Emotion in T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay examples

Emotion in T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay examples

Length: 1454 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Emotion in T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

In his poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” T.S. Eliot subtly conveys a wide variety of Prufrock’s emotions; he creates pathos for the speaker by employing the “objective correlative,” which Eliot defines as “a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events [that] shall be the formula of that particular emotion” (“Hamlet and His Problems”).

The first stanza introduces Prufrock’s isolation, as epitomized metaphorically by “half-deserted streets” (4): while empty streets imply solitude, Eliot’s diction emphasize Prufrock having been abandoned by the other “half” needed for a relationship or an “argument” (8). Hoping for a companion, Prufrock speaks to the reader when saying, “Let us go then, you and I” (1), as he needs to address his lament to an audience; conscious of the reader’s curiosity regarding the “overwhelming question,” (10) Prufrock answers, “Oh, do not ask, ‘What is it?’” (11). (The likely explanation for Eliot’s inconsistent use of you in this stanza is Prufrock probably meaning you as “To lead one,” as he refers to himself and not the reader in line 10.) Eliot continues the metaphor of Prufrock’s lonesomeness by anthropomorphizing the “yellow fog” and “smoke” (15, 16) to signify Prufrock, who interacts not with people, but only the environment in the third, fourth, and fifth stanzas. Clearly it is Prufrock who “rubs [his] muzzle on the window-panes” (15, 16), passively lets “fall upon [his] back the soot that falls from chimneys” (19), “slides along the street” (24), and performs the actions also described; also, the opacity of “fog” and “smoke” symbolizes the difficulty with which readers perceive Prufrock’s true character, further separating ...

... middle of paper ...

...ers/you make of them,” (37-9); Prufrock defines his misfortune by women, just as King Lear, also called “fool,” attributes his madness to women (his daughters). Reminiscent of Hamlet and Lear asking for the procreation of men like themselves to end , Prufrock thus speaks for all people like himself when he sentences those limited by inaction to death.

Most likely intentional, the entire poem can be considered a metaphysical conceit designed to create pathos: Eliot uses the extended metaphor of Prufrock not acting, except mentally, and thus dying alone as the objective correlative for Prufrock’s anxiety of choice and consequent despair.

Work Cited

Eliot, T.S.. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. M.H. Abrams. New York: Norton, 1996.

Pinion, F. B. A T.S. Eliot Companion. Totowa: Barnes & Noble Books, 1986.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

- One of the twentieth century’s major poets was a British, American-born essayist: T.S. Eliot 1888-1965. In his works, he uses a distinct style of writing, such as folk tales to hold and regulate contemporary experience, compiles juxtaposition of different voices, traditions, and communication, and targets on form to act as the bearer of meaning, thus leading many of his biggest fans to consider his poetry an equivalent with modernism. Throughout his career, Eliot’s poetry underwent momentous changes, which brought forth some of his most famous works....   [tags: T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock]

Powerful Essays
1124 words (3.2 pages)

The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

- In his timeless poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” Thomas Stearns Eliot sheds light on Europe’s devastatingly morbid backdrop after the First World War by juxtaposing the parallel concepts of loneliness and depression through the utilization of a fragmented stream of consciousness as his primary narrative mode. In view of that, T. S. Eliot accordingly employs the persona of J. Alfred Prufrock, an intensely indecisive middle-aged man who ponders an “overwhelming question” in the context of his desire to spark up a conversation with a woman....   [tags: T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock]

Powerful Essays
1232 words (3.5 pages)

The Love Song Of J Alfred Prufrock Essay

- Self-doubt is a constant emotion people in society face at some point in life. Some may struggle with it more than others. It is unavoidable and often ignored. Self-doubt is the lack of confidence in one self and one’s abilities. It is a difficult emotion to face head on and deal with, so it is simply pushed to the back burner. This becomes very dangerous because it has the ability to take over one’s life in the blink of an eye, much like Prufrock in T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock”....   [tags: T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock]

Powerful Essays
1105 words (3.2 pages)

Analysis Of ' The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

- The analysis between“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and“Something Whispered in the Shakuhachi” T.S. Eliot has been one of the most daring innovators of twentieth-century poetry. His poem“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, is different and unusual. He rejects the logic connection, thus, his poems lack logic interpretation. He himself justifies himself by saying: he wrote it to want it to be difficult. The dissociation of sensibility, on the contrary, arouses the emotion of readers immediately....   [tags: T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock]

Powerful Essays
1044 words (3 pages)

The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

- T. S. Elliot uses allusions in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock because by doing so he grabs meaning and significance from certain works and inserts that meaning in to his own work in only a few words. Consequently, Elliot’s use of Hamlet by William Shakespeare and the comparison between characters, allows one to see the struggle that Prufrock goes through. Throughout the poem, Prufrock spends the entire poem wondering if he should "disturb the universe" by asking an "overwhelming question" to a woman; he lets the question float around in his mind along with his fear and uncertainty....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, T. S. Eliot]

Powerful Essays
1471 words (4.2 pages)

The Love Song Of J.alfred Prufrock By Ernest Hemingway Essay

- As Ernest Hemingway once stated, “It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” Here, Hemingway illustrates that no one should dictate how a person writes, for the reason that it’s all about self expression. Elliot understood this completely, he wrote during World War one when the world was in turmoil. Throughout “The Love song of J.Alfred Prufrock” T.S. Elliot uses vivid diction to intensify his imagery. Sprinkled throughout the poem, Eliot gives the story character by applying symbolism and rhyme....   [tags: T. S. Eliot, Poetry]

Powerful Essays
1571 words (4.5 pages)

Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay example

- Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock The pursuit of youth, of sex, of “yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window panes,” some pursue this their whole lives, a bachelor looking in the corners of streets and bars for a bit of youth and company. This is the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot, 1917. It is the song and love story of men who search for their lover in places absent of love and instead only finds lust. Those who only find lust in these lonely places eventually become old, as the speaker of the poem realizes....   [tags: T.S. Eliot Lust Sex Relationships Essays]

Powerful Essays
996 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on The Life of Thomas Stearns Eliot

- Thomas Stearns Eliot, also known as T.S. Eliot , was an extraordinarily influential poet and playwright who captured the true essence of his modern day society, and brought it to life through his various works. He believed that ``poetry should aim to represent the the complexities of modern civilization.`` (Noble Media 1) Through his momentous, yet classical arrays of literary art, T.S. Eliot`s masterpieces are fine examples of an author`s ability to successfully relate to the circumstances and productivities around him....   [tags: poetry, childhood]

Powerful Essays
1173 words (3.4 pages)

William Wordsworth and T.S. Eliot Essay

- William Wordsworth and T.S. Eliot are both excellent and admirable poets from different time periods that have very distinct views on what it means to be a true poet. On one hand Wordsworth strived to be unique, romantic and sentimental in a time where people needed a poet as such. On the other hand, Eliot lived in a time where romanticism and sentimentalism did not satisfy readers that needed something less elevated and more realistic. Although they had opposing views neither is right or wrong and can only speak for the poets of their specific time period, yet one should not dismiss one or the other because each of their perspectives are equally valuable when deciding what it takes to be th...   [tags: ideal poets, romantic period]

Powerful Essays
822 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on T.S. Eliot

- T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot is said to be one of the most influential modernist poets of our time. His poetry, although very complex is the subject of literary classes and discussions around the world. His poems “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “The Waste Land” are not only alike in his literary style, but also share the same theme of unsuccessful male and female relationships. Eliot experienced a very unsuccessful relationship with the opposite sex when he was married to a drug-addicted mental patient for several years....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Powerful Essays
696 words (2 pages)