Isolation In Love Song, By T. S. Eliot

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T.S. Eliot’s use of the term “Love Song” in the title of his poem is quickly observed to be ironic due to the reoccurring idea of isolation. From the start of the poem, through an epigraph from Dante’s Inferno, we get a sense that the speaker in the poem is stuck in a terrible place, as Guido da Montefeltro is stuck in hell in Inferno. It is a place that “no one has ever / returned alive from” (?) which convinces Montefeltro to reveal his secrets as he is sure anyone else in hell is stuck there without the possibility of going back into the world with other people. The use of this passage by Eliot aids in setting up the fact that Prufrock is isolated from those around him and is unable to leave his mental confinement in order to escape his…show more content…
All three descriptions give a vivid image of emptiness and isolation- “half-deserted” simply by its wording, “one-night cheap hotels” through the implication of a one-night stand and “sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells” by the imagery of a dirty, hence unopened and empty, restaurant. No matter where Prufrock may go the feeling of being alone is present and he cannot escape it. The isolation of the setting is also expressed through the use of enjambment. The three previously mentioned references to empty places are each found at the end of their respective lines due to strategically placed cuts by T.S. Eliot. These cuts in the lines allow for the descriptions of these places to be undisturbed by words following them, thus allowing the reader to fully grasp the extent at which these environments display Prufrock’s…show more content…
The speaker reference to a room where “women come and go / talking of Michelangelo” (13-14), which makes a very clear allusion to the artist Michelangelo. The women are talking about him to seem knowledgeable due to the fact that he was a renowned Renaissance artist, leaving little attention to anything or anyone else around them. This would include Prufrock, who made the allusion to Michelangelo to display that the women’s attention was drawn to speaking of the artist whereas his attention was focused on other things, which caused him to be an outcast in the conversations. This idea is reinforced in the third stanza where the yellow smog and fog are used as a metaphor for a cat. The wording used indicates that “the yellow fog rubs its back” (15) and “the yellow smog rubs its muzzle” (16) against window-panes. The metaphoric cat is outside of the room previously mentioned in the poem where “the women come and go” (13) and watches them through the windows, unable to find a way into the room. The cat is the representation of how Prufrock feels that he does not belong in the room with the women, such that it remains alone outside and eventually simply falls asleep while still outdoors, as though it accepts its predicament of
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