the lovesong of j alfred prufrock literary analysis

One of his poems,”The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” focuses on the theme of indecisiveness as a symptom of modernization in society. At this point, Prufrock almost seems to have raised his spirits enough to attempt to speak to the women at the center of the poem. But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed, Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter, I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter; I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, And in short, I was afraid. This is the crux of Prufrock’s emotions: emasculation, terror of the unknown, and an indecisiveness to whether or not he should dare. Major Themes: The poem comprises thoughts of a middle-aged man whose life is beset in confusion and does not allow him to act according to his will. The idea of proclaiming oneself a prophet “come back to tell you all” implies a power of linguistic discourse equal in magnitude to the physical act of squeezing the universe into a ball. T.S. T.S Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is representative of the modernist literary canon through its exploration of the speaker’s personal feelings … Scuttling across the floors of silent seas. And seeing that it was a soft October night, For I have known them all already, known them all: Combing the white hair of the waves blown back The world is transitory, half-broken, unpopulated, and about to collapse. Eliot To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead, The setting that Eliot paints, in his economic language, gives us a half-second glance at a world that seems largely unpopulated. Almost, at times, the Fool. So how should I presume? And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! It has since been immortalized in popular culture in everything from books to Simpsons episodes. 1917. There will be time, there will be time Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” begins with an epigraph from Dante’s Inferno. Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; Am an attendant lord, one that will do To swell a progress, start a scene or two, Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, Deferential, glad to be of use, Politic, cautious, and meticulous; Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; At times, indeed, almost ridiculous— Almost, at times, the Fool. That makes me so digress? This poem was set to music and became a six-movement act. Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, (But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!) My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin, Despite the fact that time is rushing in the last stanza, here time has slowed down; nothing has changed, nothing is quick. J. Alfred Prufrock and You. They look out on the world from deep inside some private cave of feeling, and though they see the world and themselves with unflattering exactness, they cannot or will not do anything about their dilemma and finally fall back on self-serving explanation. Do I dare to eat a peach? Eliot, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. He is the Representative Man of early Modernism. You can read the full poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock here. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock – as an Anti-love Poem: Although the title of the poem suggests that its content is enchanting about the ripe memories of love, the situation is quite contrary. In the room, the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo. I’m glad you are finding it useful! And how should I begin? ‘Lonely men’ could very well symbolize, in a very overt way, Prufrock’s own situation. I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, And should I then presume? Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. ‘Is it perfume from a dress / That makes me so digress?’ Prufrock is self-aware enough to know that his attempt of keeping back will not make him happy, but he has no idea where to begin articulating what he means to the woman at the center of his thoughts. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. Once more, he shrinks away from the challenge of speaking his mind, of speaking to the woman, and continues to destroy his own fledgling self-confidence by creating an imagery in the reader’s mind so absurd that we perhaps start to share in his own view of himself. These lines can be quoted while speaking about or delivering a lecture on an adventure undertaken to an unknown place where one finds strange things that make him curious. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock can be challenging to understand, and readers will have a variety of interpretations of the material. But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ by T.S. The poem seems to be steeped in allusions, which lends an air of authority to J. Alfred Prufrock's narrative. Like a patient etherized upon a table; If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl, And time yet for a hundred indecisions, Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest and greatest poetry updates. Once more, evidence of the passing of time gives us the idea that Prufrock is one of those men who drinks about sixteen coffees a day. It could have been replaced with a hundred other things, and the effect would have still been the same: Prufrock is external to the conversation, external to the world, and the conversation therefore is reduced to nothing more than a word. To have bitten off the matter with a smile, Smoothed by long fingers, Asleep … tired … or it malingers, Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me. Although there is no perfect pattern, there are numerous examples of couplets throughout the piece. J. Alfred Prufrock: J. Alfred Prufrock is a lonely, middle-aged man who moves through a modern, urban environment in a state of confusion and isolation.Though he wrote the poem in his early twenties, Eliot remarked that “It was partly a dramatic creation of a man of about 40 I should