Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Lines from an Essay on Man: SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS

What idea has Alexander Pope presented in the poem “An Essay on Man”?
OR
What are the two gifts given to man by God?
The two gifts of God to man are ignorance of future and hope of better tomorrow. Ignorance of future keeps us going. If we knew what was going to happen to us the next day, life would become a great curse for us. We would not like to spend even a moment here. The poet gives the example of a lamb. If the lamb knew that it would be killed, it would not eat and play so happily and would not lick the hand that would kill it the next moment. So ignorance to future makes life bearable. As we lead our lives, we are never satisfied by our present state; we keep on hoping that the day- to-come (tomorrow) will be better. We keep on looking forward to better days. So hope too is a gift of God.

What example has Alexander Pope given in the poem to convey his idea to the readers?
Alexander pope gives the example of a lamb whose final fate is to get butchered. If the lamb had the wisdom of a man, or if it knew what was going to happen to it the next day, it could never jump and play so happily. As the lamb is quite ignorant of its future, it licks that very hand which is going to shed its blood the next moment. So it is a blessing of God that we, the human beings on earth, do not know the plans of our Creator, and thus, are kept ignorant of our future.

How does God look upon man and his other creations? Does man hold any significance in the eyes of God?
Man thinks that he is very important but he does not have much significance in God’s eyes. The death of a hero or the death of a sparrow, a very small bird, has equal importance in God’s eyes. The destruction of an atom is the same as the destruction of a complete system of planets; the bursting of a bubble is the same as the destruction of the world.  God, being the creator of all, looks upon all His creations “with equal eye”. 

What is the author’s advice to man in the lines from an Essay on Man”?
In the poem, the author advises man to be very humble in his hope to rise and be fearful of death because death teaches us that we hold no more importance than any other creation of God. He also advises man to praise God for the two blessings (that are ignorance of future and hope) that He has bestowed upon man. It is for these blessings that man is able to enjoy life.

Why is man’s soul “uneasy” on this earth and when will it “rest”?
Man’s soul is uneasy on this earth because it is away from its eternal abode. It feels itself confined and is anxious to go back to its “home”, the heaven, from where it was sent away to this world at the time of man’s birth. It is on this earth for a brief period and will only rest when it goes back to its real “home”

Describe the term “confined from home”. Explain it with reference to poem an Essay on Man?                                                               The term “confined from home” means “not permitted/ not allowed to go home”. Here by “home”, the poet means the heaven from where the soul, confined in man’s body, was sent away to this world at the time of man’s birth. Man is on this earth for a brief period; it has to remain here for a particular time. His soul feels uneasy in this world as it is away from its eternal abode and will only rest when it goes back to its real “home”.

According to the poet, "the ignorance of the future is a blessing of God”. Do you agree? Justify your statement.
Yes, I agree that the ignorance of the future is a great blessing of God. If one were to know in advance about his death, he would never be happy. In fact, ignorance of the forth coming joys and merriment lessen the astonishments and wonders of the future. So the lack of knowledge keeps the suspense of the happiness on the increase. The fear of forthcoming tragedies comes down which keeps the morale of man high.

Is the lamb blessed with reason?
No, the lamb is not blessed with reason that is why it accompanies man despite the fact that man puts it to death as and when desired.      

Why is the lamb, 'pleased to the last"?
The lamb is pleased to the last moment of its life, and it crops the flowery food. He has no fear of any mishap; the reason is that it is totally unaware of the calamity that might be brought about upon it by its killer (man).

What does the poet mean when he says, "who sees with equal eye, as God of all”?
The poet means that in the eyes of God, all the creatures are equal. He is the Creator of all and Almighty God is just and fair. In his majesty, all are equal and there is no room for any discrimination or unjust deal.

What does the poet mean by, "wait the great teacher Death; and God adore"?
The poet means that if a man aspires, to rise in life, he should fear death and be humble. The fear of death would make man turn to God. Thus he would 'adore' God. That is, the life according to God's principles.

What is meant by the line, "The soul uneasy and confined from home"?
It means that the soul is unhappy, as it is confined (in prison) in the human form and desires freedom, to go home (Heaven). Man remains restless throughout his life for this strange kind of living. His soul longs for quick departure and freedom. This would happen, after man's death.

How do the lines from An Essay on Man justify Pope’s opinion that ignorance of the future and hope are two great blessings? (detailed)
An Essay on Man is an ambitious, philosophical and religious dissertation on human existence. It tells us that God has been merciful in keeping us ignorant of our future. If we knew what was going to happen to us the next day, life would become a great curse for us.                                             

Alexander pope gives the example of a lamb whose final fate is to get butchered. If the lamb had the wisdom of a man, or if it knew what was going to happen to it the next day, it could never jump and play so happily. As the lamb is quite ignorant of its future, it licks that very hand which is going to shed its blood the next moment. So it is a blessing of God that we, the human beings on earth, do not know the plans of our Creator, and thus, are kept ignorant of our future.

