essay #2 enl3

essay #2 enl3 - Fong 1 Timothy Fong Eric OBrien English 003...

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Fong 1 Timothy Fong Eric O’Brien English 003 21, May 2009 J. Alfred Prufrock Is No Fool T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” begins with an epigraph from the Dante’s epic poem “Inferno”, an excerpt that ends with one of the false counselors in Hell preparing “without fear of infamy I answer you” (epigraph). This answer is not intended for “anyone who would ever return to the world” (epigraph). Likewise, J. Alfred Prufrock is able to “Disturb the universe” (46) and impact the world. Yet he struggles with the overlying question, “Do I dare?” (38). It is unclear who J. Alfred Prufrock is or much less what he is capable of doing. J. Alfred Prufrock is unable to cope with the pressures of being a hero and therefore rejects the idea of becoming one. J. Alfred Prufrock dislikes the idea of being adored by the women or revered as one of Michelangelo’s famous works of art. By introducing the idea that he is “pinned and wriggling on the wall” (58), Prufrock is describing a painting. He is associating himself with the idea that he already experienced the feeling of having been scrutinized and formulated, like a painting. “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 (56-58), or otherwise posted up like a painting, “how should I presume?” (61). He is unable to continue with such pressure on him. He hesitates because he does not want to be the focus of attention when he is a man “With a bald spot in the
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Fong 2 middle of my hair—/ [They will say: ‘How his hair is growing thin!’]” (40-41). He does not want to be the hero because he feels he does not fit the description of a hero. He also says “My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—/ [They will say: ‘But how his arms and legs are thin!’”(43-44). His fear of public scrutiny of his outward appearance inhibits his ability to become a hero. J. Alfred Prufrock continues to emphasize his inaptitude of heroism by describing himself with an apophasis where he says “No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be” (111). As the main character of the play “Hamlet”, Prince Hamlet is the hero.
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This note was uploaded on 10/14/2009 for the course ENL 62069 taught by Professor Juliewilhelm during the Spring '08 term at UC Davis.

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essay #2 enl3 - Fong 1 Timothy Fong Eric OBrien English 003...

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