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What is the main idea of the poem" the love song" by Alfred Prufrock? what have we...

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udizzle5 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 2, 2010 at 4:46 AM via web

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What is the main idea of the poem" the love song" by Alfred Prufrock? what have we learned about his thoughts about himself?

describe the visuals you saw while reading the poem. && describe Prufrock.

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tanikasarkar | College Teacher | eNoter

Posted May 2, 2010 at 11:08 PM (Answer #1)

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T.S Eliot`s The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock' clinches the disfragmented, disoriented, deserted modern period that emerged in the early years of 20thc. The sensational opening line sums up what Eliot tells of the age and time as if the evening is a patient who is put on a table after anasthesia. The streets are littered with cigarette butt- ends and the smell of roasted meat hovers in the dingy lanes and bylanes of Paris which is also frequented by the strumpets. Prufrock speaks but he is frustrated, lost and doesn`t know what lies ahead. He may be a middle aged person whose speech is pregnant with sexual innuendos. He may be talking to a woman showing his romantic interest on a dull afternoon but he is unable to. This might indicate Prufrock`s inability to live and exit in the similar fashion of Vladimir and Estragon in 'Waiting for Godot' where the latter duo try to exist but sheer nihilism eat them out mentally.

The poem is all about Prufrock`s disillusionment with the society whick becomes rampant when he utters philosophically " I have measured my life with coffe spoons" or "I`m no prophet". Eliot draws Prufrock as a man who is trying to cope with the sordid realities of life but is too much spiritually drained to act in a modernist world.

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copelmat | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted May 3, 2010 at 12:15 AM (Answer #2)

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T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is the monologue of a sexually frustrated middle-aged man with unfulfilled desires and an "overwhelming question" (which is never specifically identified), but the line "Do I dare disturb the universe?" seems to cover all bases. However, we do not know more specifically what Prufrock means.

Lines 37-48 reveal Prufrock in his current state: his thinning hair, skinny arms and legs, his coat drawn tightly up around his chin all suggesting his age and decrepitness. Prufrock is more than aware of his appearance; he laments him age and the current state of his body. Despite his age, Prufrock still imagines a different life, one the challenges himself and his surroundings. Unfortunately, it is never meant to be as he only wait "till human voices wake us, and we drown."

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