Analysis Of The Poem ' The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock

1986 Words May 22nd, 2016 8 Pages
T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” illustrates the poet’s fear of the fragmentation of modern society. In the poem, Eliot creates the persona of his speaker, J. Alfred Prufrock. Prufrock is speaking to an unknown listener. The persona of Prufrock is Eliot’s interpretation of Western society and its impotency at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. His views are modernistic, which idolize the classical forms while incorporating new ideas about psychology and the subconscious. Eliot illustrates his contempt for the faithlessness of modern society by illustrating its fragmentation with synecdoche, characterization of Prufrock, and allusions to literary traditions throughout the narrative. In his poem, Eliot illustrates his view of a great tradition that he is witnessing as it falls apart.
Throughout “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” Eliot illustrates fragmentation by using synecdoche to illustrate his fear of a societal breakdown. Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which a part stands for the whole; Eliot, through this use of parts in place of wholes, represents Eliot’s view on the broken, chaotic world. Throughout the poem, Eliot uses “faces,” “hands,” “arms,” “chins,” “arms…downed with light brown hair,” “fingers,” and “the head,” yet he never describes a whole human. The central human Prufrock imagines is potentially the woman whom he hopes to talk to that evening. Eliot writes of this mystery woman, “Arms that are braceleted and white and…
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