Dante learned on his journey through hell that a life lived in unrepentant sin has consequences. This is because a large part of his journey is not about him but about the people that he meets along his journey and why they came about their punishment. Dante talked to many of the different people in each level of hell and learned why all of them ended up in that level. Corresponding with this was the punishment that seem to cause suffering that aligned with that sin. So that every sinner who was in that level of hell could always be reminded of the actions that had brought them to hell. All of this gave Dante a view of what sin is that showed him the difference of those that go to heaven and those that go to hell.
While I read The Divine Comedy I was reminded of the journey that someone takes as they spiral down in desperation before they hit rock bottom and start to change a habit. This is because as Dante’s journey goes on and as he travels through the different levels of hell he knows that he is going deeper into the darkness. Though at the same time the punishments that are faced by the sinners in that level could be either worse or not as bad as the punishments faced by all the previous sinners. That to me seems like whats its like on the journey to rock bottom because even though you know the situation is getting worse some parts are easier to deal with than others. The final part of The Divine Comedy is what really made me think of this. For Dante as he reached the very bottom of hell and as soon as there were no further depths to plunge into he started to climb up into heaven. A journey like that sounds exactly like falling to rock bottom and climbing your way back up.