The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Questions and Answers
- ‘I have measured out my life with coffee spoons’- Explain.
Ans. This expression made by Prufrock alludes to his own life which he has idled away. This remark is really a serious comment upon his own life. He has spent his life in such a meaningless and trivial style that he cannot measure out his life by actions but by the doses of coffee that he took with the help of tea spoon. Truly speaking, he has done nothing important in his life. That he is leading a meaningless, aimless and pointless life is clearly proved here.
- Why does Mr. Prufrock not want to be a hero like Hamlet?
Ans. Mr. Prufrock is a burning example of modern exploitation and spiritual crisis in our society. He suffered from indecision, procrastination and dilatoriness throughout his whole life. It was really very shameful to him. When he found that Hamlet, a Shakespearean hero also suffered from the same problems, he wanted to level himself with Hamlet. But, Hamlet had so many good qualities also which could cover up his bad aspects. But Mr. Prufrock had no such good qualities. Therefore, very soon he announced that he was incomparable to Hamlet. Actually, Mr. Prufrock’s timidity, weakness are hinted in this line.
- What are important features of Mr. Prufrock?
Ans. Mr. Prufrock is an ideal example of modern hollow man. He wants to sing a love song but his whole life is passed. Neither he is able to propose to a lady nor he can marry then. He wants to perform many duties but lacks the courage. He can’t take any decision at the crucial moment. All his life is spent in procrastination. In short, Mr. Prufrock’s life can be termed as an epitome of pointless and meaningless modern human existence.
- Explain the Biblical allusion in the The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock?
Ans. To give a standard picture of Mr. Prufrock, a Biblical allusion is incorporated in this poem. According to the allusion, John the Baptist, a prophet was beheaded and his head was brought to king Herod’s court by a dancing girl Salome. Prufrock though alive is of the view that he has also met the same fate like the Baptist. He calls himself to be a martyr. Actually, here Mr. Prufrock’s timid nature is highlighted. His cowardliness to perform any thing makes him feel like that.
- Give two imageries from ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ and explain them.
Ans. To portray the modern situation vividly, T.S. Eliot has used a number of images in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Firstly, evening is compared to a patient etherized on a table. Actually it indicates the nature of Prufrock who leads an inert, passive and sub-conscious life. Secondly, yellow fog is compared to a cart. It symbolizes two meanings. Outwardly it indicates the polluted modern life but inwardly it hints to the ethical and moral degradation of mankind.
- What is the overwhelming question made in the ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”?
Ans. Actually in “Love Song” no overwhelming question is made but it is left for the readers to guess. Probably it is the proposal of Mr. Prufrock’s marriage. Mr. Prufrock always wants to make a love proposal but his indecisiveness always prevents him from doing so. Every moment by showing some casual cause, he refrained himself. Moreover, he is not aware of what the proposed lady’s answer would be. He would be frustrated deeply if the lady answered that she never regarded him as her lover and Mr. Prufrock had misunderstood her behaviour. So the question is really over whelming as it is never made but understood only.
- What is Mr. Prufrock’s decision in his old days?
Ans. Getting frustrated in his pointless existence, Prufrock wants to compensate his old age in a new style. He will wear trousers of latest fashion now. He will part his hair to hide baldness. Though eating peach fruit would be a daring task, he would walk upon the beach. Mermaids will sing to him from the rising sea waves though he can’t think of such things.
- “Let us to them you and I”-Who are ‘you’ and ‘I’ referred to here?
Ans. Here you’ and ‘l’ are the different entities of Mr. Prufrock himself. ‘You’ indicates his private self and ‘I’ refers to his outward or public self. His ‘you’ self wants to perform some sexual or emotional activities but his ‘l’ self always suppresses because his inner self is indescribably weak. Hereafter Mr. Prufrock’s neurotic weakness is highlighted.