As people look back to past experiences in their life what do they want to remember? Do they want to remember a wonderful life full of expieriences, or a life where they never really lived? The theme of the unlived life in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock manifests through the narrator as he truly embodies the realistic fact that some people out there are introverted, living in fear, and worrying to much about what society does not approve of them. Life is not going to live for one, one must live for life.
Introversion is presented throughout The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and presents how one person’s fear can limit their life. The character of J. Alfred Prufrock displays this attribute when he states, “And I have known the eyes already, known them all – The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase, And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall” (Lines 55-58). This quote gives readers the sense of Prufrock’s true insecurities. It also provides evidence into how he wanted to blend in and not really socialize at all.
Prufrock again states, “There will be time, there will be time to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet“ This shows how prufrock did not feel ready for society, another form of introversy. It also procides insight into the fact that Prufrock seperated himself from people and that he fealt unready for interaction. Lastly Prufrock again states, “And indeed there will be timeTo wonder, ‘Do I dare?‘ and, ‘Do I dare?‘“ This hsows how Prufrock was so estranged from society and how introverted he was. It also gives a sense of hope and a want to break this introversy with the statements of “Do i dare “.
Another clear point that is presented by the Author is Prufrock’s life of fear. As Prufrock said,“With a bald spot in the middle of my hair They will say: ‘How his hair is growing thin!‘”(Lines 40-41) This statement shows how prifrock was so insecure and afraid of what people think. It also shows his clear fear of rejection. Prufrock again states, “They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”( line 44) This statement proves the fact that again Prufrock is truly afraid of society. It also shows His total insecurities. Lastly Prufrock says,”Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent“(Line 8-9) again Prufrock, shows that he even fears the streets of his neighborhood. It also shows how his fear makes him even afraid of the street.
Lastly presented was the worrying of what society thinks.And I have known the arms already, known them all – Arms that are braceleted and white and bare[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!] This statement shows his complete fear of what society will think. It shows how he almost feels trapped by society’s expectations. Prufrock also states,”Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.”
This shows how he wants to be set free but does not feel as though it is a possibility. it also shows the fact that prufrock wanted to be free with himself and live but was tied down. Lastly he says “Time for you and time for me,And time yet for a hundred indecisions, And for a hundred visions and revisions, Before the taking of a toast and tea. “ This last quote shows how he feels the need to revise himself for society. Also this shows his insecurities due to society’s pressure.
In conclusion the theme of the unlived life in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock comes through as the narrator embodies the realistic fact that some people out there are introverted, living in fear, and worrying to much about what society does not approve of them. It shows that fear becomes an enemy to life and is a component in the detriment of a person’s social status and well being.