The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and After Apple-Picking The speakers of the poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and After Apple-Picking have many things in common. One of their similarities is that while they start doing different things, they come to the common conclusion that all their efforts were futile. Additionally, they have many things that are different from one and other.
One of the differences is indecisiveness, while Prufrock is very indecisive, the speaker in After Apple-Picking decides what he should do and goes after this goal. In The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock the speaker is very indecisive. This is evident from the fact hat he says, time yet for a hundred in decisions. (Line 32) His whole life he is indecisive whether he should propose to his lover or lovers, which he calls they.
He weighs up the pros and cons of proposing, and what the action would lead him to do in the future. He is scared that they might say his hair is thin (Line 41), or his arms and legs are thin. (Line 44) He continues to be against proposing, when he says, Do I dare disturb the universe? (Line 45) However, later he changes his mind. He realizes how lonely he will be if he has no companion in the future. He says, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets and watched the smoke that rises from the pipes of lonely men shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? (Lines 70-72) He understands what is good for him, but due to his uncertainty, he makes the wrong decision. He keeps on thinking about what he should do when he says, So how shall I presume? (Line 54) By saying this he is implying, Is she going to say yes or no.
In the end, he never finds out because he doesn t ask because of his indecisiveness. However, in After Apple-Picking the speaker describes how he went after his dreams, of the great harvest I myself desired. After listening to his desires, he plants the apples. These apples represent the narrators desires. However, he becomes sick of planting and harvesting apples, (once he starts listening to his desires, he gets bored of them, because they take effort to accomplish) and refuses to go through another season of planting and harvesting. He states this very clearly, of apple-picking: I am overtired.
(Line 28) He admits all the hard work that he did was a wasted effort. He says, There was ten thousand great fruit to touch (Line 30), and then a little later he says, No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble, went surely to the cider-apple heap as of no worth. In reality, he is saying that all of the hard work that he has done is useless. Granted there are many fruit, but they are all going to the cider apple heap, which has no worth to me. So I have worked hard all my life, and I have got nothing out of it. From both poems, one can draw similar conclusions.
In After Apple-Picking the speaker at first goes after his goals completely, as if he is a workaholic. He says this in a round about way, there s a barrel I didn t fill, (Line 4) from which we can infer that he did fill the rest of the barrels. However, at the end he gets sick of picking apples, the thing he had earlier wanted to do. We can see that if one only does what their desires tell them, in the end he will fail.
A person must balance out what he is doing, so he will not only do one thing. In The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock because Prufrock never went after his goal of proposing to his lover, he remained in his original position, a bachelor without a lover, forever. In conclusion, I think we can learn from the speakers of the two poems that one shouldn t be an extremist.
On one hand, one should listen to their desires, however, on the other hand, one should do other activities besides for ones desires. We learn from the mixture between the two speakers extremes how important it is to balance ones life with different activities. Additionally, we learn that if one decides to do something, they should do it and not stop to hesitate and think about.