Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock : Representation of Modern Man
Often called the first Modernist poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” was published in the prestigious American journal Poetry in June 1915.
About the Poem: The poem centers on the feelings and thoughts of the eponymous speaker (the somewhat neurotic Prufrock) as he walks through the streets of London route to meet a woman for tea. He is considering a question (perhaps, broadly, the meaning of life, or, more narrowly, a proposal of marriage). Far more than just the “love song” of a romantic, agonized young man, the poem explores the Modernist alienation of the individual in society. Thomas Stearns Eliot, 1888 – 1965
Born into a prosperous Midwestern family, Eliot attended Harvard and then went …show more content…
Among the feelings that Prufrock expresses in this poem, no feeling comes across more clearly than his feeling of restlessness and wasted time. We get the feeling that Prufrock, who is aging, would do things differently if given another chance. In lines 49-54, Prufrock asserts his overall boredom with life. He says he has "known them all already, known them all-have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons". From this we can infer that Prufrock seems to feel as if his life is over and he has no more to offer. He makes statements similar to this throughout the poem. He proclaims to have known "the eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase" and the "arms that are bracleted and white and bare". We get more of a sense of Prufrock's disillusionment of life with his many references to time. In lines 24-34, he claims there is time to "meet faces", "murder and create", have a "hundred indecisions" and a "hundred visions and revisions".
It is not as though Prufrock is doing this in a hopeful manner, though. Instead we get the impression that he is reflecting on time as if it is plentiful only if you take advantage of it and perhaps