The text opens with the assertion of the fact that it is to be read as a love song. The title informed readers of the manner in which they are supposed to comprehend the text, implying that it will be a representation of J. Alfred Prufrock’s affection. By contrast, the poem’s narrative speaker is never truly able to reconcile his feelings toward the individual he addresses. The narrator begins by asking the receiver of the poem to “go” with him as the “evening is spread out against the sky” (1-2). Beginning with this form of endearment allows the text to draw forward the reader into a situation of romance that quickly disintegrates as the poem progresses. The beauty of the image of the evening walk turns to horror as it morphs into a “patient etherized upon the table” (3). This is representative of the looming inaction of the narrator, as though he, like the evening itself is under some form of anaesthetic that ...
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... too “grow[s] old” (120). The recognition of his aging body shows the narrators realization of life’s brevity. Though the narrator once exclaimed that there was time left for him it is now apparent that his perception of reality was flawed.
In conclusion, within Eliot’s poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, the representation of stagnancy works as a representation of life’s brevity. The concept of aging is representative of the passage of time, which is contrasted with the narrator’s inability to recognize the reality of his situation. Therefore, the text displays a stark contrast between reality and that, which is imagined, urging the individual to act while they still have time to do so. And while it may seem that the narrator is completely disconnected from the world around them, humans often forget to live in the moment despite the fact that life is short.
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