The Worries Of Aging Essay

893 words - 4 pages

T. S. Eliot's poem "The love song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is quite a lengthy poem for the novice poetry reader, which consists of some 130 lines. Yet, it is the poem's mass that enables the rookie to discern the theme at length. In the beginning and later towards the ending of the poem, the narrator seems to be daydreaming, using a lot of imagery to portray fun or pretty places of solitude, which makes the stanzas ambiguous. In the center of the poem the narrator describes his human feelings towards the surrounding people and objects; here is where a logical connection can be grasped. The narrator is preoccupied with the passing of time and often thinks of tranquil, imaginary places to elude his plaguing thoughts of social ostracism. The theme of this poem, suggesting from the era of time and the narrator's tone, is that age is a burden and man is deeply troubled by it. The author is stating the trouble the narrator is having dealing with middle age and the inhibition to communicate. There are several meanings in the poem that suggest this. Eliot uses the words, "And how should I begin?" and "How should I presume?" repetitiously. This shows the narrator is unconfident with himself mentally and physically. Lines 41 and 44, "(They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!")", and "(They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!")" indicates he is terrified of what will happen if people see his balding head or his slim and aging body. He feels that people will think he is old and useless and that they will talk about him behind his back. Another suggestion of aging and how it anguishes the emotions is the stereotype old men have of faltering when trying to communicate ideas with people. The repetition of words the narrator uses like "vision and revision", illustrates his feelings of inadequacy in communicating with the people around him. Moreover, his insecurity and low self-esteem obscures his love life greatly. It hinders him from doing the things he wishes to do. The woman he is in love with is younger than he is and this is emotionally painful for him. He does not believe that some younger women could possibly accept him or find him attractive. To express any kind of affection or attraction toward her is awkward and difficult for him. Lines 79-80, "Should I, after tea and cakes and ices, have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?" reflects how he suppresses an urge to express affection....

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