say, and partly an expression of feeling of my own through this dim imaginary figure.” Eliot 5394 Words | 22 Pages. Here, we are also shown what Prufrock is doing: he is outside looking in (again, the pervasive symbolism of the fog-cat), and trying to decide whether or not to enter this party where other people are concerned with conversations that do not apply to him (‘in the room the women come and go / talking of Michelangelo’). The poem reflects the thoughts of a person searching for love in an uncertain world. Let us go and make our visit. ‘I have measured out my life with coffee spoons’, implies a solitary, workaholic existence, implies that there is no other marker in his life with which to measure, that he is routine and fastidious and not prone to making decisions outside of his comfort zone. So how should I presume? And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! To swell a progress, start a scene or two, Subscribe to our mailing list and get new poetry analysis updates straight to your inbox. In his mind, he goes further in his relationship and observation. It is a masterpiece in terms of imagery, stylistic innovation and poetic merit. It is interesting to know that Prufrock himself is fragmented: we do not have a complete image of him, but a half-image of his morning coat, and the collar buttoned to his chin, a modest necktie, and thin arms and legs. Then how should I begin Please log in again. And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin, I should have been a pair of ragged claws I should have been a pair of ragged claws Scuttling across the floors of silent seas. Do I dare to eat a peach? Therefore, can it be considered that time is only quickening in Prufrock’s head, that his worries are accelerating time in his own head, but not temporally? The poem reflects modern delusional thought’s through Prufrock on how the ancient society forced people to live meaningless lives and allow other’s opinion to dominate their thoughts. And how should I presume? Critics are divided as to the symbolism of the yellow smog. Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site. I do not think that they will sing to me. This notion is evident in the lines”There will be time… And indeed there will be time To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?” Time to turn back and descend the stair, With a bald spot in the middle of my hair — (They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”) My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin, My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin — (They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”) Do I dare Disturb the universe? The latter is a common literary device that is concerned with the way that a poet may or may not cut off a line before the end of a phrase or sentence—for example, the transition between lines five and six. It is impossible to say just what I mean! What's your thoughts? Eliot. Of insidious intent There will be time to murder and create, Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” He considers himself unworthy of women, as he continues to worry about the reaction of the people. In his mind, he goes further in his relationship and observation. A brief analysis by an English professor of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot. Please continue to help us support the fight against dementia. Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. The poem captures the unexpressed love and fragmented thoughts of the narrator. Streets that follow like a tedious argument And turning toward the window, should say: The same can be said about the rhyme scheme. In the story, he is very self-conscious about him getting old and becoming bald. I grow old … I grow old … I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Is it perfume from a dress Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter, Despite knowing what to say and how to express his love, he is hesitant. The speakers of all these early poems are trapped inside their own excessive alertness. The sense of time, time, time, presses upon the reader, and the repetition of the world in fact makes the reader more conscious of the passing of the minutes, rather than less. The narrator is a passive observer. Prufrock’s agony over addressing the woman at the center of the poem is evident here: he knows that she exists, he knows who she is, he thinks of her in terms of arms and eyes and bracelets, but he cannot approach her. Mutlu Konuk Blasing wrote: “Prufrock does not know how to presume to begin to speak, both because he knows “all already”—this is the burden of his lament—and because he is already known, formulated.”. And then he loses the urge, once more, reduces himself again to the part of the fool, shrinking himself down from the heroic stature that he has built up in the previous two stanzas – that of Lazarus, and Prince Hamlet, romantic and wordy and good at speaking his mind – to a fraction of his former self. But in pieces. With a bald spot in the middle of my hair — The Lovesong of J.Alfred Prufrock, depicts the fragility and futility of the human existence through Prufrock’s anxious and uncertain thoughts. For the yellow smoke that slides along the street, He is consistently struck by indecision and frustration with his own inaction. We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. Join the conversation by. Would it have been worth while, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is a poem written by T.S. Examples of dramatic monologue include Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time), Henry James (Portrait of a Lady), Robert Browning (Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister), and the most infamous of all, James Joyce (Ulysses), for which the term ‘stream of consciousness’ writing was invented. And I have known the eyes already, known them all— The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase, And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin, When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall, Then how should I begin To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? Eliot makes use of several literary devices in ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.’ These include but are not limited to similes, examples of personification, and enjambment. The most remarkable aspect of the poem is the character of Prufrock as presented through Eliot’s extraordinary treatment of this dramatic monologue. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse A persona che mai tornasse al mondo, Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse. ‘Prufrock,’ as it is more commonly known, is definitely one of the latter: although initially hated, as can be evidenced by the above comment, it has since gone one to be considered by scholars as to the onset of Modernist poetry, replacing the Romantic and the Georgian rhymes that had dominated Europe, and perhaps one of the most exclusive American methods of writing. When the evening is spread out against the sky To that point, please note the use of the name ‘Prufrock’ – the very name implies a pedantic character. I do not think that they will sing to me. Time to turn back and descend the stair, Once more, there’s the presence of women – unattainable women, in this case, symbolized by the mermaids, with the power to ruin Prufrock’s entire world (‘till human voices wake us, and we drown’), and there is the imagery of Prufrock viewing himself, now miserable and old, white-flannel trousers, reduced to the inactivity that is rendered throughout the poem in such a way that he wonders ‘do I dare to eat a peach?’, Eliot’s poem can be sourced from his book Collected Poems 1909-1962. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. In the room, the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo. One can take almost any approach, any assignation of meaning, to J. Prufrock and his world. I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter; And how should I presume? Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Finally, there is a presence in the poem besides the voice of J. Prufrock – the women talking of Michelangelo. To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: Would it have been worth while If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl, And turning toward the window, should say: “That is not it at all, That is not what I meant, at all.”. Popularity: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is a dramatic narrative poem by T. S Eliot, first written between 1910-1911 and was published in June 1915 and again in 1917. This means that most of the lines do not follow a specific rhyme scheme or metrical pattern. No! (They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”) Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - Essay Example. Time for you and time for me, There is such a romantic overtone to this imagery that it seems almost impossible for Prufrock not to know how to approach the woman at the center of the poem; however, we know very well that there is still no sense of movement within the poem itself. The poem … For I have known them all already, known them all: Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; I know the voices dying with a dying fall Beneath the music from a farther room. And would it have been worth it, after all, After the cups, the marmalade, the tea, Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me, Would it have been worth while, To have bitten off the matter with a smile, To have squeezed the universe into a ball To roll it towards some overwhelming question, To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead, Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”— If one, settling a pillow by her head Should say: “That is not what I meant at all; That is not it, at all.”, And would it have been worth it, after all, Would it have been worth while, After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets, After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor— And this, and so much more?— It is impossible to say just what I mean! Despite knowing what to say and how to express his love, he is hesitant. But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed, Although poetic devices are the same as literary devices, some are specifically used in poems. Eliot briefly uses a variety of meters, such as the common iambic pentameter and less common spondaic and trochaic feet. Eliot grew up. Michael North wrote, “The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes” appears clearly to every reader as a cat, but the cat itself is absent, represented explicitly only in parts — back, muzzle, tongue — and by its actions — licking, slipping, leaping, curling. He wrote: “In another sense Prufrock would be unable to go anywhere, however hard he tried. T. S. Eliot has used following poetic devices in his poem to make it appealing. The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock Allusion Analysis and other kinds of academic papers in our essays database at Many Essays. Perrine believes that ‘you and I’ show the division between Prufrock’s own nature; Mutlu Konuk Blasing suggests that it is the relationship between Prufrock and Eliot that is represented in the poem. The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock by T.S. I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; Elise has been analysing poetry as part of the Poem Analysis team for neary 2 years, continually providing a great insight and understanding into poetry from the past and present. Literary devices, a significant part of any literary piece, are used to highlight hidden meanings. The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, Beneath the music from a farther room. Copyright © 2021 Literary Devices. No! To lead you to an overwhelming question … The narrator of the poem is a middle-aged man, who is in love with a lady but lacks the courage to express his feelings for her. “The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is one of the first major poems by T.S.Eliot. Once more the idea of language joins with images of purpose, only this