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

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock book cover
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I need to identify lines in the poem that show that Prufrock is a narcissist. Can you please help? Thank you.

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Jason Lulos eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Prufrock’s self-absorption is by definition Narcissistic.

We don’t know if he’s talking to the reader, a friend or himself. If it is internal, we might call it Prufrock’s reflective consciousness (the entire poem may be his internal struggle, Hamlet-esque, of whether or not to act): whether or not to be or not to be. This reflective consciousness is not based on empirical evidence towards a Truth Prufrock has. It is based on fear and, subsequently, self-interest. He is so terrified of being rejected that he protects himself by not acting. Also, by remaining in this realm of inaction, he remains in a realm of total possibility. In other words, if you only dream of acting, the possibilities are endless. It is only when you choose to do something that some possibilities will be realized and others destroyed. It is elitist to think you are beyond failure.

Do I dare

Disturb the Universe? (45-46).

He is afraid to act and/or he believes his act will be so grand (in failure or success)...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 634 words.)

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kiwi eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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