14 line Petrachan sonnet which shows the poet’s love for the city (as sonnets were usually written about love). The poem is split with a volta after 8 lines which divides the sections. After the volta the poet seems more engaged with his own emotions. The poem is written in first person as an observer of London, giving his own feelings towards London and personal experiences.
The rhyme scheme is A,B,B,A,A,B,B,A,C,D,C,C,D,C, the regular amount of rhyming gives it an upbeat more positive feel .
The tone is tranquil and it seems the poet is awestruck at London’s greatness. The poem is set in the morning, as stated in line 5. This means London will be quiet and peaceful compared to one written in rush hour where there would be many people trying to move about.
From a London Drawing room is written in third person as an observer of London. It has 19 lines and is written in blank verse. It has a consistent rhythm to show the monotony of the buildings she can see from the drawing room and the dullness of it all. The fact there is no rhyme could also reflect the dullness and monotony of the buildings. The tone is pessimistic and gives a very negative view of London using lots of phrases with a negative connotation. There is also no mention of the time or day in From a London Drawing Room but looking at some lines referring to cabs, it could well be rush hour which would affect the poet compared to Upon Westminster Bridge which was written in the peace of the morning.
Upon Westminster Bridge begins positively.
‘Earth has not anything to show more fair’
The poet is being hyperbolic in saying there’s nothing more beautiful in the world than London. The poet then makes the point that you’re dull if you don’t believe this:
‘Dull would he be of soul who could pass by’
which is even referring to the spiritual side of a person in saying ‘soul’. The poet continues explaining his obvious love for the city. By using the word ‘majesty’. This illustrates how meaningful London is to the poet. Wordsworth uses personification in comparing London to a person, wearing garments.
‘This city now doth like a garment wear’
Wordsworth makes the city seem more real by personifying it in making it wear clothes. He uses ‘garment’ which is also an upper class term making it seem more ‘majestic’ as he stated in the line before. The poet then discusses the setting of the poem and creates a tranquil and natural feel ‘The beauty of the morning; Silent, bare’. Wordsworth uses what are quite often negative words such as silent and bare in a positive way, in the fact it lets him admire London. Wordsworth then names a list of man made objects.
“Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie.”
Wordsworth then contrasts the man made buildings with the beauty of the natural world.
‘Open unto the fields and to the sky’,
has a positive connotation and blends London into the natural world. He comments on the cleanliness of the air
‘All bright and glittering in the smokeless air’
using upbeat words with a positive connotation such as ‘Bright’ and ‘Glittering’ to make London seem a better place.
The rest of the sestet is based around the natural world and begins with:
‘never did the sun more beautifully steep’ showing the poet’s feelings about that particular day, It is the most beautiful the sun has ever been. This view of London has a calming effect
‘Ne’er saw I, Never felt a calm so deep’
The phrase could refer to Wordsworth’s soul when he says ‘so deep’, that the effect has even reached a spiritual level. Wordsworth emits a feeling of freewill
‘The River Glideth at his own sweet will’
The poet uses this line to suggest a sense of freedom, in that the river can glide at the pace it wants to, it has the choice. The penultimate line of the sonnet starts with the exclamation ‘Dear God!’ the poet thanks god for the beauty of the city in this exclamation. The last line creates a feeling the city could spring to life later:
‘And all that mighty heart is lying still!’
This line uses personification to make the city seem more life like when he emphasises the city is sleeping. But also to indicate that like a human it could come to life at any point
From A London Drawing Room begins with a feeling of emotion expressed mainly through weather.
‘The sky is cloudy, yellowed by smoke’ Eliot uses pathetic fallacy to suggest the yellowed smoke comes from factories that are polluting in the age of industrialisation. The next line outlines Eliot’s boredom
‘For view there are the houses opposite’
This continues the negative connotation for the fact the houses are probably dull, and it’s all Eliot can see. Eliot then uses words with a negative connotation and with a pessimistic tone:
‘Cutting the sky with one long line of wall’
is suggesting the man made wall is scarring the beauty of the natural world. The phrase also uses alliteration to suggest the continuous boring pattern and the way nothing changes. Another line which creates a very negative feeling about London is
‘Like solid fog: far as the eye can stretch’
The poet uses the simile of fog as it is impenetrable to show the monotony of London to the poet and how tedious and uninspiring it is.
Eliot then explains that poets can’t gain any inspiration from the scene and it stifles their imagination
‘Without a break to hang a guess upon.’
This metaphor is used to show there is nothing for the imagination to grasp. Eliot proceeds on to discuss how London’s dull nature and darkness effects the natural world
‘No bird can make a shadow as it flies’
which gives the impression London is very dark, and even the natural world cannot make it more pleasant.
Eliot then suggests London is covered up when Elliot says ‘By thickest canvas, where the golden rays are clothed in Hemp’
Hemp is a thick material and the poet is suggesting that the hemp is blocking out the sun, Eliot is using the hemp as a metaphor for the pollution suggesting it blocks out the sun. The poet also uses personification in suggesting London wears clothes.
Eliot suggests none of the London citizens ever stop to have a look round,
‘No figures lingering pauses to feed the hunger of the eye’
Elliot uses words with negative connotation to suggest they’re always moving and don’t ever take note of what’s around them. This theme is then continued in the next line
‘Or rest a little on the lap of life’
Again indicating the fact the people of London just continue their normal lives with no thought. Eliot then uses personification and suggests that cars, cabs and carriages all act in the same way, ‘hurrying along’ the personification makes it seem as if everything is just running in a system. The poet returns to the idea that everyone acts the same in the line ‘All closed, in multiplied identity’.
The last three lines are the opinions of the poet and state that London is like one giant prison and that everyone is enslaved,
‘With lowest rate of colour warmth and joy’ this is pessimistic when conveying the lack of colour feeling and emotion within London.
The two poems in comparison are very different. They both have very conflicting views on London, and both poets mention London in different ways. Upon Westminster Bridge conveys London very highly in an optimistic way whereas From A London Drawing Room is much the opposite and looks at the negatives. It has a pessimistic tone throughout. In phrases such as ‘Like solid fog: far as the eye can stretch’ which create a gloomy feeling.
The poems despite being very different at first glance have many comparisons between them. They both talk about the air one describing it as ‘ Glittering in the smokeless air’ the other saying ‘yellowed by smoke’ this shows the comparison of the poets views. Both poets also express views on the man made structures and the natural world and compare the effect London has on it. Such as ‘Cutting the sky with one long line of wall’ which is used in From A London Drawing Room. Upon Westminster Bridge Combines the two and discusses their beauty and magnificence whereas From A London Drawing Room takes feels that London is killing the beauty of the natural world with its dark nature.
Both poems are even similar to the extent they use the same aspect of personification in using garments or material to have an effect on the city but once again one is the positive – ‘garment’ and the other is heavy and dull Hemp. Overall despite the poems being very different in their depiction of London they share lots of similarities, in how they describe the city and natural world despite taking the conflicting views on it.