The Love Song Of J

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Topics: Brown hair, Love, Symbol
Avery Moyler
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

As I read the poem, I believed strongly that it was speaking of the 1920’s as a gilded age. There are many examples that led me to believe this. When Eliot spoke of the yellow fog I thought that was a great symbol of a gilded age. He said, “The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes…Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys…” I interpreted this to mean that the people in the house can see the yellow fog in their windows and enjoy it, yet this yellow fog catches all the “soot”, corruption, or evil that they are producing. However, eventually the corruption will catch up to them and their prosperities, symbolized by the yellow fog, will end. Another obvious example of this motif of a gilded age is, “Arms that are braceleted and white and bare (But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)” The woman’s elegant arms are a symbol of the materialism, role of women, and importance of money and class during the 20’s. The fact that her arms look so perfect in passing but once examined, have imperfections, serves as a symbol of a gilded age. However, as the title suggests, this is a poem about love. Prufrock is struggling with his love for this women and he is clearly lacking confidence. He constantly reminds himself of his imperfections, particularly his thinning hair, and struggles with how he should proceed in gaining her affection. In the end, he realizes that he is no hero but he is sufficient and has good qualities. This poem is an example of modernism in its characterization of Prufrock. He was constantly questioning himself as an individual and in the end, Eliot wrote about nature to accentuate Prufrock’s characterization. When nature is spoken of, Prufrock is realizing his second-rate status. This displays the modernistic belief of confused sense of identity in the world. People were often unsure of their identity when they thought of all the great things in the world, such as all

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