Please provide a close reading analysis of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."

Expert Answers
pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is a modernistic poem with a monologue by the narrator, it is very dramatic and personal.   The poem has to do with a man, Alfred J. Prufrock and the fact that he is going to meet a woman for tea and intends to pose a serious question to her, will you marry me.  Except that Alfred never makes it to the tea, and never asks the woman. 

"Prufrock's doubt that he deserves the answer he desires from this woman transforms the poem into a kind of interior monologue or soliloquy in which "To be or not to be?" is for Prufrock "To be what?" and "What or who am I to ask this woman to marry me?"

Alfred's life is empty, he is unhappy, but too spiritually exhausted to make any significant changes to it.

Themes include loneliness, alienation, and indecision.

"This poem (exclusive of the epigraph) is structured into four sections, with each section separated by an ellipsis, a mark used in conventional punctuation to indicate an omission, but used here to signal either time passing between thoughts relevant to the subject under consideration, or information considered too obvious to be included."

"Eliot also found repetition useful to establish rhythms of ideas as well as sound rhythms. Note the repetition of the word "time" in the two stanzas beginning "And indeed there will be time...." in the first section."

Read the study guide:
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question