Q) The ordinary man’s experience, Eliot argued, is ‘chaotic, irregular, and fragmentary.’ To what extend does this statement reflect your experience of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Intro: The main figures in T.S. Eliot’s poem’s, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” and “Preludes,” undergoes a conscious exploration of themselves. This invites readers to experience his dismantling personality which epitomises Eliot’s vision of the modern urban man, and in turn, the modern world. Prufrock’s journey is not based around a self-consciousness problem, but a more deeply philosophical dilemma, as he is paralysed by his hectic sense of time. His experience is also both fragmentary and irregular, living in a divided city amongst his own disjointed and irregular mind and voice. Prelude’s follows the deep consciousness of a man amongst a hopeless and depressed society which lacks meaning. Its people are entrapped in a constant mechanical process that lacks meaning and vividness.
Paragraph 1: Within the opening stanzas, one key term in modernist literature, fragmentation is displayed through Eliot’s use of imagery.
* He has accumulated numerous and various words, images and sounds to describe Prufrock’s city in a chaotic effect.
* Prufrock lives in a city that is growing increasingly modern; afraid or unable to change with it. This suffocation is observed through his technique “objective correlative” (grafting emotional meaning onto otherwise concrete objects); as the fog creeps up on the street like a cat “The yellow fog rubs its back upon the window panes.”
* Similes present the city as a disorderly and a scattered collection of "Streets that follow like a tedious argument;" that are unattractive and seedy, “one-night cheap hotels.” This division amongst the city also interrelates with our insight into Prufrock’s confused mind and voice.