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Characterize the tone of Eliot’s "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock?"

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vgz1116 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted October 3, 2011 at 7:48 AM via web

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Characterize the tone of Eliot’s "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock?"

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 3, 2011 at 8:18 AM (Answer #1)

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The speaker in Eliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is certainly feeling alone. The words chosen for the poem distinctly depict a person feeling forlorned and isolated.

Here are the most prominent words which depict the tone in the poem: etherized, deserted, dying, digress, lonely, silent, tired, wept, old, and drown.

The most prominent fact in regards to the poems lonely tone is the usage of "us" in the first stanza. One could initially believe that the speaker is talking to another person, but the fact is that he is speaking to himself. This solidifies the loneliness that the speaker is feeling.

The speaker is certainly feeling as if his (assumptive based upon Eliot being a man) life is completely uncertain. He knows he is growing older, and that fact scares him. Therefore, his tone (the speaker's ) seems to be one in which he has lost hope in life and finding another person to share his life with.


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