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Essay on Analysis of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

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Analysis of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"


J. Alfred Prufrock constantly lived in fear, in fear of life and death. T. S. Eliot divided his classic poem into three equally important sections. Each division provided the reader with insight into the mental structure of J. Alfred Prufrock. In actuality, Prufrock maintained a good heart and a worthy instinct, but he never seemed to truly exist. A false shadow hung over his existence. Prufrock never allowed himself to actually live. He had no ambitions that would drive him to succeed. The poem is a silent cry for help from Prufrock. In each section, T. S. Eliot provided his audience with vague attempts to understand J. Alfred Prufrock. Each individual reader can only interpret these attempts by Eliot, allowing numerous views of the life of Prufrock. The first section of the poem dealt with the ever-prevalent issue of death. In the beginning Eliot said, "Let us go then, you and I."(l, 1 Eliot) The poem started off with this illusion to the Inferno as a way to symbolize Prufrock's journey, and his fear of death. Prufrock could be looked upon as Virgil. In the poem he guided the reader through his tangled world of existentialism. When Eliot said, "Like a patient etherised upon a table; Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets…"(ll 3-4 Eliot) it showed that Prufrock was numb. He had no feeling for anyone or his surroundings. J. Alfred Prufrock only felt one thing. He felt the fear of life and death. In some ways, he spent his entire life preparing for his death. Prufrock knew that his life had not provided the world with anything of great significance. Eliot pointed this out by juxtaposing Prufrock with Michelangelo. In lines 13-14 Eliot said, "In the room the wom...


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...g, each to each."(ll. 122-124 Eliot) The Prufrock of the first half of the poem would have never done anything quite so daring. When Eliot mentioned the mermaids, it showed that Prufrock now searched for love. The mermaids also showed that his imagination had been sparked. For the final part of Prufrock's life, there was a tiny bit of hope. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" was a silent cry for help. Prufrock entered into a world where he could not survive. He became a man with no life. In the end he desired for a second chance. He wanted a new opportunity in which he could actually live. Prufrock realized that living in fear of death was no way to live. A life like that made him afraid to live. J. Alfred Prufrock was a basically good individual. He just had one flaw a flaw that cost him his life. J. Alfred Prufrock never attempted to live until it was to late.


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