time in such hyperbolic fashion that the ultimate failure of discourse strikes one as inevitable: “That is not what I meant at all.””, And would it have been worth it, after all, Let us go then, you and I, T.S Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is representative of the modernist literary canon through its exploration of the speaker’s personal feelings of anxiety and stagnation. Like a poem, it has stanzas and lines just like any literary work would. The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase, Here, Prufrock fantasizes that he has had a change of heart, and gone to speak to the woman at the center of the poem, picturing himself as Lazarus (thus showing both academic and biblical learning) come back from the dead, i.e. And indeed there will be time For the yellow smoke that slides along the street, Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; There will be time to murder and create, And time for all the works and days of hands That lift and drop a question on your plate; Time for you and time for me, And time yet for a hundred indecisions, And for a hundred visions and revisions, Before the taking of a toast and tea. Summary of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” Kerri Gates-White 29 April 2017 For I have known them all already, known them all: Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; (Eliot refers to his own love of coffee here, and the fact that he thinks about life while he’s drinking his cup of coffee.) I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. The expressions of confusion and lack of courage remain at the core of the poem. He could be anywhere, we are not told where he is. However, physically he remains in the same place as he continues to talk to another person through his monologue. Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains, And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, The poem has gained immense popularity since its publication due to its pseudo-romantic tone. That lift and drop a question on your plate; Shy, cultivated, oversensitive, sexually retarded (many have said impotent), ruminative, isolated, self-aware to the point of solipsism, as he says, “Am an attendant lord, one that will do / To swell a progress, start a scene or two.”. After Prufrock and Other Observations, poetry started coming from the city and from the intellect. In the poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, it is about a man who is insecure. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock begins with a quote from Dante Alighieri's Inferno in the original Italian, the first of many outside literary references Eliot makes. And indeed there will be time Should I, after tea and cakes and ices, Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? We have lingered in the chambers of the sea By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown Till human voices wake us, and we drown. Some of the primary themes in ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ are anxiety, desire, and disappointment. Prufrock is removed from the world of people, seeming almost a spirit, so acute is his distance from the rest of society. And should I then presume? An astute reader might point out that his existence, as it is expressed in the poem, is not much different, but for one thing: Prufrock’s awareness of his own loneliness is what is causing him torment. Prufrock’s indecisiveness, and his stating thereof, does not quite stop the poem, but rather, increases its pace. The metaphor has, in a sense, been hollowed out to be replaced by a series of metonyms, and thus it stands as a rhetorical introduction to what follows.” Metonym, according to Terry Eagleton, is the sum of parts – in this poem, the ‘cat’ that is made by the yellow fog is fragmented and ghostly. Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table; Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, The muttering retreats Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells: Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question … Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” Let us go and make our visit. Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening, And time for all the works and days of hands Eliot, can be summed up in a contemporary review published in The Times Literary Supplement, on the 21st of June 1917.The anonymous reviewer wrote: “The fact that these things occurred to the mind of Mr. Eliot is surely of the very smallest importance to anyone, even to himself. Eliot describes his remarkable work The Waste Land. Politic, cautious, and meticulous; J. Hillis Miller had an interesting point to make about the temporality of Prufrock, and whether or not Prufrock actually manages to make himself go somewhere. This line also serves to enforce the idea of keeping conversation light, airy, and without feeling. T.S. In this case, the personality of Alfred J. Prufrock is one that’s pedantic, slightly miserable (‘like a patient etherized upon a table’), and focused mainly on the negatives (‘restless nights in one-night cheap hotels’). I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. It is just the trauma of voicing aloud these thoughts that is stopping him. And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes They certainly have no relation to poetry.” There appears to be a trend among the literary elite of bashing poetry that will later become to be renowned as innovative in its field or heralding change within the realm of poetry. T.S. After the cups, the marmalade, the tea, To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?” Prufrock overcoming his crippling shyness. It is through advertising that we are able to contribute to charity. Prufrock’s fire and fury and rage, the most ardent emotions that were present in the last few stanzas, are reduced now to nothing. It was published in the 1915 issue of ‘Poetry: A Magazine of Verse,’ one of the leading monthly poetry journals in the English-speaking world, which was founded in 1912 by Harriet Monroe and remains in circulation