Mr. Nick

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Analysis of TS Eliot’s The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock

Stanza Three
Eliot attempts to sidetrack the readers train of though away from the feeling of depression due to the description of the current society by describing his surrounds in dept. This shadows the ‘overwhelming question’ of ‘what happens to society after World War 1?’ and gives the reader hope in the form of reassurance that there will be “time” for answers later, allowing them to carry on with their lives.

This stanza links the theme ‘going it alone’ through Eliot’s optimism of the future. The current mood among society is dark and depressed due to World War one and Eliot’s opinion would not have been shared by the majority.

* Eliot uses the repetition of “the will be time” highlights that he his attempting to convince society that although the conditions are bad, with “time” they will improve. * “To lift and drop a question” reflects the way society is attempting to grasp an idea on the current issues but cannot hold on to them therefore metaphorically dropping them.

The author uses the metaphor “the yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window panes” to describe that the depression and anxiety of the outcomes of WW1 are “there” or “present with us”. Shortly after describing this the author says that even though all the emotions and hardships and “with us”, they should go on with their lives and try to live with the presence of these things.

Jake Meincke and James Nadin

Stanza 4

And indeed there will be time| |
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”| |
Time to turn back and descend the stair,| |
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—|         40| (They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)| |
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,| | My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—| | (They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)| | Do I dare|         45|

Disturb the universe?| |
In a minute there is time| |
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.| |

Explain what you understand the poet to be saying in your stanza.

The poet is explaining to the reader how the character has lived a rich, eloquent, overeducated yet boring life. The character wishes to descend into a life outside of his comfort zone and explore new, daring ideas. Prufrock is questioning himself as to whether or not he should disturb his own universe – his life.

Explain how you believe your stanza can link to the idea of going it alone.

This stanza is the tipping point of Prufrock, where he is on the precipice to change, and must make the difficult decision – to disturb his universe or continue along his familiar and comfortable life. He is alone in his decision, and the pressure and consequences of his choice ride only on his shoulders.

Make a link between the going It alone idea and examples of techniques used in your stanza.

The concept of going it alone is represented through the line, “Time to turn back and descend the stair” the use of metaphor presents the stairs as a societal pathway that descends into new lifestyles and ideals. Through this change the idea of ‘disturbing the universe’ is brought forward. This is enforced through repetition “To wonder, ‘Do I dare?’ and, ‘Do I dare?’” which indicates to the reader that this is a major component of Prufrocks decent into a new and unexplored life. Stanza Five

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

1. The stanza is expressing a pessimistic view on the tediousness and boredom due to repetitive daily life. 2. Our stanza shows that being a victim to daily life leaves a negative impact on a person’s emotion. Showing that going it alone, and taking risks and a...
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