2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

T.S. Eliot's Sardonic Love Song Challenges Desolate Society
Katie E. Monaghan
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” infers pulchritude, prominence, and beauty, yet it falls short of a Neil Diamond hit. This essay discusses the characterization of one lonely man compared to the artificial society that surrounds his cheerless ballad. Eliot tells the tale of an unfortunate man who has relinquished a despondent society. Through Prufrock, Eliot allows a society distinguished by novels, teacups, and skirts trailing along the floor to be viewed with a more genuine lens. Prufrock’s society fought to cover the smell of “one-night cheap hotels” and “sawdust restaurants,” with perfumed bodies and braceleted arms. Externally, society appears to be refined and sophisticated, yet underneath that skin deep flare lays a rank crudeness that Prufrock must escape or forever measure his life with coffee spoons and tea cakes. With several references to death, revulsion, and desperation, Prufrock’s ballad symbolizes humanity at its loneliest.

Keywords: prominence, lonely man, artificial society , despondent, perfumed bodies , rank crudeness , revulsion, refined


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 5-3
Location: VH 1320
Time: 8:45

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