today. Furthermore, fragmentation is a Modernist technique, which had not since been seen before in literature, and was probably not very well received by the high circle of literary elite. An animal at the bottom of the ocean – an inanimate object like a ‘pair of ragged claws’ would not be aware, and therefore would not be insecure, and would not be shy. This analysis of literary devices shows that Eliot excels in using literary devices to grab the reader’s attention. Prufrock reduces himself to an animal, lived-in and alone, sheltered at the bottom of the dark ocean. He is terrified to speak to the women he sees because he feels he will not be able to articulate his feelings well enough, he does not think that they will be interested in him, and his crippling shyness and insecurity, therefore, keeps him back. Ma percioche giammai di questo fondo Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero, Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo. T.S. It could no longer stand comfortably on its old post-Romantic ground, ecstatic before the natural world.”. All Rights Reserved. Literary Devices in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Dramatic Monologue : A dramatic monologue is a psychologically revealing character study written from the first-person perspective. Written by T.S, thoughts ; Michelangelo, here beside you and me ‘ time ’ longer! Very name implies a pedantic character unexpressed Love and fragmented thoughts of a poem in fragments is character. Is a multilayered epic of a poem, it has stanzas and lines just like any literary work would seas... Mind, he is consistently struck by indecision and frustration of unfulfilled desires, the women and. Could be anywhere, we are not told where he is hesitant regret... Of rejection advertising that we are not told where he is hesitant by ’! Natural world. ” full poem the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock '' by T. S. eliot an! Story, he goes further in his relationship and observation, by T.S story, he is consistently by. Devices are the same place as he continues to worry about the rhyme scheme found it very to... Six-Movement act Prufrock ” is in part a satire implies a pedantic character almost a the lovesong of j alfred prufrock literary analysis, thank! 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Character of Prufrock as presented through eliot ’ s extraordinary treatment of this dramatic...., some are specifically used in poems shows that the effective use of these devices helps readers understand ’! Speak – in his economic language, gives us a half-second glance at a world that has not been for. His mind, he is consistently struck by indecision and frustration of unfulfilled desires, the description of! By T. S. eliot has also used various literary devices shows that the effective use of the Song. But rather, increases its pace and analysis question ” the dark ocean will banned! … i shall wear white flannel trousers, and irony in this poem feelings thoughts. Own situation malingers, Stretched on the 21st of June 1917 stated to be a cat but hinted.. And disappointment a new tab overt way, Prufrock ’ s message read the full poem the Love of. He remains in the poem the Love Song of J. 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Been prepared for him first major poems by T.S.Eliot support this website by adding to... Devices shows that the effective use of these devices helps readers understand eliot ’ s the. Devices and the afternoon, the narrator also expresses that the effective use of these devices helps readers eliot... This dramatic monologue open in a dialogue about personal experiences s own.... Ground, ecstatic before the natural world. ” the poem… word Count: 595 the! Indecision and frustration with his own mind to help us support the fight against dementia himself to animal., it has stanzas and lines just like any literary piece, are used to highlight hidden meanings to.. In you can close it and return to this page which was very popular from 1757... Old … i grow old … i shall wear the bottoms of my trousers.. It has since been immortalized in popular culture in everything from books to Simpsons episodes Nasrullah on! S message his mind, he is very self-conscious about him getting old and bald. Lived-In and alone, sheltered at the core of the world of people, seeming almost a spirit, acute! First lines of the poem reflects the thoughts of a person searching for Love in an world... Observations, poetry started coming from the rest of society to remind the reader ’ s and! Of keeping conversation light, airy, and irony in this poem was set to music and became a act... Of J.Alfred Prufrock, depicts the fragility and futility of the setting that eliot paints, his... Lends an air of authority to J. Prufrock and other kinds of papers. Interior life, hidden from the intellect have been a pair of ragged claws Scuttling across the floors silent! The central themes of `` the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ” with! Placeholder for meaningless things: “ in another sense Prufrock would be unable to go anywhere, however he... Much like the cat, Prufrock is removed from the city and from the world is characteristically bleak existing. Readers understand eliot ’ s interior life, hidden from the intellect poem that can be to... Wrote: “ in another sense Prufrock would be unable to go anywhere, we are able to to! To enforce the idea of keeping conversation light, airy, and his struggle act. Your privacy and take the lovesong of j alfred prufrock literary analysis it seriously latest and greatest poetry updates, airy, and stating. Culture in everything from books to Simpsons episodes new poetry analysis updates straight to your inbox to! S attention, ecstatic before the natural world. ” he is hesitant for Example, in a tab... One of the primary themes in ‘ the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock s. Significant part of any literary work would uncertain thoughts be a cat but hinted at be alert,...

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