Essay about T.S. Elliot's Prufrock's overwhelming question

Essay about T.S. Elliot's Prufrock's overwhelming question

Length: 788 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

T.S. Elliots dramatic monologue ‘The Love Song of Alfred Prufrock’ is interchangeably interpretable, given the lack of explanation. The scenes give the impression to be as random thoughts threw Prufrock’s mind and make it difficult to tell what should be taken literally or symbolically. The poem returns a few times to the images of the lonely and dilapidated streets, just like the narrator; the streets are misleading and go nowhere. Prufrock intends to ask ‘an overwhelming question’ but leads astray the passage along the way, seemingly getting sidetracked. He intends to say something he ultimately does not ever say. He is insecure, so he justifies his lack of actions by saying his life is commensurable. He has seen it all, and he has done enough. It is time to sit back and relax, but he will be alone. Elliot forces the reader to get the whole picture and understand Prufrock for the quest about a question.

Elliot writes the poem threw the eyes of Prufrock; possibly threw his thoughts alone, but Prufrock speaks as if he is speaking directly to the reader; “Let us go then, you and I… Let us go and make our visit”. He says it as the listener is now taking a walk with him, probably down old memory lane. Though threw the poem Elliot does not clarify where Prufrock is actually speaking from. It seems that maybe he is an old man, looking back and reminiscing about his life and the times he had, or possibly Prufrock is talking to someone else, but more likely, only himself. He could be trying to ask himself a question. Prufrock as the narrator is misleading and confusing, also distracting to the main point. The whole poem he is side tracked telling tails of his past irrelevant to ‘the overwhelming question’, the entire reason for the ...

... middle of paper ... within his unnecessary self-consciousness. He wishes to speak to the ‘bare and white’ women; the beautiful and petite, but feels he is insufficient to their standards, for he is balding and getting old. A picture is worth a thousand words, so Elliot exemplifies the entire poem, like a gala filled with Michaelangelo. He sets the poem with a melancholy mood of the man questioning his life, running in circles, lost in thought in his own mind. Prufrock’s tongue tied tendencies leave his ‘ultimate question’ open-ended in the end. For interpretations sake, he is asking himself if he is satisfied with his life, for he is getting older and it is time for him to sit back and relax as the next years pass. He is happy with what he has accomplished, although still alone and not so thrilled with that, Prufrock needs just one more thing to complete his life; a woman.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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]

Better Essays
1314 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on the Loneliness of J. Alfred Prufrock

- 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....   [tags: Love Song J. Alfred Prufrock]

Better Essays
1039 words (3 pages)

The Great Gatsby And The Love Song For J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

- ... Gatsby becomes an extremely successful man, despite the questionable origins of his wealth. He could have had any girl he choose, but the only girl he wanted was Daisy. Daisy was central to Gatsby’s fantasy. Furthermore, Gatsby’s thinking was inflexible. Every night Gatsby would be surrounded by hundreds of people who would show up to his parties, yet he never felt so alone in his life. “The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.” Gatsby was essentially seeing his dreams crumble before his eyes as he watched his love live her life with another man....   [tags: Love, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby]

Better Essays
1296 words (3.7 pages)

The Paralysis of Prufrock in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

- Paralysis, the incapability to act, has been a key element of many famous literary characters. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is the paragon of paralysis, unable to sort through his thoughts, Hamlet only makes one decisive action, at the end of the play. T.S Elliot’s transfers Hamlets’ paralysis in his poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. The name Elliot chose for this indecisive, timid man epitomizes his character as well as his flaws. J. Alfred Prufrock needs this ranting monologue in order for him to understand the severity of his paralysis and fear of women and society....   [tags: T.S. Elliot]

Better Essays
925 words (2.6 pages)

T.S. Elliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay example

- T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” tells the speaker’s story through several literary devices, allowing the reader to analyze the poem through symbolism, character qualities, and allusions that the work displays. In this way, the reader clearly sees the hopelessness and apathy that the speaker has towards his future. John Steven Childs sums it up well in saying Prufrock’s “chronic indecision blocks him from some important action” (Childs). Each literary device- symbolism, character, and allusion- supports this description....   [tags: symbolism and story analysis]

Better Essays
1115 words (3.2 pages)

The Failings of Mr. And Mrs. Elliot Essay

- The Failings of Mr. And Mrs. Elliot      This cynical look at a less than ideal marriage keeps the reader at a distance. The opening sentence startles in its baldness "Mr. and Mrs. Elliot tried very hard to have a baby" and the second sentence destroys any illusions that the Elliots are enjoying this by stating that "They tried as often as Mrs. Elliot could stand it"(Hemingway 85).   The second paragraph uses one long, oddly convoluted sentence to describe their courtship and subsequent marriage....   [tags: Mr. and Mrs. Elliot Essays]

Better Essays
916 words (2.6 pages)

Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock Essay

- In the poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Elliot, Prufrock is a man that is pessimistic, has low self-esteem, and has much internal conflict. He believes that he isn't good enough for the women of his desire; this theme also becomes a motif.      The epigraph of the poem is an excerpt from Dante's Inferno, in which that the perfect audience could only be someone who would never be allowed into the real world where that person(s) might reveal Prufrock's idiosyncrasies. This of course is impossible so therefore he must settle on a personal reflection, thus creating an interior dialogue....   [tags: T.S. Elliot]

Better Essays
838 words (2.4 pages)

An Analysis of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

-   The editors of anthologies containing T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" invariably footnote the reference to Lazarus as John 11:1-44; rarely is the reference footnoted as Luke 16:19-31. Also, the reference to John the Baptist is invariably footnoted as Matthew 14:3-11; never have I seen the reference footnoted as an allusion to Oscar Wilde's Salome. The sources that one cites can profoundly affect interpretations of the poem. I believe that a correct reading of Eliot's "Prufrock" requires that one cite Wilde, in addition to Matthew, and Luke, in addition to John, as the sources for the John the Baptist and Lazarus being referenced....   [tags: Love Song J. Alfred Prufrock]

Better Essays
1939 words (5.5 pages)

Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay: Time

- Time and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock     Pericles once said "Be ruled by time, the wisest counselor of all." This ruler of the past might not have had the technology of today, but he did not need it to recognize time’s domineering nature over all mankind. No matter what advances man makes, he will never be able to slow down time nor stop it completely; nor it appears will he be able to leap into the past or the future. Time is one thing that man cannot manipulate, instead it manipulates man....   [tags: Love Song J. Alfred Prufrock]

Better Essays
2012 words (5.7 pages)

Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay: An Analysis

- An Analysis of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock The general fragmentation of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is obvious. The poem seems a perfect example of what Terry Eagleton calls the modern "transition from metaphor to metonymy: unable any longer to totalize his experience in some heroic figure, the bourgeois is forced to let it trickle away into objects related to him by sheer contiguity." Everything in "Prufrock" trickles away into parts related to one another only by contiguity....   [tags: Love Song J. Alfred Prufrock Essays]

Better Essays
841 words (2.4 pages)