The Love Song Of J Alfred Prufrock Analysis

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TS Eliot’s, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, is a dramatic monologue, from the view-point of a middle-class male. Many themes can be found in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, which will later define modernist or 20th century literature. Prufrock’s ultimate problem is caused by his own weakened fear of failure and his depressed outlook of the world. If Prufrock continues on this path his future will be a loveless one, hence the irony of the title, he cannot bring himself to articulate his emotions to another woman. This poem conveys the protagonist as someone who is indecisive and often has trouble relating to women; he fears having his sexual advances turned down. Eliot, forces the reader through an arduous “verbal maze”, while slowly revealing his intentions. The themes of fear of aging and mortality, alienation and regression can all be interpreted from this poem. Prufrock's anxiety due to his fear of aging draws the reader's attention to the theme of self-consciousness or fear of aging and mortality. “And indeed there will be time/To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare? /Time to turn back and descend the stair, /With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—/ (They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”) (Eliot 222 37-41). He is also worried about aging with dignity: “I grow old … I grow old … / I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. / Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?” (Eliot 224 120-22). Prufrock understands the folly existence despite his concerns. He admits, “No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be” and seems content with his role in life as an “attendant lord, one that will / To swell a progress, start a scene or two,” in short, to play a supporting role to the more dynamic m... ... middle of paper ... ...ord “lingered” which creates an image of something stagnant, never moving forward. From the story of the cat and the yellow fog, nothing is accomplished. The cat moves around in the night and then falls asleep. Just as Prufrock, the cat did not act in any significant way. Prufrock wants to be able to find love or a sexual relationship and enjoy the company of a woman, but his fear makes him put off the act of approaching them because of his fear of rejection. In the end, Prufrock does not succeed in overcoming his insecurities toward women. Instead, Eliot creates an allusion or a fantasy of Prufrock under the spell of mermaids. Which ends with the image of drowning, foreshadowing that Prufrock has not dealt with or solved any of his problems but has rather become overwhelmed by his fears and insecurities, as well as by his cruel and degrading outlook of the world.
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