The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock : themes

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The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is a notable literary work by T. S. Eliot. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.


The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is a remarkable modernist poem by Thomas Stearns Eliot. Look at the poem’s themes to explore the story of a modern person and his barren society.

Alienation and Social Anxiety

The core theme of the poem is the speaker’s alienation and social anxiety. He is aware of nothing but his insecurities and disconnectedness from the society. This line shows the theme:  I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”

Isolation and Loneliness

Prufrock is isolated both socially and mentally. He represents the futile modern people. He dreams of meaningful connections with his beloved but cannot make due to his self-imposed barriers. Being frustrated, he desires to escape to a romantic world. 


Prufrock is entirely doubtful. Consequently, he never proposes to any lady. He fears to be rejected by the lady. He constantly questions whether he is worthy of love or admiration by his beloved or not. He expresses his self-doubts in this line: “Do I dare disturb the universe?”

Urban Decay and Disillusionment

The poem provides a bleak picture of modern urban society by describing the fragmented environment and the mean nature of women. They talk about the great Italian painter Michelangelo, though they have yet to gain the skill of art or knowledge of Michelangelo.