Alexander Pope: "An Essay on Man": .

What we see as we look out on "the scene of man" is a "mighty maze!" But Pope does not think this complex of existence is "without a plan." Man might sort through the maze because he has a marvelous mental faculty, that of reason; man can determine the nature of the world in which he lives; he can see that all things have bearings, ties and strong connections and "nice dependencies."

He, who thro' vast immensity can pierce,
See worlds on worlds compose one universe,
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other suns,
Look'd thro'?

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How does contemporay man "vindicate the ways of God to man"?

Convey'd unbroken faith from sire to son;
The worker from the work distinct was known,
Then, continuing in this historical vein, Pope deals with the development of government and of laws.

He is born, looks around for a while, then he dies.I.

the Journal of the Jane Austen Society of North America, published its first full-text online edition in 1999. Indexed here through Vol. 26 (2005); more recent articles are available at the JASNA web site.

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We have no choice: we come to it, look out and then die.

Literary criticism and analysis for the nineteenth-century English novelist Jane Austen. Academic web sites and peer-reviewed journal articles. Links take you directly to articles.

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or can a part contain the whole?
Is the great chain that draws all to agree, -
And, drawn, supports - upheld by God or thee?
In his next stanza, Pope makes reference to presumptuous man!

In what ways is man conceited, according to Pope?

The unreasonableness of his complaints against Providence, while on the one hand he demands the perfections of the angels, and on the other the bodily qualifications of the brutes; though, to possess any of the sensitive faculties in a higher degree, would render him miserable.

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How is the human condition comparable to that of an ox and a horse?

Thus beast and bird their common charge attend,
The mothers nurse it, and the sires defend:
The young dismiss'd to wander earth or air,
There stops the instinct, and there ends the care;
The link dissolves, each seeks a fresh embrace,
Another love succeeds, another race.
A longer care man's helpless kind demands;
That longer care contracts more lasting bands:
Reflection, reason, still the ties improve,
At one extend the interest, and the love;
With choice we fix, with sympathy we burn;
Each virtue in each passion takes its turn;
And still new needs, new helps, new habits rise
That graft benevolence on charities.
Still as one brood, and as another rose,
These natural love maintain'd, habitual those:
The last, scarce ripen'd into perfect man,
Saw helpless from him whom their life began:
Memory and forecast just returns engage;
That pointed back to youth, this on to age;
While pleasure, gratitude, and hope, combined,
Still spread the interest, and preserved the kind.
Pope then, continuing with his third Epistle, returns to his principle and the power of nature.

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I have quoted at length from his essay.

Passion is the "mightier pow'r." Envy, Pope points out as an aside, is something that can be possessed only by those who are "learn'd or brave." Ambition: "can destroy or save, and makes a patriot as it makes a knave."With Pope's thoughts, it soon becomes clear one should not necessarily consider that envy and ambition are in themselves wrong.

Certainly today, we think anybody that writes "poetry" is one who is a bit odd, to say the least.

Explain the example with the lamb.

If you can't get there, you can see photos of her house, exteriors and interiors, her writing table, a patchwork quilt made by her, and Austen family furnishings on the internet. Web site from Jane Austen's House Museum, Chawton, Hampshire, England.