A2 Synthesis: Eliot’s use of personification
T.S. Eliot enters the world of the dramatic monologue in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” In the poem, the speaker is a character who undoubtedly lacks the confidence necessary to engage with women. Eliot deftly utilizes personification to give the reader insight as to whom J. Alfred Prufrock is, what he wishes he could be, and how he feels about the social scene of the day.
Eliot’s first use of personification is setting the scene, but is doing so through Prufrock’s eyes and his word choices, which gives the reader insight into his state of mind:
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window panes
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window panes
Licked its tongue into the…show more content… The personification of the fog as a cat that, upon seeing it was a chilly October night thought it best to curl up and go back to sleep, is a sentiment shared by Prufrock. He does not wish to engage in the pleasantries of the evening and would rather be curled up at home alone. Loneliness is a theme that runs throughout this poem and while I do not believe it is something that Prufrock welcomes, I believe he would prefer to be lonely than engage socially with women.
Holly Baker touches on Prufrock’s loneliness through the imagery of passing time, another theme in the poem: “This poem is thick with musings on passage of time and making decisions, all of which floats along an undercurrent of Renaissance era references and themes. The narrator utilizes these references to lament the opportunities he’s missed in life as well as speak to his own loneliness.” While Eliot makes many direct references to the passage of time, he also uses personification to speak of time in a much larger context:
To have squeezed the universe into a