Epistle 1 is the only epistle in our text.
In it, Pope discusses the idea that man sees only part whereas God sees the whole.
Pope explains that man's ignorance and weaknesses are right because they fit humans into the divine plan; in fact, humans
cannot be perfect and maintain their station on the Great Chain of Being.
Pope further demonstrates that humans do not have the capacity to understand that all is right. When humans see confusion,
they do not realize that the confusion is only in the eye of humans who do not understand the harmony of God's total plan.
The first epistle is divided into ten segments. Pope provided a prose overview of the poem to explain what each of
the segments would cover. In our text, this overview of segments occurs on pages 510-511.
Pope published the first 3 epistles in 1733, 4th in 1734
In "Essay on Man," God's will is vindicated because apparent evil only exists in man's inability to understand God's universal
To Pope, and to most neoclassicist, "whatever is, is right." This does not mean all is perfect but that for every apparent
imperfection, there is a reason. This reason is simply beyond human comprehension.