The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock | Critical Essay by J. Peter Dyson

This literature criticism consists of approximately 4 pages of analysis & critique of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
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SOURCE: "Word Heard: Prufrock Asks His Question," in Yeats Eliot Review, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1978, pp. 33-5.

In the following essay, Dyson contradicts Robert M. Seiler's arguments, stating that Eliot does pose a question in "Prufrock."

An assumption seems to have grown up over the years that no precise meaning can be assigned to the "overwhelming question" in T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." When Prufrock cries, "It is impossible to say just what I mean!" one is meant, apparently, to see the impossibility as referring, above all, to the formulation of the question. One can certainly agree with Balachandra Rajan, in his recent book, The Overwhelming Question, that "Prufrock" owes its effect as much to what is not in the poem as to what is, but Rajan's denial of the question's presence in the poem tends to diminish unnecessarily Eliot's accomplishment...

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This section contains 1,027 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by J. Peter Dyson
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