Literature has the power to change one's perspective in a very real way. Jack Thornton reflects on "The Divine Comedy" and how a full reading of Dante's masterpiece sheds light on the path to salvation.
I graduated from college almost exactly one year ago. Over the last year many people I’ve run into have expressed an appropriate amount of interest in my college experience with questions like, “what was your major?” and “how will that help you get a job?” and “did you write a thesis?”
When questions about my thesis arise the conversations usually go something like this.
Them: “Did you write a thesis?”
Me: “Yes I did. I wrote about the influence of Dante on T.S. Eliot’s poetry.”
Them: “Oh Dante! Right, right. He wrote the “The Inferno,” yes?”
Yes! He did write “The Inferno” and I’m always happy when people can identify his work. Many high school students read “The Inferno” as part of their curriculum and that’s great.
But sometimes I wish they would add “The Purgatorio” and “The Paradiso” to that curriculum. I wish that people would identify Dante not only as the author of “The Inferno,” but as the author of “The Divine Comedy...”