One aspect of Prufrock's character that stands out in T. S. Eliot's iconic poem is his attitude towards aging and mortality. This theme is found in imagery throughout the poem, including the first stanza after the epigraph from Dante's poem "The Inferno." "The Inferno" conjures images of hellfire, but the poem ends with images of drowning. This suggests an attempt by Eliot to let his poem come full circle and show life as a cycle, or a series of cycles, that repeat endlessly with death being an inevitable part of that cycle.
One passage in particular speaks to the narrator's ambivalence and possible fear of growing old:
"I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me."
Prufrock believes doing things to make him appear youthful (rolling his...
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