“The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock” By T.S Eliot Advanced English Essay

564 words - 3 pages

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S Eliot is a highly distinguished poem which extensively explores the human condition through a inner dialogue of torment and insecurity.  The Persona of J. Alfred Prufrock is an examination of the tortured psyche of the prototypical modern man who is overeducated, eloquent and emotionally stilted. Through the use of internal dialogue, Eliot has captured the enduring yet fragmented nature of the human soul which evolves through human experience. The epigraph at the beginning of the poem is intertextually connected to Dante’s “inferno”  and acts as an extended metaphor that foreshadows the hellish consequences of inaction. Eliot furthers explores this sense of futility through the use of imperative voice in the statement: “Let us go then, you and I” which ironically reflects Prufrock’s desire for action. This phrase is immediately immobilized by the following line: “ Like a patient etherized upon a table” which reinforces Prufrock’s struggle between action and inaction and his need to release this restlessness through anesthesia. Prufrock’s inactivity is caused by his fear of rejection from both his potential lovers and society itself - this is highlighted in the line “ to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet”  which signifies Prufrock’s acute paranoia of how others see him and of his social paralysis. Although it is evident that Prufrock’s life has been rendered empty - Eliot has emphasised his desire to overcome his inadequacies with the repetition of the phrase “that is not” which amplifies his desire to take a stand and be emphatic. In contrast to the previous definitive statement, Eliot ends the poem with a defeatist tone by listing the pathetic questions that life has to offer...

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