Setting in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" Analytical Essay by Ellie

Setting in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
A discussion on how T.S. Eliot uses setting to evoke mood in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock".
# 54214 | 1,829 words | 0 sources | 2004 | GB
Published on Dec 17, 2004 in Literature (Poetry) , English (Analysis)

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This paper examines the poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" analyzes how Eliot uses setting very effectively. It investigates how every day life can be monotonous, repetitive and without meaning and how Prufrock wants to be able to experience passion and desire but is unable to do so because he feels frightened and self-conscious all the time. It shows how there is a continuous battle between his rational, public self and his real, genuine self and how he is divided.

From the Paper:

"The second and third lines shock the reader because of their unusual imagery that would be out of place in a traditional love poem, describing the setting sunlit sky as looking "like a patient etherised upon a table." This "etherised" outside world is the key to understanding all of Prufrock's views; he is afraid of the increasingly industrialised and impersonal city surrounding him, and he is unsure of what to do and afraid to commit to any particular choice of action. Paralysis is the main theme of the poem. His "love song" implies that he will never be himself outside the inferno of his own mind. This is especially seen in his indecisiveness of asking the "overwhelming question": "Oh, do not ask, "what is it?" Let us go and make our visit." The first stanza then ends with an invitation by Prufrock to join him in his travels through a city that is growing increasingly modern, while Prufrock himself is afraid, or unable, to change with it."

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