Prufrock Essay

Modernist texts are interested in representing the inner life of characters which lay beneath the surface. These texts expose the alienation and displacement that individuals often felt in modern, industrial society. T.S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’   these modernist ideas through various modernist practices used. Eliot’s dramatic monologue style conveys the emotions of the persona, Prufrock, as the responder follows his fragmented thought patterns. Through the use of various techniques, Eliot highlights Prufrock’s inner turmoil he faces in a modernist society.
The poem begins with a setting of an unpleasant growing industrial world.   The responder is given a sterile and deathly image of the city through the simile “when the evening is spread out against the sky like a patient etherised upon a table”.   The conceit of these lines creates objective correlative reflecting Prufrock’s social paralysis while depicting an oppressive lonely quality of setting.   It is through this line that not only the modernist practises are observed but also the idea of social paralysis that makes this text a modernist poem.
Elliot allows an insight into the emotions felt by Prufrock.   With the ironic allusion to Shakespeare’s Hamlet in “No! I am not Prince Hamlet” the personas indecisiveness is highlighted.   Hamlet is indecisive; however he learnt to make a decision which is cleverly juxtaposed against Prufrock who is, also indecisive, also unable to make decisions.   This indecisivness is further highlighted with “nor was meant to be” which echoes the famous line “to be or not to be”.   The allusion used emphasises the dithering mentality Prufrock expresses representing the inner life of modernist characters.  
Through this modernist text we are given an understanding that the persona feels scrutinised.   Through the metaphor “and when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin, when I am pinned and wriggling on the wall”   the responder is given a clear idea that...