An Explication Of Essay
& # 8220 ; The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock & # 8221 ; Essay, Research PaperExplication of & # 8220 ; The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock & # 8221 ;By: Brian Locey & # 8211 ; California State University FresnoGrade Received: A-In his verse form & # 8220 ; The Love Song of J.
Alfred Prufrock, & # 8221 ; Eliot explores the dateless issues of love and self-awareness & # 8211 ; popular subjects in literature. However, through his usage of Prufrock & # 8217 ; s profound uneasiness he skews the reader & # 8217 ; s outlooks of a & # 8220 ; Love Song & # 8221 ; and takes a serious position on the topic of love, which many writers do, but few can make characters as deep and multi-layered as Prufrock ; likely the ground that this verse form still remains, arguably, Eliot & # 8217 ; s most celebrated.The beginning of the verse form is pre-empted by an extract from Dante & # 8217 ; s Inferno which Eliot uses to make the verse form & # 8217 ; s serious tone, but besides to get down his geographic expedition of Prufrock & # 8217 ; s uneasiness. By infixing this quotation mark, a analogue is created between Prufrock and the talker, Guido district attorney Montefeltro, who is really cognizant of his place in & # 8220 ; snake pit & # 8221 ; and his personal state of affairs refering the destiny of his life. Prufrock feels much the same manner, but his snake pit and the destiny of his life are more in his ain head and have less to make with the people around him. The issue of his destiny leads Prufrock to an & # 8220 ; overpowering inquiry & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; ( 10 ) which is ne’er identified, asked, or answered in the verse form. This & # 8220 ; inquiry & # 8221 ; is associated someway to his mind, but both its ambiguity to the reader and Prufrock & # 8217 ; s denial to even inquire & # 8220 ; What is it? & # 8221 ; ( 11 ) gives some penetration into his province of internal convulsion and inability to ground.Prufrock & # 8217 ; s dissatisfaction in his personal visual aspect is one, but non the most of import of his foibles.
Not merely is he unhappy with the nature of his visual aspect, holding & # 8220 ; To Fix a face to run into the faces that you meet ; & # 8221 ; but he is fearful of what others will hold to state about him: & # 8220 ; ( They will state: ? How his hair is turning thin! & # 8217 ; ) & # 8221 ; ( 41 ) and & # 8220 ; ( & # 8230 ; ? But how his weaponries and legs are thin! & # 8217 ; ) & # 8221 ; ( 44 ) . Prufrock is insecure and frightened of peoples & # 8217 ; reactions to his balding caput and slim, aging organic structure.Unfortunately, his deficiency of assurance International Relations and Security Network & # 8217 ; t limited to his expressions. Prufrock has trouble pass oning with people & # 8211 ; non surprising sing his utmost deficiency of assurance in his visual aspect. He & # 8217 ; s indecisive and unsuccessful in his efforts to pass on with other people, reiterating & # 8220 ; visions and alterations & # 8221 ; ( 33 ) and & # 8220 ; determinations and alterations & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; ( 48 ) . Eliot uses repeat here to stress the construct of Prufrock & # 8217 ; s changes in behaviour & # 8211 ; whether he does alter his behaviour or non is another issue & # 8230 ; most probably he doesn & # 8217 ; T because he besides repeats the inquiry & # 8220 ; ? Do I make bold? & # 8217 ; and, ? Do I make bold? & # 8217 ; & # 8221 ; ( 38 ) . Possibly, he & # 8217 ; s inquiring if he should make bold & # 8220 ; and drop a inquiry on your home base ; & # 8221 ; ( 30 ) intending one of his & # 8220 ; dares & # 8221 ; could be something that he & # 8217 ; vitamin Ds like to inquire a adult female but can & # 8217 ; T ; he besides asks & # 8220 ; Do I dare/ Disturb the existence? & # 8221 ; ( 45-46 ) .
In this instance Eliot uses exaggeration to give the reader the feeling of the earnestness of Prufrock & # 8217 ; s insecurities & # 8211 ; they are his whole & # 8220 ; universe. & # 8221 ; However, this is merely one account where there are a figure of possibilities. Once once more, Eliot uses the device of ambiguity to reflect the internal battle in Prufrock and take the reader to inquire themselves once more & # 8220 ; What is the? overpowering inquiry & # 8217 ; that Prufrock is inquiring? & # 8221 ; Unfortunately even Prufrock himself doesn & # 8217 ; t have the reply & # 8230 ; even acknowledging the issue itself is beyond the simpleness of his head, which he confesses by stating & # 8220 ; I am no prophet- and here & # 8217 ; s no great affair ; & # 8221 ; ( 84 ) .
