Patient #246001 J. Alfred Prufrock

An Analysis of a Troubled Man & His Opinion of Women

Profile of J. Alfred Prufrock

  • he feels lonely and isolated - a man on the outskirts of society
  • he is paralyzed by fear and feels like he is being constantly scrutinized
  • he feels like he is "pinned...wriggling on the wall"
  • believes society to be superficial and critical
  • convinced that he has an infinite amount of time
  • these are the justifications for his inaction

Prufrock's feelings, opinions about his world, and inability to act all contribute to his opinions regarding women. He sees women as objects of desire - never recognizing a person, only bodily features she possesses. For example, when making reference to a woman Prufrock never fully describes a "complete" person; instead, he describes her eyes, hair, arms, fingers, perfume, and dress. He clearly lusts after a woman and desires a relationship but he never makes an attempt at interaction. Thus, it is clear that because of his lack of participation in his world he has no clear idea of women in reality.

Prufrock's Opinion of Women

Though Prufrock seems to desperately want a relationship with a woman, he FEARS them much like everything else in his world. Prufrock reduces women to less than whole beings (as expressed above), yet he feels that they are superior to him. This reveals Prufrock's incredibly low self esteem and confidence. This idea is expressed when he states that "women come and go/ Talking of Michelangelo". Here, Prufrock may be speaking of high class women, who are cultured and sophisticated, representing a world to which he does not feel like he belongs. As well, the only clear image of a woman that Prufrock expresses is a mermaid, which we know is far from the "typical" woman he would most likely encounter.

From Where We Sit...

After speaking to Mr. Prufrock, it has become apparent that his overall view of women is completely skewed. Mr. Prufrock is very shy when it comes to social interaction, revealing his serious anxiety. He desperately desires a relationship, yet he believes he will be judged and will fail the woman on all accounts. This was made clear to us when he said, “Would it have been worthwhile…if one should say, ‘That is not what I meant at all’”. He fears that he will not understand the woman, and the effort to communicate with her at will be wasted. Prufrock has put women on a pedestal, yet he does not truly know them enough to form a complete image. This is all a result of his lack of communication and social interaction. A significant problem that we also noted was that Prufrock did not find this to be a problem as he believes he has an infinite amount of time to act on his desires. He stated in an interview, “And indeed there will be time…there will be time, there will be time”. In conclusion, we find that these opinions propose serious problems for Mr. Prufrock.

Proposed Course of Action

We recommend that Mr. Prufrock attends counselling to vocalize rather than internalize his thoughts, opinions, and problems. His pessimistic attitude reflects poorly on his relationship with the world, especially with women. This is why we also recommend that Mr. Prufrock attends group meetings where he will be able to interact with others and meet with men and women who are battling inner demons much like he is. He has isolated himself, so he must come to the realization that he is, in fact, NOT ALONE. But, he must also be willing to take a look at himself as he has not expressed recognition of his issues. We believe that music can be therapeutic for many people, so we included a song that may help him. It includes the following lyrics:

"Welcome to existence
Everyone's here
Everybody's watching you now
What happens next
I dare you to move

I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
Like today never happened"

We hope that these lyrics, as well as the messages of other songs may motivate the troubled Mr. Prufrock. We sincerely wish him all the best,

Dr. Daryl Watson & Dr. Alexandra Moffatt


Switchfoot - Dare You To Move by perfect_error18

If you find yourself suffering from similar anxieties, consider the following video...

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