Decision Making and J. Alfred Prufrock Essay

Submitted By Kuiarasu
Words: 816
Pages: 4

There Is No Love Without Risk: The Story of Prufrock Life is full of opportunities, whether they're a simple choice or a big risk. It's completely up to us to make these decisions, which will determine the outcome of our future. While reading “The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock”, we see a prime example of a man, or what's left of one, stuck in a stalemate due to his indecisiveness. Prufrock has many problems with him, which all lead him into a standstill in his life. His obsessive, indecisive, and pessimistic nature are all causes of his standstill life. “The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock” provides many examples of indecision. Throughout the poem, Prufrock is met with many opportunities to change his life, yet chooses not to act upon them. Prufrock's indecisiveness revolves around even the smallest of concerns: “And time yet for a hundred indecisions, / And for a hundred visions and revisions, / Before the taking of a toast and tea” (Eliot 32-34). Prufrock goes on to reveal more of his indecisive nature: “Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?” (122). This depicts Prufrock’s imprisonment in the present due to his indecisiveness. His concerns with such menial things is wasting his life away, as he “grow[s] old” (120). Though, his indecisiveness is not the only thing holding him back from moving on from his standstill life. Prufrock constantly gives us detail about his life to remind us that it is “meticulous” (116) and boring. In the beginning of the poem, Prufrock mentions this “overwhelming question” (93) that he would like to ask. He constantly obsesses about the question, always asking himself: “Do I dare?” (38), as if he would “[d]isturb the universe” (46). He continues to obsess about what will happen if he were to ask his question, leading him to not ask at all. This question would be the answer to most of Prufrock’s problems. The poem suggests that the question he would like to ask is to be directed to a woman. This would mean that Prufrock would perhaps like to ask a woman to be his lover, which in turn would definitely solve his loneliness issue. Prufrock's obsession wasn't the only thing that stopped him from asking his question, as he shows in the poem many times that he doesn't think very highly of himself. Prufrock has a slew of problems on his plate. One of the bigger ones is his feelings of inadequacy. “Prufrock's self-esteem has long ago been shipwrecked” (Cervo) along with any other human-like qualities he had left. He feels that everyone will ridicule him for his appearance, and that the “bald spot in the middle of [his] hair” (40) is holding him back. From the clothing that he wears, to his physical appearance, all Prufrock can do is continuously think about what might be said about him. His feeling of inadequacy can directly relate and influence his indecisive and obsessive nature. Since Prufrock feels that he is not up to par with whatever he may compare himself to, he will continue to over think his situations, and every possible negative outcome of them. This leads to yet another problem of Prufrock. Throughout the entire poem,