“ The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ” by T. S. Eliot is one of most widely anthologized verse form of the 20th century. Upon reading the verse form, this fact does non at all seem surprising. At first glimpse, the verse form is highly deep in its significance and message. However, by analysing the literary techniques that Eliot employs, such as enunciation, repeat, and allusion reveals the poems cardinal message declaring that societal rejection and a deficiency of inaugural outputs a life devoid of significance and consequences in a lethargic and paranoid mental province, a mental snake pit.
One of the most important literary techniques that Eliot employs in “ Prufrock ” is the component of enunciation, which he uses to uncover the down and paranoid mental province of Prufrock. This mental balance becomes seeable in the early phases of the verse form. Eliot uses words such as “ etherized ” ( 3 ) , “ half-deserted ” ( 4 ) , and “ insidious ” ( 9 ) in the first stanza of the verse form. From the beginning we see Prufrock ‘s perceptual experience of his milieus. He feels weary, inactive, vulnerable, and lonely and believes that people are out to harm him. Subsequently, Prufrock explains why he is in this delicate mental place. He inquires, “ Do I make bold Disturb the existence? ” ( 44-45 ) . While he mentions upseting the “ universe, ” his existence is represented by his ain societal domain. He is afraid to interrupt the equilibrium that has been established, where he is ever rejected and cast off. Then, as Prufrock speaks of adult females, it becomes clear that this case of societal fright stems from his inability to happen blessing in the eyes of adult females and he can non make up one’s mind whether or non to face the adult female he has targeted. He declares that there is clip for “ a 100 indecisionsaˆ¦a hundred visions and alterations ” ( 32-33 ) . This fright of going rejected has struck Prufrock so hard that he becomes wholly indecisive and unsure of how to near adult females, invariably inquiring “ how should I assume? ” ( 52 ) . Furthermore, Prufrock begins to inquire if he appears to be excessively “ thin ” ( 43 ) or if he has grown “ bald ” ( 82 ) . On top of his unbelievable indecision, he has developed a big sense of insufficiency, self-consciousness and insecurity. In a paranoia of kinds, he wonders if his visual aspect inhibits ability to discourse with adult females because he is afraid they will judge him. However, his insecurity and fright of adult females have merely served to lend to his primary affliction, which becomes clear when he states that he measured out his life “ with java spoons ” ( 50 ) . Prufrock ‘s life has been wholly bootless and uneventful that he is able to quantify everything utilizing a utensil every bit little as a java spoon. Through the enunciation and the inquiries that Prufrock uses, he establishes a sense of societal lower status, both because he is afraid of rejection and is hesitating in his determinations, which causes him to make a alone and paranoid province of head to endure in.
Another of Eliot ‘s techniques is the usage of repeat of certain motives, which serves emphasize the thoughts discussed antecedently. Prufrock invariably mentions an surplus of “ clip ” ( 21 ) . Accompanied with the words vision, alteration, and indecisiveness, his message becomes clear. He is avoiding the confrontation with the adult female he seeks, mentioning that there will be enough of clip for him to seek once more. The subjugation that he undergoes causes a sensed elongation of clip. Because clip base on ballss so easy for Prufrock, he feels that he will hold more clip to get the better of his frights. Furthermore, because Prufrock believes his life is unpointed, he will ne’er hold any outstanding duties and will ever be free to seek and neglect once more. Prufrock, furthermore, repeatedly asks himself the same inquiry, “ Do I make bold? ” ( 44 ) . The repeat in itself shows Prufrock ‘s indecision because he needs to reiterate things to himself to come up with a determination. However, by reiterating the rhetorical inquiry, the consequence is multiplied, amplifying his inability to do up his head and his deficiency of assurance in himself. Besides, the inquiry shows the devolution of his mental province. While at first, Prufrock ‘s concerns are much more expansive in nature ( the existence ) , finally his assurance and ego confidence deteriorates in such a big mode that he even begins to oppugn if he should even “ eat a Prunus persica ” ( 122 ) . Finally, Prufrock mentions a figure of times that he has “ known ” ( 49 ) everything. Prufrock expresses his lassitude and his discontent with the life that he leads. He has experienced all that could come with his uneventful, unstimulating life manner. With the heavy repeat in “ Prufrock, ” it becomes clear that has merely grown tired of enduring through the life that he lives.
Another important component that Eliot uses in his verse form is that of allusion. In the really beginning of the verse form, Eliot utilizes a part of Dante ‘s Inferno. Prufrock voices these lines because he is in his ain mental damnation and recognize there is no manner out of his state of affairs. He believes that few will listen to his narrative, and those who do endure a similar destiny as he does. Then, he alludes to John the Baptist when he says “ I have seen my caput ( grown somewhat bald ) brought in upon a platter ” ( 82 ) . In this merely declaration, two facts are affirmed. Prufrock deems his being aimless as he states that he has already been decapitated and loves no more. Besides, he contrasts himself from the prophesier because foremost, he is non and will ne’er even be desired by adult females and secondly, that he will ne’er lose his caput in any glorious or olympian act like the prophesier did. Finally, Eliot alludes to Lazarus and Shakespeare ‘s Hamlet. He distances himself from Lazarus and provinces that he is “ non Prince Hamlet ” but alternatively is the “ attendant lordaˆ¦the sap ” ( 111,112,119 ) . Prufrock separates himself from the heroic savoir, Lazarus, and Hamlet, who although mired by insecurity and vacillation, finally brings himself to take action, and compares himself to Polonius, who dies in old age as a bumbling sap. Prufrock, unlike Hamlet, will ne’er interrupt the universe to revenge its immoralities and rectify errors. He recognizes his ain powerlessness, and accepts his destiny to be a passionless old adult male and to populate a bleak, unsubstantial life. Prufrock references these epic figures to function as a blunt contrast to himself. He acknowledges that he will everlastingly pine away through a life that will miss intent.
The enunciation, repeat and allusions in “ Prufrock ” all contribute to one cardinal message. Prufrock, invariably afraid of rejection from adult females and insecure about himself, lives a life with no significance. He at the same time has grown weary of such a passionless life and has besides grown to anticipate such a similar destiny. Such a province of head has caused Prufrock to cage himself in a mental snake pit: unsated with his life, and excessively discerning to make anything to alter it. While Prufrock ‘s predicament invokes commiseration, Eliot seems to be showing a province that is cosmopolitan at one point in life. Although, the degrees of emotion may ne’er fit the strength of those that Prufrock experiences, everyone will finally undergo a similar period of mental torture.