What does Alexander Pope mock in his poem An Essay on Man, and what techniques does he use?

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An Essay on Man, unlike many of the other works for which Pope is best known, is not a satire. Mockery is thus not a prime feature of the poem, as it is in The Rape of the Lock or The Dunciad, for example. The ideas in the Essay, however, are put forward partly by showing the falseness of opposing kinds of thought, which Pope does hold up to ridicule, but not with the kind of sardonic or acerbic expression we find in the satires. It's more in a sad or regretful way that Pope demonstrates, or attempts to do so, that those who disagree with his views are misguided.

Though the "best of all possible worlds" philosophy of Gottfried Wilhem Leibniz was later much ridiculed (sometimes in a caricatured version) by Voltaire, for example, in Candide, this forms the basis of much of Pope's thinking. Pope's view is that it is...

(The entire section contains 443 words.)

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