The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot

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How would you describe the poem's frequent use of fragmentation in relation to Prufrock's nature?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Prufrock is timid and unable to find a satisfying place in his culture to achieve his creative potential. He is also depressed, as indicated early in the poem when he compares the sky to a patient etherized on a table.

Depressed people often can't concentrate and have fragmented thoughts. But beyond that, Prufrock's nature seems to be that of a person who is unable to strike out decisively in any one direction. He keeps hesitating. And while he dithers, time keeps passing. He is aware of this but keeps reassuring himself that

There will be time, there will be time . . . .

He uses the word "time" frequently, but the bald spot on his head and the fact he is tired and jaded from his endless round of parties indicates he is middle-age and his time is running out.

The fragmented quality of the poem is also reflected in the line

Do I dare
with the line stopping there. What does Prufock dare? Apparently, nothing. He continues by asking if he dares
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 672 words.)

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