T.S. Eliot's poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," written in the early modern period is an exploration of one's self identity. The poem is about a timid and downcast man in search of meaning of love, and in search of something to break him from the dullness and superficiality which he feel his life to be. Eliot lets us into Prufrock's world for an evening, and traces his progression of emotion from his timid behavior to self-disparagement and, ultimately, to despair of life. In this "Love Song," Prufrock searches for meaning and acceptance by the love of a woman, but fails because of his lack of self-assurance and because of his mouse-like meekness. Prufrock is a man for whom, it seems, everything goes wrong, and for whom there are no happy allowances. In a very real way, Prufrock's story is twentieth century mankind's story too.
Eliot's "Prufrock" is a brilliant commentary on the less portrayed emptiness and solitude of modern individuals.
Prufrock is the anti-archetype of what man should be, that is, he is a timid man, a man over-conscious of what others think of him, and overall a man who yearns to speak of his emotions but cannot for his fear of rejection. So to conform,
to fit in, to set aside his self identity he "prepares a face" like the others around him have done. One which smile and speaks of non-sense and other acceptable subjects. Each persons self identity becomes hidden behind these high-class masks in order to create an elite, conflict free environment. Prufrock also shows that he is very sef-conscious of his appearance, with which many modern folk can certainly identify. He anticipates what everyone will think him. He imagines their comments. "They will say: 'How his hair is...