The other blessing of God is hope which springs in the man’s heart. The poet tells us that since man is ignorant of his future, he keeps on hoping for a better tomorrow. He is never satisfied with his present state, but he always hopes to be blessed in future. This belief in the future is a great consolation in his life and this urges man to keep on going in life. He tells us that though man has no significant importance in God’s eyes; however he is blessed by Him with two gifts. So he advises man to praise God for the two blessings (ignorance of future and hope). It is for these blessings that man is able to enjoy life.

Fate and fortune are important in human life. Comment on this statement with reference to an Essay on Man.
Alexander Pope presents the picture of human life in the God’s created universe. We are conditioned in this world. World is regulated by its physical laws. All God’s creations are bound to act according to God’s will, or it can be said that their fate and fortune are inscribes in the Book of Heaven, and nobody has the power to change or alter these except God.
The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on; nor all your piety nor wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.     
(Omar Khayyam)
We are here for very short period and totally blind to our future. In this scenario, we have no choice except to hope. Hope is the key to better life. If we want to live this life at its fullest, we should always hope for the best. Hope is that motive which activates and ignites our actions. We should hope and pray.
Hope springs eternal in human breast.

Is blindness to the future a blessing of God or a curse? Explain with reference to the poem An Essay on Man.
Blindness to the future is a blessing of God. Ignorance of future keeps us going. If we knew what would happen to us the next day, life would become a great curse for us. We would not like to spend even a moment here. The poet gives the example of a lamb. If the lamb knew that it would be killed, it would not eat and play so happily and would not lick the hand that would kill it the next moment. So ignorance to future makes life bearable and we keep on hoping for a better future.        

What are the two blessings given to man by God in the poem An Essay on Man? 
The two gifts of God to man are ignorance of future and hope of better tomorrow. Ignorance of future keeps us going. If we knew what was going to happen to us the next day, life would become a great curse for us. We would not like to spend even a moment here. The poet gives the example of a lamb. If the lamb knew that it would be killed, it would not eat and play so happily and would not lick the hand that would kill it the next moment. So ignorance to future makes life bearable. As we lead our lives, we are never satisfied by our present state; we keep on hoping that the day- to-come (tomorrow) will be better. We keep on looking forward to better days. So hope too is a gift of God.

In what way is the death a great teacher in the eyes of Alexander Pope?
In the eyes of Alexander Pope, death teaches man to be humble. Man is part of a system governed by God.  He has no control over his life. He just knows what is open before him and is unaware of his future. Death teaches man that he is insignificant. So when a man aspires, to rise in life, he should fear death and be humble. The fear of death would make man turn to God. Thus he would 'adore' God. That is, the life according to God's principles.

What message do we get from the poem, An Essay on Man?
This poem, which is an extract from a longer poem of the same name, conveys the message that angels, men and animals fill their respective places in this world. None can exceed from the place marked for him by God. Every creation has limited knowledge and none know about its future.

According to Alexander pope, ignorance of future is a great blessing of God. By giving the example of a lamb the poet conveys the message that if we knew what was going to happen to us the next day, life would become a great curse for us. He says that it is due to this ignorance that man is never satisfied in his present state and keeps on hoping about a better future. Hope always springs in one's heart and gives man courage to live on.

Explain the lines:
O blindness to the future! kindly given,
That each may fill the circle marked by Heaven:
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
In the lines, the poet shows his gratefulness to God for His so many kindnesses. The poet maintains that is God’s blessing that man is kept ignorant of his future. Man’s blindness to the forthcoming days is a kindness of God. The role of fate and fortune is inevitable and dynamic. “Everybody acts and performs his role which the mightiest power God has assigned to him.” Pope brings forward the concept that man’s all actions and their consequences are predestined. He adds that God is kind and just. His award of death is for all. In the majesty of God there is no discrimination between so called ordinary and great people. “Every creature has to pass through the painful phase of death.”  Man has to believe in the might, omnipotence and kindness of God.

Explain the lines:
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rest and expatiates in a life to come.

In the lines, the poet emphsises upon the firm belief in the supermacy of God. The poet adds that man should adore God and hope for the best. He comments that human heart is the ocean of hopes and expectations. The poet suggests that man must get optimistic and this optimism can be generated by becoming true worshipers of God. The poet says human being is always restless. His anxities and worries are on the increase. The reason behind this dissatisfaction is the lack of faith in the might of God. Furthermore, the poet says that man’s true home is heaven. While living, he remains far away from his true place. The man is always restless in the world because of his adhoc living. He longs for reaching to the place (heaven) where he will enjoy everlasting life. This belief in the future is a great consolation in his life and this urges man to keep on going in life. In the hope of getting a better future, he faces all adversities with courage.

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