Through his journey through Hell, Dante learned the immense suffering waiting for those who are condemned to it and the relief and gratitude that should be felt by those who are not headed there. As Dante heads deeper and deeper into Hell, he becomes more desperate to get out of there. He becomes more grateful for the journey nearing completion and for the relief he will feel once he is past all the clutches of Satan.
I do not feel like a learned all that much from this book, honestly. I experienced more of a reevaluation of what I believe about the afterlife. Although I do believe in a Hell and a Heaven, mine are very different from those proposed by Dante. As I became more acquainted with the story, I took the images and ideas offered and compared them to my personal beliefs. First of all, I do not believe in a ranking of sins, thus I do not believe in the ranking of sins based on their evilness. I understand the need for that kind of reasoning within our justice system, but once we are dead, I do not think it matters how “bad” we were. Secondly, I do not think that anyone would have to travel through Hell to get to Heaven. This, however, I have come to be able to apply to the sinner’s journey while still living. It is actually very helpful in giving an image to idea of the road one must take to their own salvation. It is often only when we have reached our lowest point in life that we can find the road to salvation.