He does try to make progress, but his timidity and fear of failure inhibit him from taking action. But it could also be London, to which Eliot moved in 1914.The action takes place in the evening in a bleak section of a smoky city. However, Eliot probably intended the setting to be any city anywhere. He escorts his silent listener through streets in a shabby part of a city, past cheap hotels and restaurants, to a social gathering where women he would like to meet are conversing.
Eliot took the last name of the title character from a sign advertising the William Prufrock furniture company, a business in Eliot's hometown, St. Only the narrator, talkshence the term monologue, meaning "single (mono) discourse (logue)." During his discourse, the speaker intentionally and unintentionally reveals information about himself.
The main focus of a dramatic monologue is this personal information, not the speaker's topic.
However, he is hesitant to take part in the activity for fear of making a fool of himself.
The Lonely Men in Shirtsleeves: Leaning out of their windows, they smoke pipes.
They will then prod the listener to ask the speaker a question about the speaker's life (line 10): Eliot appears to have borrowed this phrase from James Fenimore Cooper's 1823 novel, The Pioneers, one of five novels that make up The Leatherstocking Tales (1823-1841), about life on the frontier in early America.
When he was a youth, Eliot read and enjoyed The Pioneers.
The words "Love Song" seem apt, for one of the definitions of love song is narrative poem. Alfred Prufrock" is a narrative, presenting a moment in the life of the title character. In addition, the work has characteristics of most love songs, such as repetition (or refrain), rhyme, and rhythm. Alfred Prufrock" is a modernistic poem in the form of a dramatic monologue.
It also focuses on the womanly love that eludes Prufrock. and name Alfred are inventions, probably mimicking the way Eliot occasionally signed his name as a young adult: T. A dramatic monologue presents a moment in which a narrator/speaker discusses a topic and, in so doing, reveals his personal feelings to a listener.
The speaker and the listener will walk through lonely streetsthe business day has endedpast cheap hotels and restaurants with sawdust on the floors.
(Sawdust was used to absorb spilled beverages and food, making it easy to sweep up at the end of the day.) The shabby establishments will remind the speaker of his own shortcomings, their images remaining in his mind as he walks on.