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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.
Growing up during the Augustan Age, his poetry is heavily influenced by common literary qualities of that time, which include classical influence, the importance of human reason and the rules of nature.
These qualities are widely represented in Pope’s poetry.
This idea is summed up in the very last lines of the poem when he says, “And, Spite of pride in erring reason’s spite, / One truth is clear, Whatever IS, is RIGHT.”(Pope 293-294) The poem is broken up into four epistles each of which is labeled as its own subcategory of the overall work.
They are as follows: In the introduction to Pope’s first Epistle, he summarizes the central thesis of his essay in the last line.
“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).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.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.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.He stresses the fact that we can only understand things based on what is around us, embodying the relationship with empiricism that characterizes the Augustan era.He encourages the discovery of new things while remaining within the bounds one has been given.He also encourages the exploration of one’s surroundings, which provides for a gateway to new discoveries and understandings of our purpose here on Earth.Furthermore, in line 12, Pope hints towards vital middle ground on which we are above beats and below a higher power(s).