The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock opens Selected Poems. Essay Example
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock opens Selected Poems. Essay Example

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock opens Selected Poems. Essay Example

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  • Pages: 3 (808 words)
  • Published: August 5, 2017
  • Type: Analysis
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The title of the poem is "The Love Song of J."

Throughout "Alfred Prufrock", T. Stearns Eliot appears to comically mock a man who lacks confidence and the ability to progress. The poem portrays the desperation of this character, which hinders many aspects of his life. Additionally, self-portrayal can be identified as the name "J. Alfred Prufrock" follows an early version of Eliot's signature.

Eliot may be subtly suggesting that he sees himself in Prufrock, having experienced the same fears and worries explored in the poem. The name 'Prufrock' is comical and may be related to a touchstone, or proof rock.

Eliot implies that Prufrock constantly evaluates others, possibly seeing them as superior or more valuable, similar to how precious metals' purity is assessed. This recurring self-evaluation reveals Prufrock's lack of confidence, highlighting his weakness and desperation. The mentio


n of "restless nights" in "one night hotels" suggests a temporary existence, implying that Prufrock lacks a stable foundation for his life.

If Eliot is indeed expressing concern over the character's inability to progress and prioritize their emotional health, it becomes clear that Prufrock struggles due to a pervasive lack of confidence. Although he desires to voice his thoughts, he feels inhibited. The poem captures his mental state, which is plagued by an "overwhelming question."

Prufrock is unable to tell those who don't inquire about his situation as he is afraid of commitment, which will leave him without an answer.

Prufrock resides in a society where women frequently discuss Michelangelo, indicating an aristocratic setting that intimidates him due to his perceived inability to fit in. He relies heavily on self-assurance, as indicated by the repetition of 'there will be time,'

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and though uncertain if it will ever come, he believes he will eventually take action.

Although there are opportunities present, Prufrock's concerns increase with time. He communicates the necessity to project a fake image in social situations, highlighting his lack of self-assurance. This conduct implies that he frequently finds himself isolated and is regarded sympathetically by readers.

Prufrock's stagnation, stemming from his lack of motivation and indecisiveness, proves detrimental to himself. Despite believing time will wait for him, he is acutely aware of its passing as he observes women entering and exiting the room.

Eliot's behavior indicates a pattern of observation without action, creating the impression that he is incapable of making progress despite investing time in empty promises. He demonstrates a tendency towards paranoia, frequently posing rhetorical questions like 'Do I dare? And, Do I Dare?' The answer he always reaches is to 'turn back and descend the stair', suggesting low self-esteem and lack of energy, resulting in an unremarkable demeanor.

His clothing serves as his armor to shield and transform himself when impressing the women who discuss Michelangelo. To conceal his true self, he meticulously plans and examines every detail of his disguised attire, including donning a morning coat, a firmly mounting collar, and a rich yet modest necktie.

Although Prufrock's attire is impressive, he acknowledges that his bald spot in the center of his hair leaves him vulnerable to ridicule. This demonstrates his detachment from society as he contemplates the consequences of disrupting the universe. Prufrock tends to magnify the impact of his actions and recognizes his own limitations, but fails to take any steps towards improvement, leading to a perpetual state of melancholy.

According to Eliot, Prufrock's

longing for women with self-assurance highlights his own lack of confidence and masculinity. Prufrock's character lacks the typical traits associated with men such as strength, assertiveness, and conviction, bringing into question whether he can ever transform. The intense desperation that consumes him causes him to feel trapped and helpless when under the scrutiny of a woman's gaze.

Despite being aware of the inevitability of his situation and seeing no alternative, Prufrock is overwhelmed with terror and is too frightened to attempt any action. He exacerbates his fear by constantly reminding himself of the dire consequences that could result. His desperation reaches a climax when he openly asks, "And how should I begin?" The reader is left to wonder who Eliot is referring to. It's possible that Prufrock has a dual personality and is seeking guidance from an inner voice.

Alternatively, it may be that he has exhausted himself and is now screaming for assistance without any expectation of receiving any. Ultimately, the initial passage is an incredibly compelling start to Eliot's approach and interests. Prufrock is depicted as a character who is incapacitated by his inability to advance in life, rendering him somewhat pitiful and amusing. Furthermore, the hints of self-portrayal provide a glimpse into the poet's life. J.

It could be argued that Alfred Prufrock symbolizes numerous anxieties held by Eliot, rendering this excerpt highly valuable for gaining understanding into Eliot and his mindset.

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