The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

What's with the peach in the final section?


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In the final section, Prufrock knows he is going to die soon but he still cannot even "dare to eat a peach" (122). While Eliot's main intent is to trivialize Prufrock's anxieties - a simple piece of fruit confounds him - the peach has a few other possible meanings. First, it is the Chinese symbol for marriage and immortality, two things Prufrock desires. Moreover, the peach, through shape and texture, has long been a symbol for female genitalia. Prufrock's anxiety about eating a peach, then, has much to do with his feelings of sexual inadequacy, his worry that his balding head and thin physique earn him the scorn of women.