The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 14 pages of analysis & critique of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
This section contains 3,554 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by John Berryman

SOURCE: “Prufrock's Dilemma,” in The Freedom of the Poet, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1960, pp. 270-78.

In the following essay, originally published in 1960, Berryman describes “Prufrock” as ushering in the era of modern poetry with its ability to subvert and invert the reader's expectations.

To begin with Eliot's title, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” is the second half quite what the first led us to expect? A man named J. Alfred Prufrock could hardly be expected to sing a love song; he sounds too well dressed. His name takes something away from the notion of a love song; the form of the title, that is to say, is reductive. How does he begin singing?

Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky … 

That sounds very pretty—lyrical—he does seem, after all, in spite of his name, to be inviting...

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This section contains 3,554 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by John Berryman
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Critical Essay by John Berryman from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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