In The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot, do you think Prufrock is genuinely in love?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot, the narrator of the poem is unreliable in an odd way. He is not untrustworthy in the sense of being imperceptive or deceitful or insane; he perceives the world around him clearly and struggles to find truth in it, but he has a major character flaw of indecisiveness. This appears not only with respect to his actions, but also his judgments and interpretations of his perceptions. In other words, although he has certain feelings about the woman, as well as trying to decide whether to reveal his feelings to her, he also has difficulty trying to assess the precise nature of his own emotions. Prufrock himself is not entirely sure whether this is momentary lust, romantic love, or just loneliness and desire for companionship, and thus part of his ambivalence about expressing his feelings is his own uncertainty as to the nature of the feelings. So even Prufrock himself does not really know if he is genuinely in love or not.


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