illustration of a woman holding a glass of wine and a man, Prufrock, standing opposite her

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

by T. S. Eliot

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How does 'The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock' reflect certain themes that characterize its own time?

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The main theme of this poem that is particularly relevant to its own time is the emptiness of urban life. The urban landscape is shown to be monotonous, with street upon street and 'sawdust' restaurants which give the impression of dryness and sterility. Prufrock's actual life in this urban environment is similarly dry and stale; he appears to be bored almost to death with the daily round of dressing up for tea, going to visit neighbours and having to make small talk. The sense of the increasing artificiality and consequent emptiness of modern urban life was a favourite theme of writers at the dawn of the twentieth century, when this poem was written.

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