The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Notes 1.

a) The advantages of using an interior and dramatic monologue as a means of conveying Eliot’s ideas is to utilise the free nature of the stream of consciousness style and explore the inner conflicting thoughts and existential crisis experienced by the narrator. It allows the exploration of the theme of introspection and the separation of the individuals from the society. The speaker is talking to the protagonist through the theme of entrapment. b) Prufrock’s state of willingness by his repetition of ‘Let us go’ is used in an ironic sense in conveying his willingness and motivated attitude which is contrasted to the lack of action and procrastination that actually occurs in the poem. ‘The Inferno’ conveys the universal theme of being unable to consciousness. c) The statement in second person evokes an intimate and more personal mood, inviting the reader to explore the mind of the narrator and encourages empathy. It also creates a sense of urgency and immediacy in the tone, and suggests a sense of reluctance. It suggests that it is an inevitable journey. The repetition leads to the undercutting of his own portrayals of society. 2. The similes in the first stanza of ‘when the evening is spread out against the sky/ like a patient etherized upon a tabe’ and ‘streets that follow like a tedious argument’ are used to establish the mood of the poem. In comparing the evening to an etherised patient, the helplessness and entrapment of the evening is conveyed, creating a sombre and hopeless mood; sterile, deahtly and clinical (macabre). The comparison of the streets to a tedious argument link two aspects of urbanisation together, through the theme of futility and aimlessness (monotony), reflective of the life in the depicted society. 3. a) The word ‘etherised’ is used to convey a sense of oppression and entrapment (sterile and clinical, lack of emotion), which is reflected through the narrator and the subdued nature of society. b) The use of ‘half-deserted’ is used to convey the stasis, the half way state, used to reflect the frozen and directionless state of society. This idea is further depicted through the narrators procrastination and passive attitude. c) ‘Muttering’ is used to convey the idea of the urban masses, in generalising and grouping the interactions between the people. (Madness and insanity) d) The use of the word ‘retreats’ is used to reflect the introspection of society and the isolation and separation of the individual from the world. e) ‘Restless’ conveys the lack of motivation and direction of the society, through its procrastination and lack of action. f) The use of ‘cheap’ depicts the temporary and impermanence of the society which reflects the directionless attitude and lack of motivation. g) ‘Tedious’ reflects the attitude of society, conveying the worn-out, wearing and repetitive routine nature of life. h) ‘Insiduous’ is used to create a sinister tone and convey the slow and gradual succumbing of individuals to the meaningless and deteriorated society.

impulsive and isolated nature of the animal. a) The use of ‘overwhelming’ in reference to the ‘overwhelming question’ conveys the poet’s lack of motivation in confronting the ‘question’ suggesting that the issue is too much for them to bear or to even consider. d) ‘How should I presume’ conveys the narrators existential crisis.’ ‘made a sudden leap’ and ‘curled once about the house and fell asleep’ are common associations with the actions of a homeless cat.’ The illustrates the exaggerated perceptions of the narrator on the impact of their actions in a meaningless society. conveying an almost sickly image which is attributed to the nature of the deteriorated and directionless society and the suffocating impact of this on its individuals. The repetition of ‘yellow’ in the second stanza is used to convey the pollution and decay of society and its deterioration. . (surreptitious and alien) 7. c) The repetition of the couplet is used to convey the cyclical nature of society and the endless meaningless routine of life. which is used to reflect the characteristics of humans in an industrialised society. futher indicating the overwhelming nature of the question and the narrators uncertainty in addressing it. and conveys their futility and shallowness. The fog in lines 15-22 is compared to the movement and behaviour of a stray cat. as they are unable to find a definitive answer. or whether it would be meanigful to take action and address the issue that they are faced with. Associated with ‘yellow’ tainted and age. a) ‘In the room the women come and go / talking of Michaelangelo’ implies the shallowness and futlitity of the women. The use of the metaphor of the cat is appropriate due to the solitary. The solitary nature of the cat is also reflective of the introspection and separation of the narrator.4. It also implies that the women do not understand and comprehend the art. however are merely discussing it for the means of appearances. b) ‘Do I dare’ is used to convey the hesitance of the poet in confronting the ‘question’ and contemplation whether they have the strength. procrastination and self-conscious and self-doubt. The metaphor is extended throughout the stanza through personification and the use of verbs such as ‘licked its tongue. This perceived as ironic. or take action against the ‘question. It creates a sense of disease and uncleanliness. c) ‘Do I dare disturb the universe’ is hyperbolic of the narrator’s impact on the society.’ ‘let fall upon its back. conveyed through their flippant attitude towards ‘Michaelangelo’ (high art). in that through his self-consciousness a grandiose attitude is conveyed. vapid) 6. (Social ritual. in that they are aiming to be inconspicuous. 5. e) The use of ‘force the moment to its crisis’ further conveys the narrator’s self consciousness and his unwillingness to confront the issue. however are under the impression that their actions will have a greater perceived impact than in reality. b) The rhyming of ‘come and go’ and ‘Michaelangelo’ creates an almost sing song like tone which trivialises the womens’ actions.