Themes in "Prufrock" include paralysis and alienation. The theme of paralysis is supported by an image in the very first stanza of the poem, in which the night sky of London is likened to a patient etherized on a table. This sense of being drugged and passive will follow Prufrock throughout the poem.
When he gets to the party, Prufrock again feels paralyzed. He feels he has gone through these moves a thousand times before and yet is helpless to do anything about his situation. He describes himself with imagery of having measured out his life in coffee spoons at countless similar parties. He envisions himself as a sprawling insect, pinned to a board. There is a sense of dull repetition and paralysis too in the image of the women as they come and go, speaking of Michelangelo.
Prufrock shows his sense of alienation in the imagery of wishing he could be a pair of claws, scuttling along the floor of the ocean, rather than at the party. He also longs for what he perceives as the richer, more imaginative world of mermaids and myth but fears he would not have a place there either.