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Jenna Hecker Anderson J Arthur Prufrock as a tragic character The lovesong of J Arthur Prufrock is a candid look into the tortured psyche of a man struggling with his self-image J Arthur Prufrock is afraid to admit to himself that he has failed He has failed in love in life and in his ability to establish his own identity Prufrock invites us to join him in his self-examination and paints for the reader a dull yellowing world which he inhabits Let us go then you and I When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherised upon a table Eliot 1420 Eliots carefully chosen words establish a picture of this dream world that is Prufrocks psyche The word etherised a reference to the ether used as anesthesia in operations alerts us that Prufrock finds himself numb and also that he is aware his perception is altered It shows us from the beginning that we are not hearing from a man who is completely in control of himself By calling himself an etherised patient he is denoting that he is a person waiting to be operated on he is waiting for treatment Prufrock is telling the tale of his isolation He speaks of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels He specifies that he never spends more than one night implying that he does not keep his lovers possibly even letting us know that they are working women as women of Prufrocks social class would probably not typically find themselves sleeping in cheap hotels He establishes his social status early in the poem as he watches women come and go talking of Michelangelo Eliot 1420 The women in his company are educated and paying him no attention He as invisible to the people in his world as we the unseen reader are Prufrock also establishes his age in this couplet it is implied that he has been watching these women for a
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