Essay on the Loneliness of J. Alfred Prufrock

Essay on the Loneliness of J. Alfred Prufrock

Length: 1039 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Loneliness of J. Alfred Prufrock


In "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", written by T. S. Elliot in 1917, J. Alfred Prufrock makes the reader privy to his innermost thoughts on an evening out. Prufrock wants to lead the reader to an overwhelming question, raising expectations, but he is a bitterly disappointing man; he never asks the question. He lacks self-esteem, women are intimidating to him, and he is too much of a coward to ever be successful with women. The title is "The Love Song,", not "A Love Song." So whenever Prufrock is around women, he behaves the same way. He always has and always will. Because of his inability to change he will die a lonely man.

Courting a woman includes trying to project a positive image of yourself. J. Alfred Prufrock's low self-esteem projects only negative images. First of all, he does not value his life, even though he refers to it as "the universe" (46), for it can be "measured out ...with coffee spoons" (51). Prufrock himself admits his love life is not leading anywhere. In the middle of trying to come up with the right words, to sweep a lady off her feet, he compares himself to a crab: "I should have been a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of silent seas" (73-74). He moves sideways instead of forward. Prufrock's image of himself is his justification for not asking the overwhelming question. Who in her right mind would say yes to a man who is "ridiculous-- / Almost, at times, the Fool" (118-119). He is a man who thinks little of himself.

Those sides of Prufrock's character are shown only to the reader. The ladies have to judge him on his appearance and his behavior during the evening out. He is an older man, his hair is growing thin, and he is skinny. Eve...


... middle of paper ...


... peace of fruit. J. Alfred Prufrock lacks the courage to undertake anything with an uncertain outcome, such as relationships.

At the end, J. Alfred Prufrock lets the reader in on a daydream of his:

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea

By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown

Till human voices wake us, and we drown. (129-131)

His daydream is about mermaids, a sexual figment of imagination, and even in his daydream he is not successful; human voices wake him before anything happens. And J. Alfred Prufrock agrees:

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each

I do not think that they will sing to me. (124-125)

Works Cited

Elliot, T.S. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Compact 3rd ed. Eds. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace, 1997. 781-785.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot Essay

- T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” draws attention to the idea that time is of the essence. On the surface, Prufrock is portrayed as a man who is incapable of making decisions and lacks self-confidence. This is evident through his passive nature, where he continuously delays having to talk to women because he believes there is enough time. Written in the era of modernism, the reader is capable of unraveling that the poem’s true purpose was not only to show Prufrock’s inability to make decisions when it comes to love, but to show the desolation that one faces in times of a modernistic transition....   [tags: love, loneliness, mind, spirit]

Strong Essays
916 words (2.6 pages)

The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

- The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock is a poem that was written by T. S Eliot. The poem introduces the character, Prufrock, as a man who is very pessimistic about everything and is incapable of change. Prufrock sees the society he lives in as a place that is full of people who think alike, and he thinks he is different from them. Though Prufrock, realizes that the society he is associated with needs a change and have more people who think differently, but the fact that he is very concerned about what people would think of him if he tries to speak up to make a change or that he would be ignored or be misunderstood for whatever he says hindered him from expressing himself the way he would like...   [tags: T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock]

Strong Essays
1246 words (3.6 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]

Strong Essays
1232 words (3.5 pages)

The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay example

- In the 19th century, influenced by the unceasing global warfare, the fragile peace and prosperity enjoyed by the western society were on the verge of collapse. Furthermore, conventional moral ideals and spiritual values faced severe scrutiny, and the public felt extremely pessimistic about the future. Under this circumstance, T. S. Eliot had created the poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, to reflect the sickness of the society and the weakness of the humanity . In this poem, he describes an internal conflict of the narrator in the poem who eventually wavered his offer of marriage in determination....   [tags: T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock]

Strong Essays
1086 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock

- Asking someone out might seem a little hard for a group of people, but most couples start happy lives easily. On the other hand, some do not have enough social skills to start an exciting conversation, or they are too shy to start a conversation. Meanwhile, some people have enough social abilities, but they do not have a stunning appearance. Eliot in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” decided to create a character named J. Alfred Prufrock who is one of the most unfortunate characters who is afraid of socializing with women because he is not confident enough, so it makes a great sense of dissatisfaction and loneliness in him....   [tags: T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock]

Strong Essays
1061 words (3 pages)

The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

- T.S. Eliot was able to capture the essence of the "Lost Generation" during a time when rapid change was taking hold of society. His unique style and his variety of free verse and rhythm made him one of the most well-known and respected writers of this era. Many considered "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" to be "the first masterpiece of English modernism" (Perkins 175). The modern viewpoint is best represented through the writings of Eliot as well as his ability to capture the complexities of living in an Urban environment, the internal struggles of man as an after effect of war, and the despair many were feeling as a result....   [tags: T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock]

Strong Essays
807 words (2.3 pages)

The Pitiful Prufrock of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

- The Pitiful Prufrock of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock        T.S. Elliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," is a melancholy poem of one man's  frustrated search to find the meaning of his existence.  The speaker's strong use of imagery contributes to the poems theme of communion and loneliness. The Poem begins with an invitation from Prufrock to follow him through his self-examination. The imagery of this invitation begins with a startling simile, "Let us go then you and I/ When the evening is spread out against the sky/ Like a patient etherised upon a table." This simile literally describes the evening sky, but functions on another level....   [tags: Love Song J. Alfred Prufrock]

Strong Essays
1314 words (3.8 pages)

Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay: Inability to Love

- Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - Inability to Love   T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is not a poem about love, at least in any traditional sense. Rather It is a collection of the fragmented thoughts of a man without self-esteem. Far from being about love, it is about one man's inability to love (himself or the world around him.) It is the cynical statement of a man who does not believe good things will ever happen to him, or that the world has anything to offer him. The title is bitterly ironic; Prufrock does not love any body, least of all himself, (no matter how much he might aspire to the ideal of romance and passion), nor does he believe that any one could ever lo...   [tags: Love Song J. Alfred Prufrock]

Strong Essays
1355 words (3.9 pages)

Essay About The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: Comments

- T S Eliot's Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock The Love Song is the lifetime of laments that one old-aged man remembers, which consist of his past failures. He then puts them into the context of his now-meaningless life to try to comprehend the significance and compensate for his loneliness.  Through Eliot's rich imagery and excellent use of Poetic Language, Prufrock's explanation of his memories, his experiences and most importantly, his feelings (most of which are doubt) come alive in this poem....   [tags: Love Song J. Alfred Prufrock]

Free Essays
711 words (2 pages)

Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay: A Beautifully Complicated Masterpiece

- The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock : A Beautifully Complicated Masterpiece The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot is a beautifully complicated masterpiece. The poem rises above all standards of poetry and completely blows your mind. The poem consists of twenty stanzas, each telling a different part of the story of J. Alfred Prufrock's life. Eliot uses many poetic devices to add a hint of magic to the sound of the poem. The diction he uses turns what seems to be a normal poetic work of art into a dream where everything flows together like magic....   [tags: Love Song J. Alfred Prufrock]

Strong Essays
843 words (2.4 pages)