Analysis of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot is a poem I would not recommend anyone still trying to hang on to his or her youth. T. S. Eliot’s poem, about a man named J. Alfred Prufrock, is a pessimistic poem looking at the seemingly wasted life of an aging man. The poem is told from the viewpoint of a very sad man named J. Alfred Prufrock. The poem takes place in the city of St. Louis, which T. S. Eliot does not portray in a very good light. T. S Eliot’s creation of a depressing mood, powerful metaphors, and the character of J. Alfred Prufrock all result in a very disheartening poem, not enjoyable to the middle-aged reader, especially male readers. T. S. Eliot creates an uneasy mood from the very beginning. The first stanza of
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In these lines, he says all he has to offer these women are the cigarette butts of his life. Eliot continues to characterize Prufrock to be pitiful man. In the following stanzas, T. S. Eliot continues to emphasize the aging aspect of J. Alfred Prufrock. “I have seen my moment of greatness flicker, (l. 84).” This is truly depressing because now we see that at some point Prufrock could have been great, but now he is watching that moment slip away. “And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, (l. 85).” The eternal Footman is death and not only is he coming for Prufrock, he ‘snickers’ at him. This idea of death snickering at an old man is not something an elderly reader would like to picture. In the subsequent stanzas, J. Alfred Prufrock wonders if it would have been worth it. “If one, settling a pillow by her head, / Should say: “That is not what I meant at all. / That is not it at all” (l.96-98).” He ponders if he had had the courage to go talk to the women and establish a connection would it be worth should she roll over in bed and say that is not what she meant at all. Despite the initial connection the woman would still reject Prufrock. In the next stanza, T. S. Eliot takes the situation one step further and has Prufrock in a marriage, “After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled street, / After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—(l. 101-102).” Again, T. S. Eliot employs the poetic device of