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

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Why did T. S. Eliot write the poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"?

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There is not a known explicit statement of purpose from Eliot on his intent in writing this poem, but the reader can construct some ideas based on Eliot's life, history, and the construction of the poem.

T. S. Eliot wrote The Love Song of J. Alred Prufrock at some point between 1910 and 1911, when he was still completing his undergraduate degree. It was not published until 1915, when he was already settled in England. Eliot became a member of a cohort of writers that became emblematic of the "Lost Generation," those that came of age during World War I. This group of writers, which included Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway, expatriated to Europe and convened in Paris.

Perhaps the identity of this Lost Generation is most indicative of a common mindset at the time Eliot wrote this poem. This generation was disillusioned by the horrors of World War I and, as a result, began questioning the status quo. Generally, as a result, this generation didn't feel the need to have permanent roots; they...

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