By understating the importance of the issue, Prufrock echoes his deficiency of dignity. In fact, to Prufrock, the issue is highly of import & # 8211 ; the destiny of his life depends on it.His declaration that he isn & # 8217 ; t a prophesier indicates Prufrock & # 8217 ; s view on his place in society, which he is as baffled about as everything else. To come in a small history: Eliot wrote this verse form during a clip in which societal imposts, particularly in Europe, were still a really of import issue. There were fundamentally two categories & # 8211 ; rich and hapless, neither of which Prufrock truly fits into. Eliot creates the thought of Prufrock being caught between the two categories in the really beginning of the verse form, ( if non by J. Alfred Prufrock & # 8217 ; s unusual pompous/working category sounding name ) when he juxtaposes the images of & # 8220 ; ungratified darks in one-night inexpensive hotels/ And sawdust eating houses with oyster-shells & # 8221 ; ( 4-5 ) and the adult females who & # 8220 ; come and travel Talking of Michelangelo.
& # 8221 ; ( 13-14 ) . These two images represent two wholly different ways of life. The first image is of a dingy life style & # 8211 ; populating among the & # 8220 ; half-deserted streets & # 8221 ; ( 4 ) while the 2nd is the life style that Prufrock longs to be associated with & # 8211 ; much like the image of Michelangelo & # 8217 ; s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel where God and Adam & # 8217 ; s custodies are about affecting, but non rather. While Prufrock doesn & # 8217 ; t belong to either of these two categories wholly, he does hold features of both. He claims to be & # 8220 ; Full of high sentence ; but a spot obtuse & # 8221 ; while & # 8220 ; At times, so, about ridiculous- & # 8221 ; ( 117-118 ) . Bing the foreigner that he is, Prufrock will non be accepted by either category ; even though he can clearly do the differentiation between the two and acknowledge their members: & # 8220 ; I know the voices deceasing with a deceasing fall/ Beneath the music from a farther room. & # 8221 ; ( 52-53 ) . This Shakespearian allusion ( Twelfth Night ( 1.
1.4 ) & # 8211 ; & # 8220 ; If music be the nutrient of love, drama on & # 8230 ; That strain once more! It had a deceasing fall. & # 8221 ; ) suggests that Prufrock is merely out of range of the group of people that he wishes to be associated with in life and love, but most likely his feelings of insignificance prevent him from tie ining with anyone at all.He sees himself as a alone & # 8220 ; specimen & # 8221 ; of nature, in a category all by himself & # 8211 ; & # 8220 ; And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin/ When I am pinned and writhing on the wall, & # 8221 ; ( 57-58 ) . This image suggests that non merely is he an object for guess, but he is trapped in that function ; a state of affairs which he is evidently unhappy with but has no thought how to change ; he asks himself, “Then how should I begin” ( 59 ) . At this point in the verse form, Prufrock is get downing to experience particularly detached from society and burdened by his consciousness of it.
He thinks “I should hold been a brace of ragged claws/ Scuttling across the floors of soundless seas.” Eliot non merely uses imagination here to make a image of a headless crab scurrying about at the underside of the ocean, but he uses the signifier of the verse form itself to assist stress his point here. The caput is detached from the crab, and the lines are detached from the verse form in their ain stanza, much like Prufrock wishes his self-consciousness would merely “detach” itself.
This construct is echoed in the really following stanza when he says, “Though I have seen my caput ( grown somewhat bald ) brought in/ upon a platter, ” ( 83 ) , an allusion to the decapitation of John the Baptist by Princess Salome. These two headless images represent Prufrock’s desire to be rid of his uneasiness ( evidently in his caput ) and perchance some suicidal inclinations which can be tied into merely about all of the equivocal inquiries Prufrock asks of himself throughout the verse form.Prufrock & # 8217 ; s series of inquiries can besides be tied into his unsuccessful efforts at relationships with adult females. His insecurities keep him from making the things he wants to make ; he feels unequal and unable to show his true feelings to adult females, & # 8220 ; Should I, after tea and bars and ices, / Have the strength to coerce the minute to its crisis? & # 8221 ; ( 79-80 ) . He knows what he wants to state, but doesn & # 8217 ; t have the assurance or mental capacity to set his feelings into words. He compares himself to Hamlet, & # 8220 ; No! I am non Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be ; & # 8221 ; ( 111 ) , who, in contrast, was able to show his feelings really successfully to his lover & # 8211 ; an ability which Prufrock is covetous of, characterized by his emphasized & # 8220 ; No! & # 8221 ; He is besides outguessing himself invariably throughout the verse form: & # 8220 ; Do I make bold? & # 8221 ; ( 38 ) , & # 8220 ; So how should I assume? & # 8221 ; ( 54 ) and & # 8220 ; Then how should I get down & # 8221 ; ( 59 ) are all inquiries Prufrock repetitions to himself during his soliloquy. His feelings of insufficiency toward adult females are non merely related to his visual aspect and deficiency of mental strength, but to the transition of clip and its consequence on him.Throughout the verse form, Prufrock struggles with the construct of clip.
