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Monotony within Modernity


As American literature shifted towards modernity, T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” reveals the blandness of the modern human. As the speaker in the poem, J. Alfred questions both his life and his very own existence within a seemingly bleak and uninteresting world. 

In spite of his struggles, his personal search for a sense of purpose leads to the conclusion that there is, perhaps, no purpose to life at all. This profound epiphany also represents the changes in thinking for the modern individual.J. Alfred.

J. Alfred epitomises modern thinking because he has trouble accepting the monotony around him. For example, specific imagery, such as the lonely streets, suggests that J. Alfred is nothing more than wanderer who does his best to meander through the cyclical nature of daily life. Furthermore, J. Alfred believes that people within society as a whole might think that life is beautiful, but J. Alfred counter argues that such an idea is too idealistic. The image of people who had spent time in sea chambers implies a romanticised perspective on life.


Unfortunately, J. Alfred asserts that this seemingly perfect fantasy will end up being destroyed as the people in the sea drown. These ideas that close the poem demonstrate how some people might think that life is magical, but that perspective is ultimately foolish. Therefore, “The Love Song of J. AlfredPrufrock” asserts that rational thinking is essential for confronting reality within this dismal critique of modern life.


Alex Phuong