Essay On "Love Song Of J.Alfred Prufrock" By Thomas Stearns Eliot.

1075 words - 4 pages

"The Love Song Of J.Alfred Prufrock" is perhaps Thomas Stearns Eliot's most well-known poem; as the epitome of a modern poem. The poem is comprised of text which is the voice of a neurotic, paranoid modern man - Prufrock - who is obssessed with time, mortality, and social conduct. Eliot's meaning in 'Prufrock' is to describe aspects of the Modern world. I will explain how we get this impression of Prufrock and more through Eliot's use of linguistic techniques. Techniques such as symbolism, repetition, rhetorical questions, allusions or intertextual references, metaphors and similes, rhyme, irony and more.Before even reading the poem we're faced with the symbolic title, particularly the word 'Prufrock'. By this Eliot is implying a characteristic of this persona, that he has a sort of prude-in-a-frock effeminancy. The effeminancy is apart of Prufrock's nature so its implication is adding to Eliot's construction of the modern, neurotic individual.Further symbolism is found in the personified cat which in the literal sense is a yellow fog. This cat goes from a high point, 'the windowpanes' to street - 'drains'. Thus it goes through a downward motion, which can be seen to represent Prufrock's mental debasement. This is evident more so as a result of the symbol of the cat; cats are usually associated with feminine qualities. Hence the cat can definately be seen as representing the paranoid, isolated modern man (Prufrock), which is Eliot's meaning.Another example of symbolism is 'I grow old...I grow old...I wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled' where the trousers being rolled is a popular youthful Bohemian fashion that Prufrock is envisioning. Hence the symbol of youth is something Prufrock is adopting to appear youthful. Prufrock also considers parting 'his hair behind' which is symbolically an attempt again to associate himself with youthful icons. From this symbolism we can presume Prufrock is self-conscious and concerned about growing old. Eliot employs this notion of fearing social scrutiny to reflect the modern world which is his meaning or intent.Throughout 'Prufrock' Eliot has used various forms of repetition to create a sense of uncertainty and paranoia. The refrain, 'In the room the women come and go / talking of Michelanglo' is first used in the lines 19 and 20. The phase indicates Prufrock's self-consciousness as the reference to Michelanglo, suggests the women are captivated by a Michelanglo work, which would typically portray the epitome of masculine beauty. Thus Prufrock is made more afraid at the thought these appreciators of beauty laying eyes on the bald, thin and aging Prufrock. Then this refrain is used in lines 41 and 42 significantly showing that even though his mind has moved on to other thoughts, he has yet to solve this problem and is stuck firmly in the present. Eliot describes man's inability to control time in this modern world.A combination of literary devices are used when Metaphorical questions, such as 'how should I...

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