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The Deeper Side of Prufrock: A Personal Analysis Thomas Sterns Eliot wrote the poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" over a period of six years and published it circa 1917 at the ripe old age of twenty-nine. As his first published poem, 'Prufrock' revealed Eliot's original and highly developed style. Its startling jumps from rhetorical language to clich, its indirect literary references, and its simultaneous humor and pessimism were quite new in English literature. (World Book, 236) Prufrock's quest for a life he cannot live and a question he has difficulty confronting is intriguingly played out in various aspects of his humanity. He is doing battle in all aspects of his personality, which establishes him as a neurotic character. Neurosis, as defined by the Thorndike/Barnhart World Book Dictionary, is: any one of various mental or emotional disorders characterized by depression, ("I should have been a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.") anxiety, ("So how should I presume? / And how should I presume? / And how should I begin? / And should I then presume?") and abnormal fears, ("Do I dare disturb the universe?"). The personality of Prufrock embodies these characteristics. The physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of his life are governed by this ailment. Its fingers entwine about his very soul, affecting every area of his consciousness. Physically aging, this thin, balding male is aware of his decaying image, thus more self-conscious and less confident. This cannot be more clearly stated than in lines 40-45: With a bald spot in the middle of my hair- (They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!") My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin, My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin- (They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!") These physical insecurities prevent him from living th...

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