Prufrock's Destructive Criticism

Self- Opinion

In the poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Prufrock questions his value towards society. He fears the impact he will have on the people around him.The modernist poem of Prufrock shows how he acts through multiple personalities inside his head which removes Prufrock from the world. When he speaks freely inside his head to release his emotions, he refrains himself from acting in the outside world. Prufrock's tragic flaw is his low self esteem, which is made evident throughout the poem.

Diagnosing Prufrock

J. Alfred Prufrock's lack of confidence is evident throughout every aspect of his life where his only course of action can be seen in his daydreams.

Society's Opinion

Prufrock is self conscious because he fears what society will say about him- "how his hair is growing thin!" and "how his arms and legs are thin!". His superficiality makes him constantly concerned with his appearance.

Lack of Confidence

Prufrock lacks confidence in himself mentally and physically. It is seen when he mentions the mermaids. He implies that he has no chance if he approaches a woman because he is inferior. " We have lingered in the chambers of the sea by sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown till human voices wake us, and we drown".

Fear of Impact on Society

"Do I dare disturb the universe?" This is how Prufrock analyzes his life decisions. He has the ability to change, but does not have the courage to do so. Prufrock is worried he will do something that he will regret.

Insecurity & Procrastination

Prufrock's insecurities have a big effect on his life; he feels frustrated at his lack of accomplishments. Prufrock's cautiousness left him with no accomplishments, hence the fact he can measure his life activities with coffee spoons.

Hamlet's Ambitions

Prufrock compares himself to Hamlet. He reveals his feelings of envy because Hamlet is able to express his feelings of love, while he cannot; instead, he is more like Polonius- "an attendant lord". Hamlet is wise, deferential and intelligent, whereas Polonius tends to be politic, meticulous and fears looking foolish at the same time.

Disturb The Universe, I Dare You.

Throughout the poem, Prufrock experiences different emotions: frustration, fear, and indecisiveness. They all come from one source: his low self-esteem. He is being tortured by his problems to the point where he doesn't express his love because of the fear of rejection. Prufrock's isolation from the world has become so extensive that he has lost touch with reality or anything that can potentially make him happy. Here are a few tips on living a healthy and active life:

Its never too late to start again!

It you are experiencing similar anxieties as Prufrock, PLEASE, don't wait. Talk to a trusting son, daughter, or grandchild TODAY. You are not alone.


#prufrockproblems for more tips or to share your story.