Social anxiety and ruminating in The Love Song of]. Alfred Froufrou I was very interested in investigating and understanding The Love Song of J. Alfred Froufrou since there are certain coincidences between Froufrou and me. These coincidences are based on behavior, ways of thinking and social performance. In some way I can relate with the anxiety that Froufrou experiences, since I also suffer from (mild) social anxiety. I believe that by analyzing Frocks anxiety I can better understand how it affects other people, myself included.
Social anxiety is not as are as we think, but whilst suffering from it we do not necessarily consider how it might affect other people.. In order to better understand Frocks descriptions, we need to have an understanding of social anxiety. : Social anxiety is the fear of social situations and the interaction with other people that can automatically bring on feelings of self-consciousness, Judgment, evaluation, and inferiority.
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Social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being Judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, embarrassment, humiliation, and oppression. Considering this definition, I will analyze the stanzas of this poem, detecting the parts where social anxiety could be present and the way the images, fragments and memorable phrases build a portrait of the character. This poem can be read in several ways and have different meanings.
The following analysis is focused on Froufrou the character, as opposed to Eliot the Poet. It is very important to take into consideration the era in which this poem was published, as at that time there was nothing similar to this poem. The way the author portrays an inner monologue, conscious of his surroundings, is what later would be considered the stream of consciousness in poetry. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Froufrou represents a complete break with the nineteenth-century tradition, and a new start.
It must have been difficult to take seriously in 1917, for it defies the traditional canon of seriousness”. When South’s writes this he refers to the famous phrase “l shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled” (line 121), but not only that, according to Crower one of the characteristics of this poem is that for some, Ithaca a very powerful meaning, whilst for others, it is Just a poem made of different images without a relationship between them.
Froufrou starts somewhere in his epigraph of Dent’s Inferno, he “uncoils through adverbial clauses of dubious specificity past imperatives of uncertain cogency to a “do not ask”. One function of the epigraphs is to blur the beginning of the poems” This helps the reader to Jump from Dante toad hospital bed in a very subtle way. The first stanza starts with the famous “the evening is spread out against the sky / Like a patient authorized upon a table” (2,3) this comparison sets he context of the poem and the personality of the speaker, Mr…
Froufrou. ” It compares the experience of evening to a sick person in hospital who lies unconscious”. Two verses are all it takes to understand that the character has a depressive personality and situates the imagery and Froufrou in a hospital where he with a woman doing all the things he would like to be able to do. He talks about encountering the woman in cheap hotels and have one-nightstands. He is also imagining himself in a restaurant eating oyster, which supposedly increase the sexual desire and performance.
The action of imagining things that he is not able to do is linked to a kind of anxiety that affects the thoughts about the future in different unreachable scenarios. The second stanza takes us back to the hospital room where “women come and go / Talking about Michelangelo’ according to Leaves this resembles Jules Leapfrog: “Dana la piece less femmes von et Viennese / En partial des maitre De Sienna. ” It is important to notice how again the object of his desire (contact with women) is unreachable and they even talk about an artist whose most important work has to do with virility, David.
Michelangelo statue is mostly know for the great heroic, proud, nude male that it portrays, characteristics that our speaker lacks , but he wishes to have. The third stanza talks about a yellow fog that could also be pictured as a cat. It is here where Eliot uses the “objective correlative” to give a different meaning, an emotional one, to objects. According to Fellow, “his intent behind these fragmented images is, as he has argued in his essay “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” that the “progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality.
Out of the fragmented images we come away with a coherent analysis of Froufrou-the-character” It is interesting to notice that the stanza about the fog is seen by Keener as “a paragraph that adapts the syntax to the alienation with composed variety of cadence and formality of apposition, but it does not move forward, it expatiates” since the next stanza deals with all the things Mr… Froufrou wants to do with time. “There will be time” is a recurrent motif that could portray the anxious behavior of thinking about the future and worrying about it without a good reason.
This behavior could be identified as ruminating, a symptom f depressive disorders, suggesting that Froufrou may have suffered from depression as well as anxiety. In this stanza, Froufrou might be thinking about what he would like to do if he gets a chance with the woman but since he is thinking about all these things to be done before tea time, we can infer that he is still hallucinating. Right after that we have the idea of women coming and going, as nurses do in a hospital, and this reinforces my theory of Froufrou being in the hospital bed while this poem takes place.
