In lines 15-25 of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufock," what is being indirectly compared to what? How many details extend the metaphor?

1 Answer | Add Yours

mrs-campbell's profile pic

mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In these lines, Eliot indirectly compares the fog that covers the streets at night to a cat; it is an indirect comparison because he never directly states the word cat.  However, if you look close at the details and put them all together like a puzzle, the clues are pretty clear.  For example, he uses the following words and phrases to describe the fog:  "rubs its back upon the window-panes," "rubs its muzzle," "licked its tongue," "slipped by," "made a sudden leap," and "curled once about the house, and fell asleep."  All of these details, put together, paint a pretty clear picture of cats.  They rub their backs and muzzles on things, slip by as they walk, and before going to sleep, often do a circle or two before settling in.

So, the fog is compared to a cat, using detailed word-choices and clues.  It is a unique and apt description, one that gives the fog a clear personality and life to it, instead of having it be an inanimate object.  I hope that helped; good luck!

We’ve answered 319,202 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question