He too is lost in indecisiveness and loneliness and they share what Eliot identifies in the character of Hamlet, “it is the buffoonery of emotion which can find no outlet in action” (The Sacred Wood 93). In concert with the Modernism movement of literature in the early decades of the 20th century, T. S. Eliot was a British writer whose works functioned as social commentary.

Prufrock’s claims of not being a “prophet” and that this is “no great matter” implies that his role is devoid of any relevance. In The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock it is evident that Eliot applies the principles that he has set out in his essays concerning tradition and culture by constantly alluding to various literary texts and myths that he juxtaposes with the moral decay of the industrial landscape in which Prufrock is trapped as he is taking a walk down “streets that follow like a tedious argument/ of insidious intent” (1.8-9) Even though Eliot would probably disagree with equating Prufrock with himself, it is evident that the poem is an internal monologue of an artist and his concerns so it is possible to understand his own reflections about life as an artist living in an impersonal and threating city. The most important role that tradition can have in the present is being a source of wisdom and knowledge that can provide answers relevant to the present if people learn to use and apply this ancient wisdom that has been passed down to them through art. Yet as lucid as the allusion and parallel may be, it’s implication is just as mysterious. The image of Prufrock “pinned and wriggling on the wall” creates an image of him being totally exposed and on display. This prison is a coward’s prison. This complete union is elaborated upon when Eliot remarks that, “Here the impossible union/ Of spheres of existence is actual.”. Upon further consideration, though, even this thought of impact on the world around him is stripped as he says that he would probably be ‘almost ridiculous’ and in the last line resigns to the fact that he would probably only be ‘the Fool’ (119). Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. Could culture that he considers a haven actually be his own hell? The initially-presented forms that the narrators take also offer strong contrasts. In his 2013 book Levels of Life, Barnes tells us that he contemplated suicide, his preferred method being “a hot bath a glass of wine and an exceptionally sharp Japanese carving knife,”[4] the same method used by Adrian in The Sense of an Ending.

Overall, T.S. An “unreliable narrator” is defined as “a narrator whose credibility has been seriously compromised. Similarly, Prufrock grapples with the futility of human existence as he questions whether partaking into society’s superficial standards is even “worth it at all” (line 87).

Copyright © 1999 - 2020 GradeSaver LLC. He describes the "evenings, mornings, afternoons" (50), and the odd order gives us pause. [8]” Certainly he is set up in a way that we expect as an unreliable narrator of “history.” Tony’s own description is that his story will be “a few incidents that have grown into anecdotes… approximate memories which time has deformed into certainty.” [S 4] Yet Barnes also signals we should mistrust any narrator whose own story is obscured, since “we need to know the history of the historian in order to understand the version that is being put in front of us.” [S 12] Both Nick and Tony are brief about their own lives, Tony saying “I met Margaret, we married and 3 years later Susie was born.” [S 54]. The jaggedness of Eliot’s early poetry reflects that all is not at peace in the world. Ink on 2 24 x 48 inches wood boards. The reader must recognize that what the texts promise is not always what they achieve.

libby. The singing of mermaids is often associated with using femininity to draw masculine men seeking pleasure to their dooms, but Prufrock is so emotionally sterile that his lack of masculinity offers nothing to the mermaids; he is not even worthy of being killed.

“I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each” (124), Prufrock observes. The 14 lines of a Shakespearean sonnet are made up of ?

Yet at the same time the tremendous amount of ambiguity gives the reader the license and responsibility to construct their own psychological, rational feelings about the poem. This idea of wearing a face is perhaps a direct allusion to Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung and his idea of a “persona.” Jung describes a persona as being “a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual” (Jung, 190). The poem goes on:Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee,Not untwist, – slack they may be‹these last strands of man (1-2)Each phrase seems an independent phrase at odds with those surrounding.

The social world is simply a world that Prufrock cannot be comfortable in. Prufrock states that he has time but yet knows he does not, and furthermore, to add insult to injury, he doesn’t commit to any action. In this excerpt from the “Dry Salvages”, however, the metrical change is used to emphasize how the salt and the fog and the howl are all really one; are part of the ‘many voices’. A further irony unfolds in Prufrock's use of the word "presume." Characterize the tone of Eliot’s "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock?". This question is mentioned in various stanzas ranging from the first stanza, “…of insidious intent to lead you to an overwhelming question…oh, do not, ask, ‘What is it?’” to the end of the poem, “…to have squeezed the universe into a ball to roll it towards some overwhelming question…” It is followed by his own assumption that if he does ask this question, he will be reject vehemently by the asked, “And would it have been worth it, after all. The Sacred Wood; Essays on Poetry and Criticism.