It is in the following stanza (lines 37 – 48), we can see the presence of the social anxiety more clearly. And indeed he will have time to ask himself the question “Do I dare? ” which is the phrase that shows that Froufrou is aware of his problem, he is too scared. And that is why he should “descend the stair” down to earth. He is afraid of what people would think of him, he does not want to expose himself to the mockery of his condition. And he questions himself about disturbing the universe because in his mind that is the way he is, and it would be against the universe to change that.
Then the ruminating goes back to an initial phase in which everything that he thinks takes him to the same place. He knows it all already; he has done the same things over and over again. The following three stanzas (7, 8) show how his way of thinking changes. In the first part of this series (49-54) we can perceive Just stillness. In the second one he takes a big step, even when he feels “pinned and wriggling on the wall” (58) he asks himself “how should I begin? ” questioning how he think about his current condition, by talking about having the bracelet from the hospital.
But then he is distracted by the scent of the perfume of the woman, which again makes him imagine and hallucinate He uses the next three stanzas to set a usual way of imagining how he would like to be. One of the most important parts of the poem is where after imagining his perfect scenario he understands, explains and summarizes why he is like this “And in short, I was afraid” (86). It is because of this verse that I was able to relate Elite’s poem as one that portrayed a person with social anxieties who recognizes his problems.
The subsequent stanza describes how he thinks he would be if he had a second chance to change everything. He mentions Lazarus inferring that he sees himself not living how he should, he would like to born again to have the opportunity of doing everything he wanted, but now he feels dead. And in this imaginary world he feels like all those efforts would have been “worth it, after all”. It is important to notice that the idea of being in a hospital continues developing through the entire poem, in line 105 we encounter the “as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen” which resembles a heart monitor.
I agree with Pound regarding the stanza about Hamlet: “l dislike the paragraph about Hamlet, but it is an early and cherished bit and T. E. Won’t give it up, ND as it is the only portion of the poem that most readers will like at first reading, I don’t see that it will do much harm. ” I believe it does not add an idea to the poem, except for the self-judgment of going from a prince to feeling like a fool and “how the different inner parts of the character of Froufrou grow old and see his life become more and more meaningless ” He tries to avoid that (what? By asking himself what to do. The action of parting the hair behind gives a clue of how he could try not to give so much importance to the fact of growing old and having white hair. The intention of “dare to eat a peach” refers to the sexual act that he wants but is too scared to do. Again he hears female voices, this time those of mermaids talking to each other, scenario similar to that of the nurses talking about Michelangelo. The final stanzas induce the experience of a calming ocean breeze, while he is being taken to the “chambers of the sea” along with girls.
When he finally hears human voices upon waking, he drowns. If we follow my theory of him being in a hospital bed, this ending could be the climax of a hallucination induced by the ether in the first stanza. When the effect of the ether is over, he goes back to reality, to his reality full of frustrations, panic and fear. This is the reality that drowns him. Pound understands this as “Mr… Froufrou does not ‘go off at the end’. It is a portrait of failure, a character which fails, and it would be false art to make it end on a note of triumph.
Rosenthal refers to this, explaining: “His power of evocation is extraordinary and closely linked to something like social embarrassment in his early work. The Love Song of J. Alfred Froufrou, his first published poem except in school and university Gaines, is a perfect instance. It is the essential music of self-consciousness. ” This music of self consciousness has a lot to do with the title of the poem, “The point of calling this poem a ‘Love Song lies in the irony that it will never be sung: that Froufrou will never dare to voice what he feels. But Froufrou however will be very conscious of his own behavior. This is also linked to Elite’s perception of the purpose of There are great prose dramatists… Who have at times done things of which I would not otherwise have supposed prose to be capable, but who seem to me, in pity of their success to have been hampered in expression by writing prose. This peculiar range of sensibility can be expressed by dramatic poetry, at its moments of greatest intensity. At such moments, we touch the border of those feelings which only music can express.