A Love Song Of J Alfred Prufrock Analysis

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Ezra Pound and TS Eliot were both expatriate Americans who were part of the early Modernist movement in the beginning of the twentieth century. The two men were great friends during this time and Pound took Eliot under his wing, publishing and promoting his work and introducing him to all the right people. In their early work as they are just discovering and honing their talents the idea of culture and identity was of huge importance to them both. They had both left America to travel and experience the ethos of life in the cultural capitals of London and Paris, along with the rest of Europe. The Puritanical way of life that encompassed America at this time was not considered to be the optimal continent on which to be an Artist, especially…show more content…
Pound was a romantic, talking of his love and lust for women quite openly while Eliot seems more wary of the temptations they pose. This slightly Puritanical outlook that Eliot had brought with him over from America to the more relaxed Europe is one that can be seen quite clearly in A Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. This poem was a pointed attack on all the well-dressed, upstanding bourgeois who loved their material wealth but had nothing when it came to love or happiness. But not only that, in a way it is a love song of unrequited feelings and the fear of rejection. Once again the thing that ties the two poets together is their preoccupation with the big cities that shaped their lives, the city that Eliot describes in the poem could be London or New York, and the cityscapes he uses in his imagery show just how much of an effect his surroundings have had on his artistic ideals. In keeping with Prufrock’s circular and evasive style, the poem returns again and again to the imagery of those dirty streets, which contrast nicely with the prim and proper middle-class existence that he seems to be stuck in. In lines 4-7 parts of the scene are depicted using the method of personification. The "retreats" aren’t "muttering," but it seems to be that way because they are the kinds of places where you would run into muttering or strange people. Also, the nights he speaks of are not "restless"; but they can make the people who experience them restless. Part of the poem takes place in this obviously run down area of the big city. But the poem’s other setting is just as bad, though it appears to be in a better part of the city on the surface. Here is where the tired and bored middle-class sit in their cramped rooms drinking tea and coffee all day. This derisive look at big city society is one that harks back to Eliot’s desire to change the way people looked at poetry and the canon, and shows just how

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