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What is a universal theme that is carried throughout T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J....

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hippiedreaminn | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:18 PM via web

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What is a universal theme that is carried throughout T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"?

also give two examples from the work that illustrate this theme.

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 23, 2012 at 2:48 PM (Answer #1)

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One central and universal theme that runs throughout T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred  Prufrock” is that of how the fragmentation of modern society leads to fear and uncertainty in individuals. While in older rural cultures, everyone knew their place and how they were expected to interact with other people, in the impersonal modern city of London, no such certainties exist. Thus Prufrock is constantly indecisive and uncertain, asking himself such questions as whether he should wear his hair a certain way, whether he should dare ask a woman out,  and he suffers “… a hundred visions and revisions/Before the taking of a toast and tea.“. It is this lack of certainty in social and moral structures that creates the character of the narrator, with his brokenness reflecting the dissociation of the sensibilities and fracturing of the modern world.

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