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Prufrock: A Journey Into The Mind Of A Wasted Life

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“Prufrock”: A Journey Into the Mind of a Wasted Life
“ The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is a poem which has nothing to do with love. The title is actually ironic considering the grim content the poem embraces. It is a collection of thoughts the speaker has as he sits in a bar, looking over the past years of his life. The speaker is an old man who is unable to love anything, including himself. He is extremely insecure, especially in the company of women. He’s also very indecisive, and has cynical views of the world that surrounds him.
The epigraph at the beginning of the poem is a quote from Dante’s “Inferno.” This immediately gives the reader a sense of the damnation, in which Prufrock feels he has lived. One might assume from the epigraph that Prufrock is in his own living hell, and he feels it won’t make any difference if he tells his story, since he will forever remain in the “gulf.” Prufrock seems to be addressing the reader as if he were talking directly to him/her, where in actuality he is really speaking internally to himself.
When Prufrock’s words first appear, his emotions seem to be calm and easy flowing. He invites the reader to go with him on a journey. He then begins to simply describe the town he lives in. “The muttering retreats/ Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels/ And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells.” Although, he does not speak highly of the town, he gives a clear illustration of it, in a delicate way. He remains calm until the women are introduced!
Prufrock is very insecure, and most of his insecurities stem from women, or the presence of them. As soon as women are included in the poem, Prufrock looses his calm and becomes very uneasy. He describes a “yellow fog” that enters the room, filling it up. The fog represents the haze of insecurity that clouds his mind when he’s in the company of women. His description of the fog is very detailed...

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