Reaction to Dante's Inferno

Essay by magsabotCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2005

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Reading Dante's Inferno has been a challenge for me, especially at first when I didn't understand some of the main themes Dante was trying to get across. My values are so different than those of Dante when it comes to the afterlife, it can be hard to read something that is so contradictory of my own beliefs. Once I understood that Dante was not being literal about the things he wrote in the Inferno it became a lot clearer to me that his main theme was that of controlling our own fate based on the choice we make to do the right thing or wrong thing. After I knew this, I realized that we really weren't that different after all, because that idea appeals to me greatly. I first had to struggle to get past some of the obvious differences I feel about the afterlife, like the fact that I don't believe in hell, in order for me to really appreciate the Inferno.

Probably the main thing that happened to me that shaped my views about Christianity in general was when my cousin tried to scare me into becoming a Christian when I was about 8 years old. He convinced me that unless I started being an obedient Christian who prayed and went to church and read the bible regulary, I was going to be sentenced to a existence of burning in hell for eternity by God. That's a lot to try deal with as a kid, especially if the person telling you this is someone that you look up to and have love and respect for. The older I got the more I resented not only my cousin for this, but that spread to all Christians in general. His approach was to make me believe in God as a...