What does the poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" talk about?  

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

J. Alfred Prufrock is going to ask his love to marry him, or if she loves him.

Prufrock is trying to decide whether or not to tell the love of his life how he feels about her.  He is troubled, divided, and frightened.  He is taking a long walk to pop the question.

Streets that follow like a tedious argument

Of insidious intent

To lead you to an overwhelming question ...

Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"

Let us go and make our visit.

Less a love song than an interior debate, Prufrock diverts to the third person plural because the subject seems to be too painful for him.  Does he resolve his issue?  It is not entirely clear.  But he has talked himself through the process.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

The overwhelming humans emotion of love and fear, and fear of unrequited love, are the main focus of this poem.

Read the study guide:
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

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