Alexander Pope An Essay On Criticism Part 2 Summary

Alexander Pope An Essay On Criticism Part 2 Summary-37
Section II (35-76): Section II states that man is imperfect but perfectly suited to his place within the hierarchy of creation according to the general order of things.Section III (77-112): Section III demonstrates that man's happiness depends on both his ignorance of future events and on his hope for the future.According to Pope’s own conclusions, man’s limited intellect can comprehend only a small portion of God’s order and likewise can have knowledge of only half-truths.

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God rules over the whole universe and has no special favorites, not man nor any other creature.

By nature, the universe is an order of “strong connexions, nice dependencies, / Gradations just” (30-1).

Section IV (113-30): Section IV claims that man’s sin of pride—the attempt to gain more knowledge and pretend to greater perfection—is the root of man’s error and misery.

By putting himself in the place of God, judging perfection and justice, man acts impiously.

Thus every element of the universe has complete perfection according to God’s purpose.

Pope concludes the first epistle with the statement “Whatever is, is right,” meaning that all is for the best and that everything happens according to God’s plan, even though man may not be able to comprehend it (294).He further does not possess the intellectual capability to comprehend God’s order outside of his own experience.These arguments certainly support a fatalistic world view.According to Pope’s thesis, everything that exists plays a role in the divine plan.God thus has a specific intention for every element of His creation, which suggests that all things are fated.Pope urges his friend to “leave all meaner things” and rather embark with Pope on his quest to “vindicate the ways of God to man (1, 16).Section I (17-34): Section I argues that man can only understand the universe with regard to human systems and constructions because he is ignorant of the greater relationships between God’s creations.Here is a section-by-section explanation of the first epistle: Introduction (1-16): The introduction begins with an address to Henry St.John, Lord Bolingbroke, a friend of the poet from whose fragmentary philosophical writings Pope likely drew inspiration for .Section IX (259-80): Section IX illustrates the madness of the desire to subvert God’s order.Section X (281-94): Section X calls on man to submit to God’s power.


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