Loneliness at Dusk
“And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
“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?...” (Eliot lines 68-72).
Poor J. Alfred Prufrock! He has spent his life in the fast lane, and now as he ages, and looks around, he realizes he has little to show for it. He has no family and no peace. He is tormented by his lost time, his life which he can give value to “with coffee spoons” (line 51). He wants to tell others of his mistake, so they don’t make the same one. Yet, he doesn’t know how to make them listen or believe. He realizes he would not have. He thinks of ways to explain to them the time they waste. He thinks of a very sad image: lonely men, all by themselves at dusk looking out their windows. Men, who are like him, alone and nearing death. Like many people, he mistakenly believed he had all the time in the world to make his decisions, and he does not realize how false this is until it is too late.