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Analytic Interpretation of The Love Song by J.Alfred Prufrock - Essay Example

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Section/# Date Close Analysis of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, like many poems, displays the depth and complexity that belie the subject matter which it seemingly presents to the reader…
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Analytic Interpretation of The Love Song by J.Alfred Prufrock
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Analytic Interpretation of The Love Song by J.Alfred Prufrock

Therefore, the ultimate thrust of this research will be to draw inference on and summarize the means, whereby symbolism is adequately and effectively employed within the poem by underscoring the means by which it is utilized within a brief stanza. For purposes of the analysis, the following stanza has been selected for the close reading: And would it have been worth it, after all, After the cups, the marmalade, the tea, Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me, Would it have been worthwhile,         90 To have bitten off the matter with a smile, To have squeezed the universe into a ball To roll it toward some overwhelming question, To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead, Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—         95 If one, settling a pillow by her head,   Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;   That is not it, at all.” (Eliot 2) Within the time that was written, Eliot was not alone in seeking to display and symbolize a level of fragile broken humanity. Although it is not the purpose of this brief analysis to go into a great detail as for the level of influence that the First World War and a clean break from prior Victorian restrictions on nearly every aspect of life had with regards to culture, these should nonetheless be realized. T. S. Eliot, as well as many of his contemporaries, was practically fascinated by the very fragile nature that humanity illustrated ultimately. With regards to the close reading of that stanza above, this fragility is aptly demonstrated to the reader by means of the inconclusive and unsure nature that the speaker illustrates. Whereas the entire porn represent this uncertainty and self-doubt, the following passage portrays the manner in which the speaker wrestles with himself, emotions and feelings of love, lust, and integration with the idea of fate. The speaker says, “And would it have been worth it, after all,/After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,/Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,/Would it have been worth the while” (Eliot 2). In such a way, the reader can see the self-doubt and fragile nature of the psyche that is exhibited within the previous lines. Rather than being able to examine the situation and come to a determination whether he should or should not pursue the relationship, the speaker exhibits his own self-doubt and vacillates incessantly whether happiness or regret will be the end result. Another unique aspect of symbolism that the above passage relates to is the changing nature of gender roles that existed at the time the point was panned. Upon the conclusion of the First World War, an entire generation of young men returned to a society that was drastically different from the one they had left upon joining the armed forces. This difference was exhibited in a number of ways; however, one of the most noticeable was the level and extent to which women were integrated into the society and the workforce (Lowe 66). As a result of this rapid cultural and societal shift, many individuals experienced something of cultural whiplash within the society. In tandem with the horrors of war, many men came to feel emasculated due to the fact that women now occupied many positions in the society and the workforce; also many cultural freedoms, that previously had been their own, were exhibited by women. Although this can hardly be referred to as a form of emasculation, key ... Read More
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