(lines 13-14): Eliot borrowed most of this line from the Uruguayan-born French poet Jules La Forgue (1860-1887).
In one of his works, La Forgue wrote (in French): Dans la piece les femmes vont et viennent / En parlant des matresde Sienne.
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 speaker resembles the cat as he looks into windows or into "the room," trying to decide whether to enter and become part of the activity.
The Lovesong Of J Alfred Prufrock Analysis Essay
Eventually, he curls up in the safety and security of his own soft armsalone, separate.In the novel, one of the characters, Benjamin, asks a series of questions ending with the "overwhelming question." Following is the passage: Didee ever see a British ship, Master Kirby? Where didee ever fall in with a regular built vessel, with starn-post and cutwater, gar board-streak and plank-shear, gangways, and hatchways, and waterways, quarter-deck, and forecastle, ay, and flush-deck?tell me that, man, if you can; where away didee ever fall in with a full-rigged, regular-built, necked vessel?They are like Prufrock in that they look upon a scene but do not become part of it.The smoke from their pipes helps form the haze over the city, the haze that serves as a metaphor for a timid cat Translation: If I thought my answer were to one who could return to the world, I would not reply, but as none ever did return alive from this depth, without fear of infamy I answer thee.What this stanza means is that Prufrock feels inferior and is unable to act decisively.He consigns himself to corners, as a timid person might at a dance; stands idly by doing nothing, as does a stagnant pool; and becomes the brunt of ridicule or condescension (the soot that falls on him).The quotation also points out that Prufrock, again like Count Guido, can present his feelings "without fear of infamy."Summary, Interpretation: The speaker invites the listener to walk with him into the streets on an evening that resembles a patient, anesthetized with ether, lying on the table of a hospital operating room.(Until recent times, physicians used ethera liquid obtained by combining sulfuric acid and ethyl alcoholto render patients unconscious before an operation.) The imagery suggests that the evening is lifeless and listless.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.