"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
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This paper examines how T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" describes how the impossibility of creating a certain identity of self leads to an unbearable alienation and isolation in the individual. The paper then looks at how the character of Prufrock exists within a world of other people who remain eternally distant from him due to his inability to communicate himself to others and how the impossibility of knowing himself without a relationship to others creates a dynamic wherein there exists no certainty to draw upon to form an identity.
From the Paper:"The opening of the poem introduces the reader to the fact that they are about to undertake a grim journey with Prufrock. The introductory quote lifted from Dante's Inferno, which describes an interaction with a man who cannot speak through his mouth and is sure his words will never be heard outside hell, parallels Prufrock's invitation to witness the broken landscape of his soul. Like Guido's tale, living ears shall never hear this 'love song'. The invitation to "Let us go" (Eliot, l. 1,12) is repeated to emphasize the fact that, though conveyed to the reader through words, these are images and emotions glimpsed within the narrator himself. Prufrock's inability to adequately communicate his speechlessness through speech is the cause of his isolation; therefore the reader is implored not to ask of the overwhelming question and as such not to engage Prufrock in speech. "
Sample of Sources Used:
- Eliot, T.S. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", in The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Jahan Ramazani, ed., third edition, vol. 1, W.W. Norton & Co. Ltd., New York, 2003, pp. 463-466.
- Marvell, Andrew. "To His Coy Mistress", in The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Damrosch, David, ed., second compact edition, vol.A, New York: Longman, 2004. pg.855.
- Shakespeare, William. "Twelfth Night; or, What You Will". in The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Damrosch, David, ed., second compact edition, vol.A, NewYork: Longman, 2004. pg.743.
Cite this Poem Review:
"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (2008, March 30) Retrieved April 21, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/poem-review/the-love-song-of-j-alfred-prufrock-102588/
""The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"" 30 March 2008. Web. 21 April. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/poem-review/the-love-song-of-j-alfred-prufrock-102588/>