The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

This poem is all bout Prufrock’s feelings of inferiority. The poem mainly outlines the how Prufrock is unable to formulate a way of speaking to a woman that he lusts after. This is quite clearly displayed by his constant questioning of, “how should I presume?” Not only does Profrock fail to ever find a way to express himself, but he also excuses his failure to act by professing that there is always more time. Later, however Prufrock must come to terms that time runs out as his hair begins to thin and he becomes more insecure of himself. This overwhelming feeling of inferiority overwhelms Prufrock to the point where he begins to compare himself to a bug pinned to wall labeled and put on display to be grossly examined. The insecure feeling of inferiority only worsens through the poem as Prufrock himself says, “I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas,” here he dehumanizes himself and prefers rather to see himself as a bottom feeder. The overlying message of this poem is that feeling of inferiority can inhibit one from finding the love they desire.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

  1. I completely agree with this message and how Prufock’s inability to speak to his admirer is the downfall to his demise. Alfred has a witty creative mind and should have no problem expressing himself to this women, however when hearing the comments others are making about his inadequacies he experiences a world of sorrow. As time goes on, these treacherous remarks continue to leave a lasting impact on Prufock’s perception. He perceives him to be a pathetic loser and so he prophesizes his own future; resulting in baldness and depression. Morale of story: perception is reality. And this works both for good and devastation. If Prufock showed bravery by approaching his love with bold courage he might not have lived a life of quite desperation.

  2. I believe that this dehumanization goes beyond Prufrock and extends to the world around him. He parallels his own withering away and becoming less than a man with people who are little more than cruel shells of human beings, only showing their cruelty. They are one dimensional, shown in his repetition of the fact that the women he passed by were talking of Michelangelo, as if transfixed upon something that they can not be. This becomes more apparent as the poem progresses and we not only see other people in this terrible light, but also seem to be seeing fewer and fewer people on the half-deserted streets. The question, though, is whether or not this is true, or simply what Prufrock believes them to be. After all, he chose to not go to the party. He arrogantly assumed he’d have more time, and now he has lost his chance to experience the love he so craves and is chastised by the people around him. All in all, great expounditure on the theme of dehumanization.

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