Theme Of Prufrock As A Modern Man

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Alexander Herzen once said, “I am truly horrified by modern man. Such absence of feeling, such as narrowness of outlook, such lack of passion and information, such feebleness of thought.” A modern man is one who lives a zestless, monotonous, and isolated life. The modern man worries a great deal about the search for the purpose of life, instead of the purpose itself. In the poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Eliot paints the perfect picture of the modern man through the main character, J. Alfred Prufrock. J. Alfred Prufrock is a modern man for several reasons. One reason is because of the negative filter he has on the world around him. Prufrock describes the town saying “through half-deserted streets, the muttering retreats of…show more content…
Alfred Prufrock has is his insecurity and lack of self-confidence. Throughout the poem Prufrock proclaims that he has an overwhelming question to ask, but he is too timid to ask it. He worries about how other people will respond. He says, “with a bald spot in the middle of my hair (They will say: ‘How his hair is growing thin!’) My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin, my necktie rich and modest, but asserted with a simple pin (They will say: ‘But how his arms and legs are thin!’)” (Eliot 1). This excerpt from the poem demonstrates Prufrock’s paranoia of how others perceive him. His lack of self-confidence hinders him from making a “bold” move, talking to women. J. Alfred Prufrock’s anxiety to communicate with others makes him the perfect example of a twentieth century modern man (Samet Guven…show more content…
In order to have the creativeness and courage to impress women, he believes all he needs is time. This indicates that Prufrock needs this time to create a false face for himself, which is another modern characteristic. However, as time goes by he realizes that he has only grown more anxious, timid, and indecisive. Prufrock notices that he wasted much of his life attending trivial social events. He says, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; I know the voices dying with a dying fall beneath the music from a farther room” (Eliot 2). Prufrock also says, “To spit out all the butt ends of my days and ways” (Eliot 2). This quote also symbolizes how he has spent much of his life worrying about trivial things instead of important matters. Many readers view Prufrock’s life as a fail, which is another modern
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