describe, how song of j. Alfred prufrock could be a modernist poem? As with many other works of the Modern period in English literature, T. S. Eliot utilizes fragmentation, allusion, and symbolism to show J. Alfred Prufrock's inability to act towards the outside world. Prufrock appears, in the poem, to be a middle-aged balding man who has a very pressing question to ask someone (presumably a woman); however, he finds it hard to vocalize his feelings to other people. Instead, he spends his time dwelling upon it.
It appears as if Prufrock sees all women as unattainable; possibly due to the fact that he seems to pity himself so much. The fact that Eliot repeats the couplet "In the room when women come and go / Talking of Michelangelo," twice in the poem (lines 13-14 and 35-36) suggests that this scene has significance to Prufrock. It appears as if he wants to speak to the women, however, he cannot bring himself to do this. Taking into account the depressing nature of the imagery that takes place between the two sets of couplets, one could assume that Prufrock cannot speak to the women based on the fact that he sees himself as just as unattainable to the women as they are to him. In other words, he does not think they would even speak to him, much less have a romantic interest in him. It could be assumed that Prufrock thinks this way of himself due to his physical appearance. Twice in the poem Eliot references Prufrock's balding head and distasteful, appearance.
Prufrock's inability to act is a major theme that runs throughout the poem. In the first stanza Eliot writes, "Like a patient etherized upon a table;" (3). The use of this simile in the poem represents Prufrock's figurative inability to act upon his emotions (Cuda, 1). He is afraid of the outside world around him, and thus he is afraid to take action in it. In addition, he is afraid he will, "Disturb the universe" (46). He then continues talking to himself regarding his decisions, but decides that he...
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