(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search


             The application of the New Critical technique of close reading to T. Alfred Prufrock" reveals a central, unifying theme of man's neurotic impotence. Paralysis invariably settles upon people when the world about them appears to collapse. This underlying journey or quest for human contact, which you accompany the narrator, Prufrock, on, is connected to the poem's central theme. We discover that the image of idealized beauty that Prufrock seeks is not attained because of his supposed, persistent inadequacy in social situations. Rather, he convinces himself that he is a failure and he retreats to his private world. .
             The poem begins with a dramatic monologue. Prufrock asks you to walk with him through the streets of the city. The monologue is specifically directed at a listener or listeners whose presence is not directly referenced but is merely suggested in the speaker's words. In this form, the speaker seems to be addressing himself but is really speaking to the reader, who plays the part of the silent listener. It is possible that Prufrock is speaking to a potential lover, but it seems unlikely considering the manner in which he confides in the listener. As the first strophe begins, the opening two lines seem fairly romantic, but that assumption is dissipated by the simile of the "patient etherized upon a table." This line is far from romantic, at least in the normal sense of the word, and .
             the following lines which allude to "muttering retreats", "cheap hotels" and streets which "follow like a tedious argument of insidious intent" fail to contribute romance of the poem. .
             As Prufrock moves through the labyrinth of the city, images of the desolation and sordidness lead to the assumption that some blight has befallen the community. Prufrock's mind then leaps ahead to his destination, a room in which women "come and go/Talking of Michelangelo" (12-13). Next, Prufrock's attention turns to the smoke and fog that inhabit the narrow streets that he is traversing.

Essays Related to Prufrock

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question