Alexander Pope | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Joanne Cutting-Gray and James E. Swearingen

This literature criticism consists of approximately 17 pages of analysis & critique of Alexander Pope.
This section contains 4,888 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Joanne Cutting-Gray and James E. Swearingen

SOURCE: "System, the Divided Mind, and the Essay on Man," in Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 32, No. 3, Summer, 1992, pp. 479-94.

In the essay below, Cutting-Gray and Swearingen reinterpret An Essay on Man, stating that the poem anticipates modern ideas about human nature.

Nothing more clearly marks the character of the eighteenth century than the extreme differences with which persons of serious and judicious mind responded to Pope's Essay on Man. The famous contrasting responses from thinkers inclined neither to idolatry or to caviling demonstrate both the enthusiasm and controversy which the poem stirred and point to a duality that lay at the heart of the age itself. Notwithstanding the inevitable controversies over the philosophic content of the poem and in spite of their doctrinal differences, a multitude of disparate groups responded to the...

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This section contains 4,888 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Joanne Cutting-Gray and James E. Swearingen