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Poem Analysis: A Love Song of J. Prufrock by T.S. Eliot Essay

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Insecure and aging, J. Alfred Prufrock finds regret in the life he has laid out for himself. T.S. Eliot wrote A Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, an intriguing, yet depression poem about a man living each day the same as the last. The journey Prufrock endeavors on serves to be a realization of the struggles in his life and the idea that he is getting old and time isn’t going to slow down for him. Filled with regret, he ponders on the dreams and accomplishments he didn’t achieve because of his lack of confidence and willingness to face his fears. He realizes he hasn’t gotten all that he wanted out of life and at first thinks he has enough time to change who he is, inside and out. The reoccurring theme throughout the poem is old-age and self-doubt. Prufrock main goal is to live a wealthy life and build a confident personality, which differentiates from the hopeless man, with little social skills, he is throughout the poem.
From the beginning, Prufrock had a dream and starts off describing the setting of his dream. “When the evening is spread out against the sky, like a patient etherized upon a table” (Eliot, line 2-3). He wants to escape with a woman, with a lover. He talks about wanting to be like his idol, Michelangelo, a man he thinks is perfect and has all of the women’s attention. “In the room the women come and go talking of Michelangelo” (line 13-14). He wants to live a social life of wealth, but doesn’t know where to begin. He tried to enter that world he longs for, but it doesn’t turn out well. Then, he decides to go back to his closed off life, something he recognized and was used to.
Prufrock describes the yellow smoke that surrounds him and the streets. He relates to the yellow smoke because he feels like polluted mist...


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...ould make on his life and hoped that one day he would step out of his comfort zone and be like Michelangelo or King Lazarus. “I am Lazarus, come from the dead, come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all” (Line 94-95). In the end, Prufrock gives up and realizes he will never overcome his fear. He can’t rise from his insecurities and face the world head on. This acceptance serves as an example of the self-doubt he goes through on his journey. He gives up on making himself perfect and finding a woman who will love him. As a result, Prufrock accepts his old age and the insecurities he has. He regrets the self-doubt that held him back from achieving his dreams and wishes his insecurities didn’t define how he lived his life.



Works Cited

Eliot, T.S.. "1. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." bartleby.com. N.p.. Web. 1 Dec 2013. .


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