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Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Portrait of a Lady comparitive piece

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Introduction

Core Homework Task Module B: Critical Study of Texts Section One: Poem One: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock explores the emotional and conflicting thoughts of a middle-aged man who is indecisive of attending a party to meet a woman. His indecisiveness is caused by his hypocrisy towards the higher classes of society along with his self-consciousness and concern for superficial matters. He concludes that he has achieved nothing and that his life is futile. One of the poem's main issues is the effect of industrialisation on society. Eliot uses personification of a cat in the extended metaphor," 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 corners of the evening, Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains," to convey the sordidness of pollution caused by industrialisation. ...read more.

Middle

Prufrock describes himself as unimportant and isolated. The superficiality of the persona is continually revealed throughout the poem through the asides, which focus on superficial matters and Prufrock's references to his bald spot. His insecure nature is reveal through the persona constantly questioning himself, "Do I dare?" and "how should I presume?" "I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas", suggests that Prufrock lacks mindless craving that could have placed him on terms with the reality and permitted him to survive in the depths where he exists unnaturally. Poem Two: Portrait of a Lady Portrait of a Lady is a dramatic duologue between a young man and an older woman centering on their relationship. The poem describes three meetings between them each occurring in a different season. The poem raises a variety of issues relating to love and a need to be socially accepted. A main issue in Portrait of a Lady is the desire to conform and be accepted into society. ...read more.

Conclusion

The romantic atmosphere is shattered when the woman is talking and the persona states, "Inside my brain a dull tom-tom begins Absurdly hammering a prelude of its own." The line implies his feelings of tedium and frustration towards her. The lady's love is unrequited by the man. This is evident through Eliot use of comparing the persona's feelings towards her by using auditory images. He appears to be bored and is disinterested in conversing with her and resorts to a means of escape, "Let us take the air, in a tobacco trance." Another issue in the poem is the persona's feelings towards the Lady. In the beginning of the poem, he appears to not reciprocate her love. When the persona visits to tell her about him going abroad, he starts to doubt whether leaving her is right. The line "Not knowing what to feel or if I understand" states his uncertainty about his feelings towards her. He realises that he has the advantage now in their relationship but wonders if it was just a hollow victory. ...read more.

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