your comment is regrettably puerile and non-academic. I cited the “Prophecy of St. Malachy” not knowing it was a hoax. How do you know it is a hoax? (reference pl.) There is an UNDENIABLE correspondence with recent Popes and the Latin phrases…besides, the “hoax” as you claim it is, is at least a few hundred years old already. Be that as it may, we are counseled to pay attention to prophecy. What about Lourdes? and Fatima, are they hoaxes too? In all this, I am more concerned about a possible cabal that elected Francis….one comment attempted to address my concerns by saying casual conversations prior to a conclave do not constitute a cabal or pre-determined voting cadre. But was there one?
Considered as a whole, the Essay on Man is an affirmative poem of faith: life seems chaotic and patternless to man when he is in the midst of it, but is in fact a coherent portion of a divinely ordered plan. In Pope's world God exists, and he is benificent: his universe is an ordered place. The limited intellect of man can perceive only a tiny portion of this order, and can experience only partial truths, and hence must rely on hope, which leads to faith. Man must be cognizant of his rather insignificant position in the grand scheme of things: those things which he covets most — riches, power, fame — prove to be worthless in the greater context of which he is only dimly aware. In his place, it is man's duty to strive to be good, even if he is doomed, because of his inherent frailty, to fail in his attempt. Do you find Pope's argument convincing? In what ways can we relate the Essay on Man to works like Swift's Gulliver's Travels , Johnson's "The Vanity of Human Wishes" ( text ), Tennyson's In Memoriam and Eliot's The Wasteland ?