This sample essay on In “Love After Love,” Which Of The Following Lines From The Poem Contains A Paradoxical Image? provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
T. S. Elliot, the speaker is Froufrou himself. He is debating with the two conflicting sides of his personality. One wants him to propose love, the other wants him to hold back. The setting Is most likely In the early asses or so, taking Into consideration the afternoon tea, the shawls the ladles wear, and “the skirts that trail along the floor”(102).
The situation Is fairly straightforward In some respects. Alfred Froufrou is on his way to a tea In the mid-afternoon and Is indecisive as to whether he should declare his love or not. Figurative language is cost abundant in this poem.
Throughout, parts of the city are personified as being human while Froufrou is personified as being less than human.
The “yellow fog” and the sky which is like “a patient” appear intelligent to the reader of the poem. On the other hand, Froufrou thinks of himself as a crab which should be scuttling across the floor of the sea or a senile old man who wears flannel trousers. This evidence the city and nature which are the yellow fog and the sky are taking mastery over Froufrou. They have become king. The phrase, “But as If a magic lantern threw the nerves In tatters on the screen”(105) has thematic Importance as well.
A magic lantern Is a movie projector; hence, Froufrou is viewing his life and thought as a movie with a predetermined end. This predetermined end Is that his love would not Like him and that he would fall In his proposal of love. Irony exists In the title, for this poem Is not a livelong but rather a piece mourning a man’s fear to propose love. Nearly all of Frocks allusions are overstatement. He speaks of himself as one decapitated and one absolutely banned from telling his story of love. This, however, is not the case as Froufrou’s only limitation is himself.
Before moving on, it is imperative that a precise view of J. Alfred Froufrou’s personality be extrapolated. First of all, Frock is in a state of terrible uncertainty. He is both the “you” and “l” in line 1, symbolizing his internal conflict. Such lines as, “When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient theorized upon a table”(2-3) and “When I am pinned and wriggling against the wall, Then how should I vividly portray Froufrou’s own sense of paralysis. He feels that he has no control over the situation whatsoever. Furthermore, e thinks himself totally unfit to take up a courtship.
Statements like “They will say: School his hair is growing ) and “They will say: DHOW his legs and arms are thin”(44) express his inner lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. Froufrou worries about the rebuke of mainstream society for his expression of love and does not want to “disturb the universe”(46) lest all his faults are revealed. He fears rejection from his own lover as well. “Would it have been worthwhile If one, settling a pillow or throwing Off shawl, And turning toward the window, should say: that is not it at al, That is not what I meant, at all’”(106-110).
The final piece of this poem that needs to be examined in order to unlock Froufrou’s personality Is the opening epigraph. This epigraph is from Dent’s Inferno and If translated Into English it reads thus: If I believed my answer were being given to someone who would ever return to the world, this flame would shake no more. But since no one has ever returned alive from this depth, Is what I hear Is true, I will answer you without fear of disgrace. This passage resonates with Froufrou, for he is in a hell himself.
A hell of his own thoughts an Nonsensical. He cannot rolling enamels to ace one way or another. Moreover, Nils own worries and qualms about himself are near tortuous. “The Livelong of J. Alfred Froufrou” contains numerous allusions to other literature. Three of the most striking allusions are those to John the Baptist, Lazarus, and Hamlet. First, the allusion to John the Baptist reveals the relationship of society to Froufrou. Society has decapitated Froufrou and discouraged him from fully expressing his love .
The allusion to Lazarus is tied to Froufrou in that Just as Lazarus was unable to tell his story of hell to those n Earth, Froufrou is unable, or thinks he is unable to declare his love to his girlfriend. The allusion to Hamlet is the most important of all. Froufrou is quite similar to Hamlet in that both are procrastinators. Still, Hamlet decided to “force the moment to its crisis” while Froufrou Just apathetically pushed aside the moment of climax and went on with his sterile, boring life. He decided not to risk the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
In general, the tone of this poem is one of near absolute despair. The rottenness of inner-city life provides a depressing undertone. Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels And sawdust restaurants with oyster shells”(6-7). The impersonality of the city is well pictured by Elliot here. It with its “yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes” is the backdrop for the internal conflict of a Froufrou who is exhausted with life. The inner-city also stifles Froufrou. “I should have been a pair of ragged claws Scuttling across the floors of silent seas”(73-74).
In short, city life is the very thing that is the bane of Froufrou’s love. A striking theme in this poem is that urbanity paralyzes the will. Streets that follow like a tedious argument Of insidious intent To lead you to an overwhelming question”(8-10). The “streets,” or rather urban life, are a great factor in Froufrou’s indecisiveness. He sees the impersonal world about him and feels discouraged. “Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows”(70-72).
This passage once again reveals the mellowing nature of city life. The very nature of the inner-city is to oppress. In the large metropolis there is no opportunity for recreation, no chance to smell fresh air from the countryside, no silence, no freedom. This excerpt shows how the city naturally leads to apathy: “The yellow fog that rubs its back on the window- panes Lingered in the pools that stand in drains Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys Curled once about the house and fell 5, 18, 19, 22). Here the smog of the inner city has been personified. It itself reeks of yellow cowardice.
It “rubs” on windows, “lingers” in pools, stands by as soot falls upon it, ND falls “asleep. ” The yellow fog had no type of invigorating effect at all. Rather, it led towards tiredness and apathy. The whole next stanza shows the effect of this city upon Froufrou. He decides that “there will be time”(23) for “a hundred indecision”(32) and leans toward not disturbing the universe and not disturbing the women “who come and go Talking of Michelangelo”(35-36). Clearly, Froufrou has become apathetic as a result of an impersonal city and an impersonal society which is represented by the women.
Finally, the urban life is an agent of deception. It asses Froufrou to believe that “there will be time yet for a hundred indecision, And for a hundred visions and revisions, Before the taking of a toast and tea”(32-34), while in fact, the “eternal Footman” holds Froufrou’s coat at the door, waiting for him to die. Urbanity veils death from Froufrou and in so doing killed all his spirit. For truly, ten Tear AT tenant can De ten greatest motivator. I en clay also sleeves Protract auto his love and his own self. I grow old grow old 1 shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think they will sing to It is society that forces Froufrou into believing he is too old to be adventurous. It is the dead urban lifestyle that makes him feel he has lost his chance for love. The dirty inner city had such far- reaching effects as making Froufrou think that the “mermaids” or his lover would never sing to him. For indeed, they could have if his apathy and fear of retribution had not been king.
This passage is central to everything Elliot is saying. It preaches of defeatism, the giving in to a brutal world. What man ought to do, though, is overcome such adversity through strength of mind. In today’s society, the trend towards urbanism is equally dangerous to strength of mind. It is the cause of a rise in violence. Depression, suicide, low morale, and low ambition can be linked to it. For urbanity in and of itself is antithetical to all the human race has strove for. Instead of upholding beauty, it diminishes it, and instead of nurturing love and relationship, the city quells such feeling through impersonality.
It is not progress, but regression. Another interpretation of these facts is that procrastination, which has been linked to age in this poem, has a sort of snowball effect. The older Froufrou grows, the less likely he will propose his love and the more he thinks about the paradoxical situation he has found himself in, the more he fears approaching his love. This theme resonates on a much less complex level than the first but is much more applicable. Take risks and live lively or such things as urbanity, society, age, and fear will grow upon you and squelch all adventurous spirit.