Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Lines from an Essay on Man : Review of the Lines

Alexander Pope

Classical Stalwart
Alexander Pope keeps supreme place in the domain of English literature and socio-political history of his society. Like Milton, he is really the representative voice of The Reformation Age, which emphasized upon religious and ethical values. In poetry, he successfully proved his mettle by his superb, command over the diction and his excellent know how of the observance of poetic techniques.

Man’s Position in the Universe
The poet, in this piece of verse, philosophizes man’s strange position in the universe. Observing his lack of knowledge for the future, he opines that apparently man is caged by some limitations. It appears that man is not gifted such a dignity which he deserved. It seems humiliation to the viceroy of God, but in fact, it is a blessing in disguise. The poet is of the view that sometimes man seems happy, being supreme creation of God, gifted with choice, but another aspect of his life witnesses that he is a helpless creature on the face of Earth, because he cannot predict his future.

Inability to Predict Future is a Blessing in Disguise
It is the plan of ‘Nature” to keep all the creatures in the dark about their future. Only the present is known to them. God hides from animals what man knows and from man what angels know.  Man does not know that the ignorance of future is either blissful or painful thing. He considers his limitations of knowledge as a dishonour to the status of humanity. It is in fact, a kindness of God that we are ignorant of our future. It is this ignorance of the future that keeps the things go on. For instance, a lamb does not know that it is going t be killed by the hands which give it the food. Thus, the lamb is happy up to the last moment of his life. If the lamb had known that, it is doomed to be killed by his master, it would have never played about. It is the blindness of the future that every body plays his part what Omnipotent God has assigned to him. The blindness of the natural destructions lets him pass every moment of his life merrily without any fear and anxiety about the future. The poet advises man that he should pray to God for his kindness. We ought to pray for grace and ask for a bright future. This expectation and hope for a pleasant future gives a courage and strength to live happily.

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