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Human Insecurity in T.S Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

Project id 1000862
Subject area Writing
Document type Essay
Words 1391
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Human Insecurity at T.S Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock T.S Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is an assessment of human insecurity and folly, embodied in the title's J. Alfred Prufrock. Eliot's narrative of a man's "overwhelming question", his inability to ask it, and thus, his psychological rejection plays off the poem's most ambiguities, both structural and literal. Eliot uses these doubts to develop both the plot of this poem as well as also the character of J. Alfred Prufrock. The poem's setting is one which conjures up images of vagueness. It is filled with "yellowish fog" and "yellowish smoke", both of which suggest a certain denseness and haziness. Similarly, Prufrock is confronted with a different sort of mist - "perfume from a dress (65) which sends him back into his spiral of insecurity. The importance of Prufrock's "overwhelming question" (ironically, proposing to a woman) is put alongside objects like "tea and cakes and ices (79)" along with various other trivialities such as books, teacups, marmalade and "skirts that trail across the ground(102)". Prufrock's internal, mental world of ideas and queries is separated from his outer, physical world that is composed of material items; it is ironic then, that the material world within the room is the one which is hidden by "...yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window panes/The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window pane (15-16)". Prufrock is trapped in this artificial world, however he is too scared to escape - that he asks himself if he dares "to disturb the world"; and apparently, he does not. The poem can also be ambiguous regarding the identity of Prufrock's audience. Prufrock refers obviously to a "you and I" in the first stanzas of the poem but later...

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