Prufrock also has a bald spot. Now I have more than a spot but when I was
young, so long ago when I was young, oh when I was young I had a bald spot.
I can now look back on my bald spot with fondness.
I think that attitude towards life is probably more accurate for TSE's
people than objective calender age. "Cousin Nancy" is at that point of
authority challenging exciting ripeness of youthful adulthood Actual age
has nothing to do with it. Prufrock has already been trapped by life.
Where she still knows/hopes that she will do something unique and rewarding
Prufrock has learned that his life is already set and that it will not be
unique and rewarding. The clerk and the typist still find youthful
entertainment in a quick tryst. While perhaps the same calender age, we
already get the impression that such scenes are definetely going to be fewer
for her than perhaps for him. Jill's inventive description of the clerk's
past life was an eye-opener to me. It was very fitting. A like disruptive
history could be given to the typist with perhaps a much planned wedding and
future family lost in the trenches of Europe. Any youthful play and
idealism is gone from both the typist and the clerk. They are just
satisfying the physical needs of youthful bodies. Their minds are old
through loss of youthful vigor.
April is the cruelest month because it is a month of radical change. Change
is disrupting and for many scary. For some, change brings hope and dreams
but for others it can bring the end to hope and dreams. The bright quick
eyes of a new college freshman look to change with enthusiasm. The
listless eyes of adult disaster victims and the tearful eyes of abandoned
children are both evidence of change that hurts. Neither those adults or
those children will probably ever be able to look at change as "Cousin
Nancy" does. The attitudes of those adults and children are very far from
the attitudes of those privileged and protected college freshman that will
soon be entering our colleges; convinced that all that the world needs is
to change and confident that they will be on the leading edge of that
change. It gives an old man like me a new lease on life just to walk on a
college campus in the fall or the spring and smell the change (or is it
just the smell of hormones). Those of you who have made your lives in that
atmosphere are indeed wealthy.
A child of ten who lives in a rental mobile home may be "older" than
McIntosh, NM, USA
From: Jennifer Formichelli <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thursday, July 12, 2001 7:36 AM
Subject: Re: Was his glass always half empty?
>Dear Rick et all,
> I don't think we know the age of any of these voices. After all, only
>Gerontion says he is old, though I don't think all he says is to be
> Of the others, we know nothing. Is Prufrock middle-aged because he says
>'I grow old'? It is something any of us could say with some (perhaps
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Rickard A Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2001 9:41 PM
>Subject: Re: Was his glass always half empty?
>> Kate Troy wrote:
>> > You will note that none of the characters in the Waste Land are young,
>> There are exceptions, the typist and clerk, the Thames daughters,
>> possibly Phlebas.
>> But then in other poems there are the middle-aged J. Alfred Prufrock
>> and Gerontion's old man.
>> Rick Parker