The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

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In The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Elliot employs both pessimistic and mundane descriptions to portray the feeling of alienation and dysfunction facing many city dwellers at the beginning of the twentieth century. This style of writing was in direct opposition to the optimism and happy outlook popular to the previous Victorian Era. Modernism and the development of a city culture brought with it feelings of losing ones self, and many writers began to question the previous ideas of a society and how to function within it. Modernist writers hoped to expose the false ideals of conventional thinking and to show truth to those that were subjected and arbitrary. Throughout the poem, Elliot imposes questions upon the reader, making them think outside of normal and everyday thoughts. While many of the inquiries seem simple to generic thought, others are very philosophical and too difficult for even Elliot to answer. The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock is a perfect example of Modernist Literature because it brings into question the ways of life that are accepted by society, offering a different way of seeing things and in turn a different way of living.

Often Prufrock's queries are lost to those he encounters. It is almost as if he exists in his own personal sphere and his ways of thinking are not understood by others. For example Prufrock's thoughts are lost to the woman who props her head up on the pillow saying “That is not what I meant at all. That is not it at all" (1527). Then in frustration he proclaims "It is impossible to say exactly what I mean" (1527). Throughout the poem it is questioned whether or not Prufrock ever leaves his room at all. It appears that he does not because his will is so strong and he says "for a hundred indecisions, And for a hundred visions and revisions, Before the taking of a toast and tea" (1525). It is almost as if the mundane routine and constant pressure to conform so forced upon Victorian Society has caused Prufrock to...
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