Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay: Stream of Consciousness

Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay: Stream of Consciousness

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Stream of Consciousness in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock


The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is a uniquely styled piece of literature.  In this poem Eliot employs a literary method of writing called "stream of consciousness."  This is a difficult method to grasp outside of the literary genre to attempt to understand it within the context of the higher language of poetry can further confuse readers. 

 

            Stream of consciousness is simply how our brain thinks.  Perhaps as the teacher reads through this poem we hear the word "Mermaid".  Our minds see the singing mermaids on the rocks in "Jason and the Argonauts" and then jump to Peter Pan and from Peter Pan to Mary Poppins.  The idea of stream of consciousness is comparable to channel surfing; there are no logical traceable transitions. We simply switch from one thing/idea to the next. 

 

            This is idea of stream of consciousness is seen in the manner in which the author sets the poem.  First he places the reader in "sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells"  (Eliot, Longman 2418 l.7) and...

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