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Essay about T.S. Elliot's Prufrock's overwhelming question

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T.S. Elliots dramatic monologue ‘The Love Song of Alfred Prufrock’ is interchangeably interpretable, given the lack of explanation. The scenes give the impression to be as random thoughts threw Prufrock’s mind and make it difficult to tell what should be taken literally or symbolically. The poem returns a few times to the images of the lonely and dilapidated streets, just like the narrator; the streets are misleading and go nowhere. Prufrock intends to ask ‘an overwhelming question’ but leads astray the passage along the way, seemingly getting sidetracked. He intends to say something he ultimately does not ever say. He is insecure, so he justifies his lack of actions by saying his life is commensurable. He has seen it all, and he has done enough. It is time to sit back and relax, but he will be alone. Elliot forces the reader to get the whole picture and understand Prufrock for the quest about a question.

Elliot writes the poem threw the eyes of Prufrock; possibly threw his thoughts alone, but Prufrock speaks as if he is speaking directly to the reader; “Let us go then, you and I… Let us go and make our visit”. He says it as the listener is now taking a walk with him, probably down old memory lane. Though threw the poem Elliot does not clarify where Prufrock is actually speaking from. It seems that maybe he is an old man, looking back and reminiscing about his life and the times he had, or possibly Prufrock is talking to someone else, but more likely, only himself. He could be trying to ask himself a question. Prufrock as the narrator is misleading and confusing, also distracting to the main point. The whole poem he is side tracked telling tails of his past irrelevant to ‘the overwhelming question’, the entire reason for the ...


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...es within his unnecessary self-consciousness. He wishes to speak to the ‘bare and white’ women; the beautiful and petite, but feels he is insufficient to their standards, for he is balding and getting old. A picture is worth a thousand words, so Elliot exemplifies the entire poem, like a gala filled with Michaelangelo. He sets the poem with a melancholy mood of the man questioning his life, running in circles, lost in thought in his own mind. Prufrock’s tongue tied tendencies leave his ‘ultimate question’ open-ended in the end. For interpretations sake, he is asking himself if he is satisfied with his life, for he is getting older and it is time for him to sit back and relax as the next years pass. He is happy with what he has accomplished, although still alone and not so thrilled with that, Prufrock needs just one more thing to complete his life; a woman.







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