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Pope capitalizes on his point with the final and resonating couplet: “who but wishes to invert the laws of order, sins against th’ Eternal Cause.” This connects to the previous stanza in which the soul is explored; those who wrestle with their place in the universe will disturb the chain of being and warrant punishment instead of gain rewards in the after-life. In the beginning of the fifth stanza, Pope personifies Pride and provides selfish answers to questions regarding the state 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.
Furthermore, he asserts that because we can only analyze what is around us, we cannot be sure that there is not a greater being or sphere beyond our level of comprehension; it is most logical to perceive the universe as functioning through a hierarchal system. Pope utilizes the beginning of section three to elaborate on the functions of the chain of being.
He claims that each creatures’ ignorance, including our own, allows for a full and happy life without the possible burden of understanding our fates.
“Is the great chain, that draws all to agree, And drawn supports, upheld by God, or Thee?
” – Alexander Pope (From “An Essay on Man”) “Then say not Man’s imperfect, Heav’n in fault; Say rather, Man’s as perfect as he ought.” – Alexander Pope (From “An Essay on Man”) “All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.” – Alexander Pope (From “An Essay on Man”) Alexander Pope is a British poet who was born in London, England in 1688 (World Biography 1).
The purpose of “An Essay on Man” is then to shift or enhance the reader’s perception of what is natural or correct.
By doing this, one would justify the happenings of life, and the workings of God, for there is a reason behind all things that is beyond human understanding.
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.