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The seventh stanza explores the vastness of the sensory and cognitive spectrums in relation to all earthly creatures.Pope uses an example related to each of the five senses to conjure an image that emphasizes the intricacies with which all things are tailored.The purpose of “An Essay on Man” is then to shift or enhance the reader’s perception of what is natural or correct.
Those who “blindly creep” are consumed by laziness and a willful ignorance, and just as bad are those who “sightless soar” and believe that they understand more than they can possibly know.
Thus, it is imperative that we can strive to gain knowledge while maintaining an acceptance of our mental limits. Pope writes the first section to put the reader into the perspective that he believes to yield the correct view of the universe.
Some of Pope’s most notable works are “The Rape of the Lock,” “An Essay on Criticism,” and “An Essay on Man.” “An Essay on Man” was published in 1734 and contained very deep and well thought out philosophical ideas.
It is said that these ideas were partially influenced by his friend, Henry St.
Instead of consuming ourselves with what we cannot know, we instead should place hope in a peaceful “life to come.” Pope connects this after-life to the soul, and colors it with a new focus on a more primitive people, “the Indian,” whose souls have not been distracted by power or greed.
As humble and level headed beings, Indian’s, and those who have similar beliefs, see life as the ultimate gift and have no vain desires of becoming greater than Man ought to be. In the fourth stanza, Pope warns against the negative effects of excessive pride.After highlighting the happiness in which most creatures live, Pope facetiously questions if God is unkind to man alone.He asks this because man consistently yearns for the abilities specific to those outside of his sphere, and in that way can never be content in his existence.John Bolingbroke, who Pope addresses in the first line of Epistle I when he says, “Awake, my St. ”(Pope 1)(World Biography 1) The purpose of the poem is to address the role of humans as part of the “Great Chain of Being.” In other words, it speaks of man as just one small part of an unfathomably complex universe.Pope urges us to learn from what is around us, what we can observe ourselves in nature, and to not pry into God’s business or question his ways; For everything that happens, both good and bad, happens for a reason.The image of Nature as a benefactor and Man as her avaricious recipient is countered in the next set of lines: Pope instead entertains the possible faults of Nature in natural disasters such as earthquakes and storms.However, he denies this possibility on the grounds that there is a larger purpose behind all happenings and that God acts by “general laws.” Finally, Pope considers the emergence of evil in human nature and concludes that we are not in a place that allows us to explain such things–blaming God for human misdeeds is again an act of pride. Stanza six connects the different inhabitants of the earth to their rightful place and shows why things are the way they should be.Pope counters the notorious greed of Man by illustrating the pointless emptiness that would accompany a world in which Man was omnipotent.Furthermore, he describes a blissful lifestyle as one centered around one’s own sphere, without the distraction of seeking unattainable heights.7.These bounds, or the Chain of Being, designate each living thing’s place in the universe, and only God can see the system in full.Pope is adamant in God’s omniscience, and uses that as a sure sign that we can never reach a level of knowledge comparable to His.