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Frustration and Disillusionment in T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

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Frustration and Disillusionment in T.S. Eliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'


T.S. Eliot, a notable twentieth century poet, wrote often about the modern man and his incapacity to make decisive movements. In his work entitled, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'; he continues this theme allowing the reader to view the world as he sees it, a world of isolation and fear strangling the will of the modern man. The poem opens with a quoted passage from Dante's Inferno, an allusion to Dante's character who speaks from Hell only because he believes that the listener can not return to earth and thereby is impotent to act on the knowledge of his conversation. In his work, Eliot uses this quotation to foreshadow the idea that his character, Prufrock, is also trapped in a world he can not escape, the world where his own thoughts and feelings incapacitate and isolate him.

Eliot paints a picture of the opening scene that depicts a drab neighborhood of cheap hotels and restaurants where Prufrock lives in his solitary gloom. He invites the reader to make a visit with him to a place that Prufrock imagines is filled with women having tea and engaging in conversation. Prufrock procrastinates on the visit and says, 'There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet:'; (lines 26-27) indicating to the reader that he is afraid of showing his real self to these participants. He further indicates his hesitation by stating, 'Time for you and ...


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