The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

1364 Words Feb 17th, 2015 6 Pages
With particular reference to “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, do you think that Eliot’s employment of symbolism obscures the message of his poetry?

The original title of the poem was “Prufrock Among the Women.” This initial name addresses the message of T.S Eliot’s poetry as it engages with both the fear of rejection and the ephemeral essence of life. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” explores these motifs through a continuous use of symbolism. Despite the fact that for the most part it is allegorical, does the use “of symbolism obscure the message of his poetry?”
J Alfred Prufrock feels incapable of making any decisive action. The dramatic monologue depicts his on-going flow of thoughts, which revolve mainly around life and death and his fear of rejection. Alternatively, it can be argued that T.S Eliot is taking us on a literal journey and letting us, the audience “go and make our visit” travelling to an unknown, yet seedy destination- a specific time and place, uncovering the inequalities within society with genuine intent rather than spouting an uninterrupted flow of thoughts and feelings, which quickly pass through his mind.
The journey begins as the “evening sky” is described as “A patient etherized upon a table”. Prufrock simply cannot appreciate the romance of the evening sky, due to his innate restrictions with women. The symbolic imagery of a patient being etherized on a table suggests Prufrock’s complacency and impotence. Alternatively, the potent…

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