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The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock from T.S. Eliot The verse of the modernist movement is characterized by an emphasis on the alienation of the individual from the wider community in which he or she is. From the works of T. S. Eliot, this alienation is considered to be a symptom of religious and ethical decay in societies, communities, and entire civilizations. Eliot's modernism, that has been strongly influenced by his own transformation on Anglo-Catholicism, is a brutal critique of the pervasive self-obsession of the modern secular world. In any discussion of modernist poetry, it's crucial to remember that technology has been advancing at a rapid pace throughout the beginning of the twentieth century. Mechanical creations, from electric lights and motorcars to indoor pipes, had brought the quality of living in Western cultures into unprecedented heights. At exactly the same time, though, a creation had seen the most cataclysmic carnage of World War I. The "war to end all wars" introduced mankind into machine guns, tanks, and even poison gas. The identical technology which had provided comforts to civilian life had also killed millions in a conflict over scraps of land. Modern man entered the 1920s shell-shocked and questioning what human life was really worth, since it had been proven to be so disposable. In a poem composed at the beginning of World War I, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," T. S. Eliot expresses modern man's feeling of existential isolation, and scorns the narcissism of the era, he sees as a principal cause of this isolation. The first title of the poem is a gruesome joke. "J. Alfred Prufrock" is an increasingly unlikely appellation for one who'd like a love song. The title connotes images of a pedant at a yawn.