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Analysis of a poem - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”: Analysis “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is a modernist poem by T. S. Eliot, written in 1915. It takes the form of a monologue and follows a very unconventional style. There are traditional rhyming couplets, alternating with modern free verse…
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Analysis of a poem
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Download file to see previous pages Even the title is misleading, as the poem is not a love song in the typical meaning of the genre. The narrator is J. Alfred Prufrock. It is clear that he is addressing his love. At the same time, Prufrock devotes more time to introspection, and dream-like imagery than to his love. The tense of the poem is continuously changing, with the past, present and future merging into one narrative. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” demonstrates Prufrock’s aspiration to declare his love, his fear of rejection and his deep regret over his lost opportunity. (Thesis). “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” begins on a note of aspiration as the narrator adopts the hopeful tone of the traditional suitor. He invites his love to a romantic walk, telling her, “Let us go then, you and I, / When the evening is spread out against the sky” (7/8). As the poem winds its way through different paths, the narrator returns at intervals to the subject of his love. This love for the woman he addresses in the poem is demonstrated in the form of references to her arms, as seen under the light of the evening lamps, or as the fragrance of the perfume she wears on her dress: “Arms that are braceleted and white and bare/ (But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)/ Is it perfume from a dress/ That makes me so digress?” (68-71). ...
He sees himself as an outsider who is superficially in the company of the woman he addresses but not a vital part of her life. He is always outside the lively music which others hear. He professes his intention to the reader, saying that he wants to ask the lady something significant: “To lead you to an overwhelming question...” (16). However, Prufrock fears to declare his intentions. Although he constantly refers to his desire to declare his feelings to the woman he addresses, Prufrock remains indecisive, fearing rejection. He keeps procrastinating and insists that there is “Time for you and time for me, / And time yet for a hundred indecisions,” (37/38). It soon becomes clear to the reader that the reason for this indecisiveness is Prufrock’s fear of rejection. He fears that he will be subject to close examination and made to feel like a biological specimen. He is tortured by doubts as to the correct approach, and repeatedly wonders, “And should I then presume? / And how should I begin?” (74/75). He cannot summon up the courage to dare address the woman. He ascends and descends the stairs, fears to upset the status quo and remains in suspended animation. In fact, in a very revealing picture of vulnerability, Prufrock compares himself to a crab, saying “I should have been a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of silent seas” (79/80). He is afraid to expose his feelings, fearing rejection. His confidence is further undermined by his fear that he may have misinterpreted the woman’s signals of love. What if she should say: “That is not what I meant at all; / That is not it, at all.” (109/110). In all this procrastination, the opportunity to declare his love slips by and is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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