What is the relationship between Prufrock`s vision of the world and how the world sees Prufrock in T.S. Eliot`s 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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There is a strong connection in T. S. Eliot`s `The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' between Prufrock's vision of himself and the way he is perceived by others. In many ways, he has very little strength of character or sense of self, and part of his uncertainty about how to act is that rather than having firm beliefs of his own, he is always concerned with how other people might interpret him (e.g. 'would it have been worth it … if one should say…). Thus he is constantly playing a role (cf. the Hamlet analogies) in his social interaction. Other people, however, see his uncertainty, and he recognizes that he is viewed as insecure, and this increases his own insecurity, in a sort of cycle of negative feedback.