Sunday, February 2, 2014

HW 2/6 - Prufrock Analysis

Write a 100+ word analysis of your section of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", including both the meaning that it makes and HOW the lines make that meaning.  Don't analyze the same lines and device that someone else has already analyzed.  (Two people could analyze the same lines, if one is talking about rhyme and the other about image).

14 comments:

  1. T.S. Eliot writes, “Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,/ Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?” (Lines 79-80). The “tea and cakes and ices” connects back to line 34 where Eliot writes, “Before the taking of a toast and tea”. Having tea is a very routine action, and is considered a setting in which one has to behave according to the norms of society. The first line gives the image of sophisticated people socializing with delicate china in their hands. These people having tea don’t speak out too much. They are all the same because they all follow the same rules of society. Through this imagery, Prufruck is asking whether he will be strong enough to face the reality of his life after having to conform himself to fit the societal mold. “The moment” he talks about is the harsh reality of being in love with someone. By forcing it to its crisis, Prufruck is going to let everyone see the truth of his emotions. People lose their own free will whenever they come into contact with society and are forced to follow certain rules. After a while, following these rules will make a person forget why they wanted to challenge the unspoken rules that have been established long before them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. T.S. Eliot uses the juxtaposition of fantasy and reality in order to convey the narrator's opinion of love. Eliot writes, "Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare eat a peach/ I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach/ I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each/ I do not think they will sing to me". In this quote, the author begins by displaying the man in his reality. He is frustrated by the prospect of finding love and asks himself if he should, "part his hair behind", change himself in order to find love. He continues by saying, " I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach" This furthers his discontent because it cites an image stereotypically associated with love, of one walking along the beach. The second part of the quote makes allusions to fantasy, he speaks of the mermaids he sees on the beach who are singing. He chooses mermaids to counter the struggle he faces in the reality of his inability to find love because it adds a whimsical element. By describing these mermaids as "unlikely to sing to him", he is, in essence, passing the blame. He cannot find love, not because he has not parted his hair correctly, but because the mermaids are unwilling to grace him with their song. This juxtaposition represents the struggle within Prufrock to understand his inability to find love.

    ReplyDelete
  3. T.S Eliot uses juxtaposition to show to the readers how Eliot is stuck in a fantasy that he has created and cannot see the reality. Eliot has defined himself as one who “knows all” and has had everything “measured out… with coffee spoons.” However this may not be entirely true for he describes his necktie as “rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin.” In a mans’ wardrobe, one of the most important accessories a man can have would be his tie. A necktie can tell the others what social ranking he is and other things about himself. Eliot uses the word rich to describe how he sees himself. Someone who “knows” all of the benefits to life and all of the things that life has to offer. He has his life all planned out for him. However the use of the word “modest” directly after the word “rich” shows the contrast between what he thinks of himself and what he actually is. The word modest, in this case, would be the definition that means small or meager. Eliot does not have as much as he thinks he does. He would like to think himself as some one who is “assert[ive]” but alas he is only “simple.” Eliot uses juxtaposition to show the contrast between his fantasy and reality.

    ReplyDelete
  4. In T.S Eliot's poem, "The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, Eliot describes love as a wonderful dream that he can never have. By talking about the allusion of mermaids "singing" to each other, he shows how love is still dreamy to Prufrock. He even uses the symbol "chambers" to show how he deeply wants to succumb into his fantasy about love. However, he still shows doubts about the mermaids when he says "I do not think they will sing to me" (pg 6). This is when reality sets in as he realizes that even in his fantasy, he won't be able to find love. One of the reasons why that he feels this way is due to his looks that consist of "a bald spot in the middle of my hair" (pg 2). This image of his hair problem demonstrates where his lack of confidence comes from. He even states "I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be" (pg 6), demonstrating even more that since he doesn't feel beautiful, he forces himself to become isolated. With being isolated, he cripples himself from being loved. This allows him at the end of the poem to "drown" with his failed feelings of love, admitting that he won't be able to succeed in love.

