The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Prufrock's Social Anxiety

Prufrock's Social Anxiety

by, Anonymous

April 15, 2005

Though the poem is specifically about Alfred Prufrock, it embodies the idea that every modern person struggles with these social barriers at some point in life. Eliot's skillful use of repetition, rhyme, assonance, and imagery present a picture of a modern, single man who is tormented by his inability to communicate, his life-long search for the courage to approach others, his indecisiveness, and his ultimate failure.

The modern man is over-educated, thoughtful, and awkward---much like today's onslaught of college graduates. Unlike most people, though, Prufrock does not outgrow his awkwardness; hr struggles through it as he ages. This difference highlights that these challenges in social situations can plague a person of any age: "there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet" (ln 27). Eliot recognizes Prufrock's fear of people in this passage, as well as his passing age. The passive sound the repetition of "face" creates is descriptive of the cumbersome nature that is Prufrock's social grace and creates a sense of passing time by indicating that Prufrock has seen many people pass through his life, but as...

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