He tries to maintain reassuring himself that & # 8220 ; so there will be clip & # 8221 ; ( 23 ) , an allusion to a love narrative ( Andrew Marvell & # 8211 ; To His Coy Mistress & # 8211 ; & # 8220 ; Had we but universe sufficiency and time. & # 8221 ; ) which suggests that Prufrock frights that he will in fact non hold clip for love before the prime of his life is over. His compulsion with the transition of clip is characterized by its repeat throughout the verse form, particularly the beginning of the verse form. Eliot uses clip as a tool to determine Prufrock & # 8217 ; s complicated, disturbed mind into the signifier of a mid-life crisis. Prufrock keeps guaranting himself that, & # 8220 ; so, there will be clip & # 8221 ; to make all of the things he wants to make in his life, but foremost he must come to footings with his insecurities. However, his insecurities are related to his ripening and the transition of clip, so he is genuinely a tragic, doomed character. This is non to state, nevertheless, that Prufrock is incognizant of the connexion between clip, his ripening, and his unsuccessful effort at a societal life & # 8230 ; on the contrary, he claims that he & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; measured out his life with java spoons, & # 8221 ; ( 51 ) a true testament to the self-proclaimed insignificance of his life. Prufrock claims that & # 8220 ; I have known them all already, known them all- & # 8221 ; ( 49 ) mentioning to the & # 8220 ; eventides, forenoons, and afternoons & # 8221 ; ( 50 ) of his life which he has seen base on balls by, insignificantly.
He besides says & # 8220 ; And I have known the eyes already, known them all- & # 8221 ; ( 55 ) and & # 8220 ; I have known the weaponries already, known them all- & # 8221 ; ( 61 ) which illustrate both his failure with and fright of adult females. Ironically, Prufrock dreams of stating: & # 8220 ; I am Lazarus, come from the dead, / Come back to state you all, I shall state you all & # 8221 ; ( 94-95 ) , a scriptural allusion to Lazarus, an aged adult male brought back to life by Jesus & # 8211 ; unluckily for Prufrock, even if his dream came true, he still wouldn & # 8217 ; t cognize what to state them all, or how. Prufrock echoes the old platitude & # 8220 ; Ah & # 8230 ; to be immature once more ; and cognize so what I know now. & # 8221 ; Unfortunately for Prufrock, it will take a miracle to do him either younger or give him the cognition he seeks. Eliot doesn & # 8217 ; t give any sense of hope for him in the verse form & # 8211 ; he remains a doomed character until the really terminal. Prufrock even admits that he has & # 8220 ; seen the minute of my illustriousness spark, & # 8221 ; ( 84 ) & # 8211 ; a victim of clip and natural choice.
Prufrock & # 8217 ; s connexion to nature and the rhythm of life is besides an of import factor in understanding his province of head. In the 3rd stanza, Eliot creates an image of xanthous fog, linking Prufrock & # 8217 ; s consciousness and emotions to nature in a lazy, animal-like manner. This connexion echoes non merely the insignificance of Prufrock & # 8217 ; s emotional province in a & # 8220 ; natural universe & # 8221 ; context, but the futility of Prufrock & # 8217 ; s attempts should he seek to postulate with Mother Nature and alter his behaviour & # 8211 ; associating to Prufrock & # 8217 ; s feeling of entrapment and inability to alter his state of affairs. He wishes to himself, alternatively, that he could be a mindless crab, scampering around the underside of the ocean ; another illustration of Prufrock & # 8217 ; s feeling of his place in the natural universe & # 8211 ; seldom comparing himself to existent people. In fact, in his dream sequence at the terminal when he imagines how his life might stop up, he envisions himself as an ocean animal, surrounded by mermaids & # 8220 ; Till human voices wake us, and we drown. & # 8221 ; Once once more, Eliot disconnects Prufrock from the existent universe.
Even though Prufrock & # 8217 ; s phantasies to be a crab, swim with the mermaids, be immature once more like Lazarus, talk to adult females about Michelangelo with the poise and fluency of Hamlet, slink around the metropolis like a lazy yellow fog, and hold his caput chopped off like John the Baptist give him a withdrawal from his daily concerns about love and ripening, he will ne’er halt tormenting himself seeking to calculate out that & # 8220 ; overpowering question. & # 8221 ; The lone hope that Eliot gives the reader out of this verse form is the hope that we don & # 8217 ; t stop up like Prufrock.