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Dear Tom,

I recall this having been discussed here a year or two ago, with no  
definitive answer, because, probably, ambiguity enriches the  
references to  an addresee.

"You" could be the reader, invited along on a textual adventure. Or a  
dissociated self of the narrator's. Or the unknown self of the  
unconscious, always shadowing consciousness.

My feeling is that "you" is all that and more.


Sent from my iPod

On Jan 24, 2010, at 11:48 AM, Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> In Eliot's "Prufrock" there are numerous places where the narrator
> addresses or refers to another person, a "you" or a "we".  My question
> is: Is the narrator referring to one specific person (i.e., the same
> person) in all these lines, or is more than one single individual
> being referenced?
> Here are the six references (among all Prufrock lines with "you/your"
> or "we/us/our") that I'm particularly interested in:
> 1) "Let us go then, you and I . . . Let us go and make our visit."
> 2) "And indeed there will be time . . . Time for you and time for me"
> 3) "And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! . . .
> Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me."
> 4) "And would it have been worth it, after all, . . . Among the
> porcelain, among some talk of you and me,"
> 5) "Would it have been worth while,. . . To say, 'I am Lazarus, come
> from the dead,/Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all' "
> 6) "We have lingered in the chambers of the sea/By sea-girls wreathed
> with seaweed red and brown/Till human voices wake us, and we drown."
> -- Tom --
> Hotmail: Trusted email with Microsoft’s powerful SPAM protection. Si 
> gn up now.