An Analysis Of “The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock” By TS Eliot Essays Examples
Upon first glance at the title, the reader is prepared to delve into what promises to be a sappy poem about love. He or she expects to read about the romantic intentions of one man towards one woman. When one realizes that this “love song” is not really a love song, it is time for a closer reading. The Romantic era was a period of time when poets such as TS Eliot used this platform to speak out about social reform. The irony within the title of the poem is only one of the poetic elements that TS Eliot used to tell his story. The purpose of this paper is to do a close reading of Eliot’s use of startling images within his poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”.
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” paints the story of a man who is dissatisfied with the way his society works. The image that stands out the most in this poem is presented in the last paragraph. It is perhaps the most romantic part of the poem because J. Alfred Prufrock is talking about dreaming of mermaids. The imagery is vivid as he tells how he can see the mermaids “ridingon the waves” (132). He paints the image of the ocean water as white hair and black waves and red and brown seaweed. Unfortunately this vivid picture is interrupted by “human voices” which can be taken for reality and he drowns. This is the part of the poem where the reader wonders if Prufrock is trying to escape his reality by delving into the fantasy of mermaids.
Another image that stands out in this poem is the image of the magic lantern. Here one wonders if J. Alfred Prufrock sees his mind as this lantern throwing “patterns on the screen”. One wonders if he sees his thought patterns as fractured or if the magic lantern represents his inability to say what it is that he actually means. There are so many parts of this poem to represent the patterns coming from the magic lantern.
These are just a few of the images that TS Eliot is able to show the reader in this poem. Being a part of an era that used poetry to tell an important story one of the things that made Eliot stand out as a poet. There are many elements represented in TS Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”. The images of flights of fancy represented by the magic lantern and singing mermaids seem to represent J. Alfred Prufrock’s inability to express himself in the way that he wishes. This poem bases itself on the free flow of thought that poets had during that time.