It is clear that Prufrock is neurotic. However, I can't pinpoint specific lines that show neurosis.I need about 10 such quotes. can you help?It is clear that Prufrock is neurotic. However, I can't...

It is clear that Prufrock is neurotic. However, I can't pinpoint specific lines that show neurosis.I need about 10 such quotes. can you help?

It is clear that Prufrock is neurotic. However, I can't pinpoint specific lines that show neurosis.I need about 10 such quotes. can you help?

Asked on by mis001

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James Kelley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

This question is a lot of fun!

I suggest that you begin by making sure that you have a solid grasp of the term “neurosis.” You’ll find your search for examples much easier if you know what you’re looking for!

The Wikipedia link below gives a list that may prove helpful:

According to Dr. George Boeree, effects of neurosis can involve:

...anxiety, sadness or depression, anger, irritability, mental confusion, low sense of self-worth, etc., behavioral symptoms such as phobic avoidance, vigilance, impulsive and compulsive acts, lethargy, etc., cognitive problems such as unpleasant or disturbing thoughts, repetition of thoughts and obsession, habitual fantasizing, negativity and cynicism, etc. Interpersonally, neurosis involves dependency, aggressiveness, perfectionism, schizoid isolation, socio-culturally inappropriate behaviors, etc.

Prufrock seems to be exhibiting many of these effects.

“Low sense of self-worth” is all over the place in the poem. See, for example, the most famous line: “Do I dare / Disturb the universe.” Or look at one of the closing lines, about the mermaids: “I do not think that they will sing to me.”

“Repetition of thoughts and obsession” might be seen in the poem’s structure, with all the repeated words and phrases.

 “Habitual fantasizing” is probably there, too, perhaps in the lines about the women who "come and go."

“Phobic avoidance” might be seen in the line “Do I dare to eat a peach?” (That line still puzzles me a little, but I've heared people explain it as the speaker’s fear that he will choke on the fruit’s pit.)

I hope that these suggestions get you started. Enjoy the search!

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