“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915)
“Journey of the Magi” (1935)
This man seems to be too self-conscious, and as a result, he is fearful of normal social intimacy. Is this a normal man? The cheap hotels and saw-dust restaurants (6-7) make me ask, Is he living a wild life, or Is he just a business man perhaps not native to the area and socially connected? Is he trying to put on airs, saving money on food to afford rich neckties (43)? In any case, there is a truthful desire in his heart for conversation, relationship, friendship (92). His whole walk to the house goads him toward this desire. Yet, he is too worried about others perception of him to really enjoy the evening or the company. He is concerned over his bald spot, concerned over rejection (82, 97-99). One idea that might help him is to understand that as a man he is a provider. This not only applies in the monetary sense, but also that he provides conversation, humor, security, insight. This may seem like pouring gas on the fire, but it is simply transfer. He already knows how to work (assuming), and he seems read, like he has ideas (and maybe !aghast! opinions). All he has to do is transfer his interests via his work orientation into this new setting. Simple, but not easy. Yes he may fail some, or even often, but what he pursues is a good thing. He may have the weight of Victorian reservation and non-disclosure against him, but no day’s mermaid compares to a real woman.