Siddhartha And The Inferno Comparison

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How do Dante and Hesse use imagery to portray the punishment from sin in The Inferno and Siddhartha? In Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha, the suffering from sin comes in your life on Earth, while the suffering form sin in The Inferno by Dante Alighieri is much more severe and comes while in Hell. Both Dante and Hesse use the literary element imagery to portray these punishments and sufferings. While there is major suffering for characters in both novels, there is also a great difference between the two novels as to how the characters in the book suffer for their sins. In The Inferno by Dante Alighieri, Dante uses great imagery to depict the exact nature of the intense punishments the dwellers of Hell are put through by Satan. Dante uses the Dark Woods to represent a sinful life on Earth, and therefore they are what leads Dante and Virgil into Hell. He uses imagery to describe these woods as “so rank, so arduous a wilderness! Its very memory gives a shape to fear” (Alighieri 4). One of the more drastic punishments in the novel for sinners is for the Sodomites, who were violent against nature; they were punished by having to eternally walk under a rain of fire, constantly burning. They were described in the novel as homosexuals who are eternally “mourning eternal loss in eternal flame” (120). Another punishment that Dante uses vivid imagery to describe occurs in the 9th pouch, where the devil splits open every sinner who walks by him; one of the most painful punishments. It was so severe that whenever Dante first saw some of the victims he said “See how Mahomet’s mangled and split open! Ahead of me walks Ali in his tears, his head cleft from the topknot to the chin” (228). In Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, Hesse uses some vivid imagery to very accurately depict Siddhartha’s suffering for sin, which usually comes within himself, and is not an actual physical
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