Theme Of Isolation In The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock

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Similarly to how sexual isolation pushes Prufrock farther away from people, Eliot uses nature images to increase the feeling of isolation. The nature imagery in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is stunningly beautiful; yet at the same time, it indicates isolation. In the third full stanza, a metaphor of a yellow fog that sounds like a cat is used. Cats only make themselves visible when they want something, otherwise they tend to be alone. Both fog and cats can come and go at any point unannounced and are independent, so the image adds a measure of isolation beyond what one would normally feel: The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into
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DiMaggio, using a fourteenth century anonymously written text titled The Cloud of Unknowing, which was written to help the isolated person in life find connections, introduces the idea that isolation stems from a frustration with being unable to connect with other people. DiMaggio makes this comment, “And the way the poem’s narrator seeks such connections in a world clouded by [isolation], mirrors the journey (and frustration) that the…seeker undergoes in The Cloud of Unknowing” (“the Yellow Fog” 37). For Prufrock, his ability to make connections does not improve, so his isolation will not …show more content…
Eliot uses the image of a crab on the ocean floor. Crabs seem usually found one at a time, never in large groups. Eliot uses the following lines to describe what Prufrock thinks he should be. “I should have been a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.” (ll. 73-74). Rather than make a comparison to a fish in a school, or a horse as part of a herd, Prufrock wishes he was a crab in a silent sea. Stating he wants the sea to be empty shows he wants to be alone. Why would somebody who is spending a whole poem talking about people and activities that involve multiple people, wish to be a crab all alone in an empty sea? By comparing himself to the crab in the silent sea, Prufrock shows how isolated he really is and that he is in no rush to end his isolation. Still consisting of physical isolation like in “Prufrock”, Eliot writes the poem “Rhapsody on a Windy Night,” which is about a single person traveling through city streets passing the night alone. The images that Eliot uses in this poem have very effective objective correlatives to isolation. Eliot’s use of both the narrator’s conversation with the street-lamps and the time of night shows this

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