    ReplyDelete
  5. In "The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", T.S. Elliot uses the contrast of two settings to show the isolation people felt in a new modern time. Throughout the beginning of the poem, the setting is mostly described in dirty ways; yellow smoke, steam, cheap hotels, etc. At the end of the poem, Elliot writes, "I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach...We have lingered in the chambers of the sea/By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown/Till human voices wake us, and we drown" (Elliot 6). In contrast to the earlier, almost suffocating, descriptions of the city, the beach is better. Outside of the city, the narrator can wear peaceful clothing and take leisurely strolls on the beach. By 'lingering' by the sea, the narrator wants to stay there as long as possible, he doesn't want to go back to the city, to the modern pace. He would prefer to have a calmer lifestyle. To Prufrock, human noises would drown him. Amongst the hustle and bustle of the city, Prufrock gets lost, gets drowned out in all the noise and is therefore isolated.

    ReplyDelete
  6. In his poem, “The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, T.S. Eliot uses the metaphor, “Till human voices wake us, and we drown” to convey human tendency to be blinded by the realities of life when one is in love. Prior to this stanza Eliot writes of mermaids, “sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown”. The addition of the mermaids portrays the idea that life, when in love, is simply a fantasy. The idea that one is awaken by human voices suggests that not all humans live a life in love at all times and when we do live a life in love we become blind to the real world. It is only when “human voices wake us”, that “we drown”. We are awakened from our daze when we are finally told by the world, through things, people or events, to wake up. Eliot suggests that once one is awoken, “we drown”. Drowning is a death, slow and painful, and often a nature where humans are fully aware of their state of being. The concept that we drown once we are hit by reality presents the idea that ridding ourselves of the fantasy and oblivion we live in (while in love) damages our vision of life… slowly, yet so vividly. It is through the metaphor of his last lines of “The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, that Eliot is truly able to expose the fantasy that accompanies life when one is in love and the realities that eventually strike.

    ReplyDelete
  7. In the last three lines of the poem, T.S. Eliot employs numerous literary devices. Alliteration is first demonstrated when Eliot says “sea-girls wreathed with seaweed.” The “w” sound depicts a somewhat mysterious appearance to the mermaids which he labels “sea-girls.” In the last line, the same use of alliteration is displayed when Eliot says “Till human voices wake us, and we drown.” The “drowning” part of the last line holds connotations to folklore about mermaids; the “sea-girls” would lure sailors with their beautiful voices, only to drag them into the ocean and drown the men. Eliot could be utilizing this allusion to describe the ultimate fate of love. Though it may initially appear enticing to men, love will eventually be a man’s ultimate demise. In these final lines, Prufrock’s knowledge of those who have “lingered in the chambers of the sea” reveals a society that has been deceived by perceptions of love. Prufrock stands alone in his ability to “wake” from these dreams, and see the futility and despair of love.

    ReplyDelete
  8. In T.S Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Eliot uses imagery to show what Prufrock is going through. Eliot writes, “Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels and sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells” This scene conjures up the imagery of a dissolute situation. “Oyster-Shells” for instance gives the impression that there is emptiness. While “sawdust restaurants” looks upon a situation in which nothing can be gained. Restaurants are places in there people eat in order to be happy. The fact that this is restaurant is a “sawdust” restaurant tells that the happy part of that restaurant is gone and only the remains of it “sawdust” are left.

    ReplyDelete
  9. In the poem, The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S Eliot utilizes devices such as metaphor, repetition, and imagery to convey how his hope of trying to open up to love fails as he isolates himself from his situation. In Eliot's poem, he uses a repetition of the word "time" to illustrate that he thinks that he will be able to find the person he loves. He feels convinced that if time passes, he will eventually find that person. But then Eliot forms a metaphor that signifies the isolation that Prufrock is feeling from society. Eliot describes, "I should have been a pair of ragged claws/ Scuttling across the floors of silents seas." In this metaphor, Eliot is describing Prufrock as if he were a crab - isolating himself from society by wanting self-protection away from society. He uses the word "scuttling" to emphasize that he wants to hurry away from his current situation where he can escape into a "sea" where he feels less confined.

