Tom Colket wrote:
> CR wrote:
> CR> the only person perplexed by the overwhelming
> CR> question is Prufrock, and not another person beside him.
> What makes you think Prufrock is perplexed?
From Eric Thompson's brief interpretation of the poem: "Thus we are
prepared, as in classic theatre, to watch the protagonist proceed from
wrong to wrong until he or we recognized the blind spot in his motivation."
"Eliot's middle scene constitutes the longest and most intricate one
in the poem, but if we concentrate on what is essential, following
Prufrock as he struggles up the stairs, as he wrestles with the dead
lumber in his head, and as he draws near to the person he has come to
visit, there is a moment of suspended Prufrockian thought, a moment when
Prufrock _is_ his experience, a moment such as we get used to watching
for in Eliot, where the door out of the corridor suddenly opens, and we
are invaded by a sense of reality." The moment is almost sufficient "to
bring him to his act. His 'Shall I say?' shows him on the verge of
entering a real present. But then he fall back and rejoins the arthropods."
Why? Because he does not see what we see when we read that section,
the light answering light as it is reflected on the brown hair of the
woman's arm. Prufrock does not know the question because he does not ask
it, i.e. he doesn't stand forth in the question, so he only knows there
is one, not what it is, and thereafter falls into retreat.