Prufrock’s Unattainable Desires
T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” describes the inner feelings of an isolated man whose desire for a loving and communicative relationship with a female is unrelenting. Eliot presents J. Alfred Prufrock as an older man who struggles with knowing how to communicate his feelings toward females in fear of being judged. Prufrock’s fear of alienation and lack of self confidence contribute to his difficulty in fulfilling his need to be understood and loved.
Prufrock’s prime desire is to be able to communicate with women. However, Prufrock finds that women are very fragmented; therefore, he feels a strong disconnect from them. Prufrock also feels alienated by women and feels as if their eyes” fix you in a formulated phrase” (l. 56). Therefore, he feels as if he is judged by these women from the beginning. Because he lacks self confidence he is unable to speak or address these women in an attempt to change their preconceived notions of him. Prufrock’s desires to relate to and love a woman are so strong because he has never wooed a woman and the outcomes with women have all been the same. He feels that women have preconceived notions about him and therefore because he already feels judged, he decides to stick with whatever representation they have of him. Although he desires to change their minds, Prufrock feels that he has already failed and that there is no point in attempting to change their points of view concerning him.
Prufrock believes that if he can learn how to communicate with and love others, it will bring him back to life and revitalize him. However, he is unable to commit or provide anything concrete or substantial. Everything that Prufrock states within the poem is hypothetical and he never speaks of taking actions on his wonderings. His inability to take action concerning his desires and his thoughts prevents him from gaining or forming communicative and loving relationships with...
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