The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

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13 April 2013 The work I determined to find a piece of literary criticism for is T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock”. I chose this piece initially because I knew the least about it and wanted to learn more, so that I could prepare for any test questions. Upon reading it, and determining what I was able to glean from it, I find the piece to be an excellent study as a psychology student into how we can talk ourselves out of happiness. I found a piece of literary criticism written by Levi Asher. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is Asher’s favorite poem. According to Asher’s opinion of the poem, it appears to be “an ugly little poem” (Asher), a “clumsy, intentionally malformed, and certainly unmusical” farce when first read, though the true elegance gradually comes through over several readings. Asher finds the poem to be “an incredibly innovative and important poem” (Asher) for several reasons: the intense interior monologue, the comparison to being pinned to a wall like a bug “before Franz Kafka began to dream up ‘Metamorphosis’” (Asher), and the fragmented style, written about 50 years before it was made famous by William S. Burroughs. However, despite all of the important contributions, Asher likes it best because, “it captures the insanity, intensity and sheer length, width and breadth of human feelings more than any other poem I have ever read” (Asher). Asher goes on to describe the characteristics of Prufrock, as a middle-aged, possibly mentally ill man of notable social standing, whose psychological demons so interrupt his mental state, that he still remains single into this time of life. He finds himself feeling deeply for at least one woman in the room, but unable to approach in attempt to form a meaningful relationship. Asher believes that what this poem really tells us is that the act of sex is with another person, is to

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