Prufrock And Plath Comparison

Prufrock and Plath, one in the same While my initial reading of ‘Daddy’ by Sylvia Plath and ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’ by TS Eliot revealed no obvious similarities between the two, a deeper, comparative analysis depicted a mutual, overarching and universal theme of an individual’s inherent desire for connection. I established that isolation is highlighted by each poem as a result of three primary causes, a flaw in thought, a flaw in action and a flaw in self, a thread which revealed more similarities between the texts than I initially thought possible. An individual’s attitudes can determine how they relate to society. Sylvia Plath incorporates an analogy of the Holocaust in her poem to depict the strained relationship between father and daughter. The “black shoe”, an item of the Gestapo uniform, introduces the reader to this theme and establishes the tone of relationship between Plath and her father. (Plath, line 2) The shoe itself is symbolic of masculinity and suggests that the father is the “brute” his daughter envisions. (Plath, line 49) Plath declares that she, “may well be a Jew”, suggesting that her father’s death was an act of hatred against her, similar to that of the atrocities committed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. The assonance of the long ‘oo’ sound carried throughout the poem and this phrase creates the illusion that a child is speaking it. This greatly affected the way I perceived this stanza. I feel that the brutal images evoked by references to “Dachau, Auschwitz” and “Belsen” juxtaposed against this childish tone makes the reference appear superficial and tasteless. While I understand that Plath is attempting to issue blame for her father’s absence and is issuing part of it on her ‘ethnicity’... ... middle of paper ... ... The final stanza could easily be followed by the first and support my notion of a cyclic metaphor without appearing out of place because the rhyme allows it to flow. Prufrock holds a modernist view of himself, declaring that he is no hero and is “not Prince Hamlet”. (Eliot, line 111) However, like Hamlet, he possesses the burden of procrastination and over-thinking things. While Plath appears to have a sense of her flaw, Prufrock begins to understand his and how it affects him reflecting, “I grow old... I grow old...” but even his mortality is not enough to convince him to change as he argues that the sirens of the sea, “will not sing to me”, reasoning that he is not enough of a man to be worth of their enchanting voices or slaughter. I feel that Prufrock will remain passive and indecisive until, like the victims of the sirens, he drowns. (Eliot, lines 120 – 131)
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