J Alfred Prufrock

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Pages: 5
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Love, Lust or Lackluster Lifestyle? “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” demonstrates the effects of social and economic pressure in the life of a Victorian man. T.S. Eliot shows us, in an ironic monologue, how the reality of age and social position paralyzes his character with fear. The poem opens with six lines from Dante’s “Infernio”. This particular stanza explains that the speaker is in hell and the message can only be …

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…young passionate men. Men whose physical appearance and less stuffy lifestyle will attract the “mermaids”(124). He concedes “I do not think that they will sing to me.”(125) Prufrock leaves us with the thought of how life and society can force us from our dreams and sink us with reality. “We have lingered in the chambers of the sea/ By sea-girls wreathed with seeweed red and brown/ Till human voices wake us, and we drown.”(129-131)