. the speaker most likely refers to himself as "pinned and wriggling to imply that he is a. eager to move on with his life b. held captive by his own lifestyle … This technique is particularly effective in “Prufrock” because his own inability to say anything new is contrasted to the constant barrage of new images in his surroundings.

He can dream of existing with these creatures, until the reality of it all hits him. In these 3 stanzas he has taken himself from a consideration of himself on the grandest scale, as Hamlet, to himself on the most pitiful scale. He argues that instead of separating itself from the days of the past as originally thought, American society has changed very little, with distinct social boundaries remaining, presented in The Great Gatsby as the contrast between East Egg, “…the white palaces of fashionable East Egg” [G 8][3] and the Valley of Ashes, “where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens.” [G 21] Here, East Egg shows how the social elite remains secure thanks to the wealth of its ancestors. Gatsby is presented by Nick as a kind of god, “He stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way” [G 20], someone people should worship because of his ‘rags to riches’ life: “Mr Nobody from Nowhere” [G 103] becoming great is the embodiment of the American Dream. The most crucial aspect of the selection is that the reader can see and feel the pathetic state of Prufrock. Daniel is called to interpret this message and tells the king it is a sign of his coming downfall. The word ‘Despair’, which is so significant in describing this new state, is set off from the surrounding verse with commas. The fear of what could have happened was simply too great.

It follows, what seems like, the typical evening with Mr. Prufrock. Eliot obliquely uses the same technique in “Prufrock” to define his own sterility. The artist feels trapped behind the mask that he is forced to wear because everyone around him seems to be distant and pretentious, “There will be time, there will be time/ To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;” (4.4-5). This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. Fear was on every side.”. Special offer for LiteratureEssaySamples.com readers. His decisions are futile because of the understanding that any decision that he makes can easily be reversed in the next moment.This futility is reflected by his constant repetition of words and phrases. 82-84). Print. This might suggest a certain stubbornness which could be caused by his anxiety and nervousness. He does not know how to act and fears being exposed.
The repetition of the image of him weeping in these lines further amplifies his lack of masculinity as defined by societal standards.
With the ‘and’ Hopkins paratactically places the juices or beauty of nature as parallel and simultaneous with his own joy. And I have known the arms already, known them all— Arms that are braceleted and white and bare [But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!] He is paralyzed by the fear of social criticism: And I have known the eyes already, known them all –. One of the most left field and significant of these is when he remarks he “should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas.” This line has no real meaning and does not connect to anything going on in the rest of it. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” begins with an epigraph from Dante’s Inferno. (In fact, Eliot's repeating line about Michelangelo is a somewhat parodic nod to a similar line by Laforgue about the masters of the Sienne school.) The ‘fog that rubs its back’, ‘rubs its muzzle’ and ‘licked its tongue’ suggests animalisation of maybe a bear which seems to be a strange comparison to fog but one which the speaker is clearly happy to carry through three lines.

In the beginning of this stanza he mentions that there will be time to wonder, to ask questions such as ‘Do I dare?’ But there does not appear to be time for thinking in the midst of the racing thoughts of the world around him. This notion reveals Prufrock’s flawed belief that acceptance and desirability in society are synonymous. By saying that he is not deserving to be Hamlet, Prufrock is affirming himself as even less decisive than a character whose sole purpose is to be indecisive. He always meant to say what had been plaguing him. The President refuses to see the handwriting on the wall (= that he will soon be defeated). Even though he too knows this feeling and in his effort to learn from the past has considered assuming the role of such a savior, he admits: “Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in /upon a platter/ I am no prophet-and here’s no great matter” (11.8-10). His own slow question “Do I dare/ Disturb the universe?” was in contrast to the racing lines that came before because he was at odds with the people described before. Prufrock is so complacent that he describes mermaids as ignoring to sing to him. He wishes for them to sing their song to him.

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