1. What do you think Dante learned on his journey through Hell? How does it differ from what you learned while reading about the journey?
I think Dante, during his journey through Hell, was able to see God’s justice. He saw individuals whom he had known or heard about throughout his life being punished for their wrong doing. I think it took a journey through Hell, literally or figuratively, for Dante to cope with life on this earth. Many people wonder why a God who claims to love people allows horrible things to happen to them. I think Dante would argue that God allows people to act how they please, and that those actions have detrimental effects on themselves and the people around them. Perhaps this is why God allows horrible things to happen to people. It is their choices and the choices of those around them that allows suffering to occur. Dante gets a glimpse of another reality, or perhaps a different part of the same reality, in which God has stopped putting up with those who cause suffering. He has put an end to their glory and keeps them locked in punishments they devised for themselves.
I think what I learned from his journey differed greatly from what Dante learned. I learned a lot about Catholic belief systems about heaven and hell. I learned that Dante had a lot of questions which he attempted to answer through his journey through hell. I have already thought through many of the questions which I think Dante sought to answer for himself through this story, so its effect was not as dramatic on me as perhaps it could have been.