Do I dare to eat a peach? In a word, no. I’d sooner disturb the universe than dare such a collossal ghastly thing.
Following on the literary tradition from the previous post, I thought I would make a little nod towards T.S Eliot’s Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock. As I believe most commentators have understood it, the line “do I dare to eat a peach?” is a contrast to a preceding piece of self-doubt earlier in the poem: “do I dare disturb the universe?” To most people, it seems self-evident and blindingly obvious that the latter is a larger question, by orders of magnitude. To a picky eater, though, if anything, the contrast is in the opposite direction: the peach is by far the bolder challenge.
In some ways, though, I would be inclined to say this juxtaposition is not a contrast, but a simile. I think even for fruit-eating people, a peach still represents a challenge – from somewhere I get the idea that a peach can be somewhat a messy, socially difficult thing to eat. Especially for a man in the context of women who arrange pillows and talk of Michelangelo. Is Eliot underlining the extent of his existential crisis by being even scared of a little thing like eating a peach, or is he saying that such a thing can be (as it is for picky eaters) in fact equivalent to disturbing the universe?
I say it is the latter, though maybe it’s just me, and the exponential crisis that picky eating entails.