    ReplyDelete
  10. In T.S Eliot’s poem, “The Love-Song of J.Alfred Prufrock” Eliot portrays the character of Prufrock as someone that is alienated from the society. Eliot writes, “In the room the women come and go/ Talking of Michelangelo… with a bald spot in the middle of my hair--/ [They will say: “how his hair is growing thin!”]... [They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]” Michelangelo is well known for making sculptures and paintings of beautiful men, one of his well known sculptures is David, a young man with a well built body, chiseled features and nice curled hair. Eliot uses this to show how the society looked mostly for beauty and he says that women “come and go” as if they just passed by Prufrock without stopping to look at him. Later in the second stanza Eliot describes how Prufrock looks in contrast to the way Michelangelo’s sculpture looks, he looks the opposite of how a young man would look. He was bald spots and he is really thin, giving him an image of someone really old and weak, when he writes how “They” say those things about Prufrock shows that if people do talk about him its not to say good things but to point out the bad things and the fact that they talk this way about him it show’s how he is an outcast of society. At end of the poem it shows how Prufrock realizes that he really won’t be accepted into society when not even in his fantasies he is seen as something good, “I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each./ I don’t think they will sing to me.” He says how he doesn’t think that the mermaid, which is imagery for fantasy, will sing to him, which shows that he isn’t confident, not even in the fantasy he has built up.

    ReplyDelete
  11. TS Eliot’s opening lines in The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock set the theme for the rest of the poem, arguing the way love breaks logical thought through absurd images and rhetorical questions. Prufrock seems on the right track toward obtaining love when Eliot writes, “Let us go then, you and I.” However, by the third line, an absurd image appears that carries little logical connection to love in the eye of the reader. Eliot writes, “Like a patient etherized upon a table.” The subject of love evades Prufrock, and Eliot demonstrates this through his usage of imagery. Later in the poem, Eliot uses rhetorical questioning to show further how Prufrock’s line of assertive, logical thought is destroyed by the abstract concept of love. In multiple stanzas, Prufrock’s strong lines conclude in an unanswered question. For example, Eliot writes, “So how should I presume?” and “how should I begin?”

    ReplyDelete
  12. In the poem Love Song by T.S. Elliot the poet uses point of view and symbolism to portray Prufrock’s love story, a story that has been overtaken by hesitation and lead to a misconception of love. Early on, the poem suggest a very dark and despairing tone. Prufrock waits to late into his life to decide if he is meant for love, and the thought of it makes him uncomfortable. He says, “Do I dare/time to turn back and descend the stair/with a bald spot in the middle of my hair/do I dare/ disturb the universe”, this shows that Prufrock belittles himself because he feels like he is too old and worn out by life that he stands no chance. Repetition of the phrase “do I dare” implies that Prufrock has never experienced love and finds himself trapped within himself. The word “stairs” symbolizes time, Prufrock finds himself affected by time because he is aging and as more time goes by the more he feels like a disturbance to the universe. Elliot makes use of Prufrock to demonstrates how people can remove themselves so easily from the world, and erase all motive to try and make something of themselves. Love or not, Elliot suggests that people should not be afraid or hesitate to go for what they desire most. The more you wait, the more time goes by wasted. Make use of it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. T.S. Elliots poem "The Love-Song of J Alfred Prufrock" uses irony and odd juxtaposition to create a disembodied, semi formal, and hesitant feel. On page four Elliot writes, "Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) upon a platter". This quote reveals how Elliot isn't quite aware of how reality is, and is trying to escape or avoid it. Instead of focusing on the reaper that will bring his demise, Prufrock almost trivializes it by mentioning his slightly balding head. He is hesitant to actually acknowledge and face his problem so he is escaping this by almost changing the subject.Later in the poem and throughout he juxtaposes the real with the ridiculous to have both a humorous effect and to provide insight into Prufrocks inability to take anything real seriously. The first few lines, "evening spread out against the sky/ like a patient etherized upon a table" show this as well. He is afraid to describe something beautiful, and immediately trivializes his statement with the use of irony and juxtaposition. There is humor in both of these lines as well, something as scary as death, and as beautiful as the evening, is immediately placed near something as trivial as a balding head or something almost grotesque like an etherized patient.

    ReplyDelete
  14. On this page Prufrock is talking about things that usually happened on a date. Then he goes on to say “Would it have been worth a while, To have bitten off the matter with a smile.” This shows how he feels like most things on dates are just for show. The people are not actually smiling; they are almost pretending that they love each other. This shows how he realizes the problems with dating. This is why he brings in creepy images in the others sections when he talks about going on a date. For example, “I am Lazarus, come from the dead” This is a reference from a bible. He brings the idea of death into a relationship. That shows that for him this is on par with loosing a life. This seems to be a really important topic for him and at the same time he realizes how fake he has to be when it comes to him. That is a unique analysis of a love relationship. It is usually hard for people to stop and realize that they are not being completely “honest” with the other partner. Prufrock makes the reader stop and think about this.

    ReplyDelete