Analysis Of T. S Elliot's The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock

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The piece “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S Elliot is introduced with an epigraph from Dante’s Inferno. Dante’s Inferno is an epic, which depicts the journey of a man named Dante who is guided through the nine levels of hell. The excerpt from the poem is of a scene in which the speaker states that he has no fear and will speak freely of his sins to Dante because nobody who has crossed this far into Hell has ever made it back to earth to spread his story. Elliot has been known to greatly admire The Divine Comedies and reference them to enhance the mood for his own poetry. The purpose of the epigraph is that it reinforces the tones of cynicism and hopelessness as Dante goes through Hell and may never go home again. The poem starts …show more content…
When Prufrock’s voice comes into play, he continually doubts himself and dawdles on socializing. Prufrock commonly repeats the phrase “there will be time” as a rationale his procrastination (4). By doing so, Prufrock becomes an exaggerated embodiment of humanities self-consciousness and need to conform to social norms. He then starts to state “there will be time” and repeat “do I dare?” in which Prufrock evokes an air of self-consciousness (4). He constantly doubts himself like all individuals do, especially in a social setting in which he feels he does not fit this imaginary ideal that society has set up. With his repetition of “do I dare? Do I dare disturb the world?” Prufrock emphasizes that he is unworthy and that his very existence is a disturbance to the world …show more content…
This rapid passing of time fuels the concept of the futility of life. This is delineated with humanities tendency to over-analyze itself and its action in life, an utterly mortal habit. Prufrock is man, on his bad days: questioning himself in how he should act and how others will judge him. One becomes paranoid as to whether others are genuine in their words and actions, or whether they are playing some cruel joke when there is unrestraint pessimism and self-doubt in one’s mind. Despite individuals becoming increasingly self-conscious, society continues to place emphasis on appearance and other hollow values. This debasement of societal values is exactly what makes Prufrock feel like he is “pinned and wriggling on the wall” like a butterfly pinned for examination (5). Increase of shallow values lowers man’s self-value to the point where he does not even want to exist within the world, where one thinks “[I] should have been a pair of ragged claws/Scuttling across the floors of silent seas” (5). The claws are a synecdoche to crabs, which are lowly, simplistic creatures thought to have only two directional movements and to roam, isolated on the ocean floor– unknown and

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