An acceptable section… Purgatory shows Dante’s intense need to show the afterlife as a just and balanced system. After all, the Gate of Hell itself promises that it was raised by “sacred justice.” On one level of purgatory, the gluttonous are deprived of satiation from food in order to learn the necessity of balance. Why is this balance necessary? Balance is equated with fairness, and above all Dante’s system needs to show….
An unacceptable section… There is balance in Purgatory. For example, in the seventh terrace, people who are lascivious in life are required to learn Divine Love. They do this by running around, staying still, then engaging in a kiss and parting without feeling lust. They must cleanse themselves of thinking every physical touch is sexual. This is a balance because during life they were too focused on sexual love instead of pure love.
Is this acceptable or not? Beatrice represents Divine Love. Divine Love is what God is. All of purgatory is preparing the sinner to get to this Divine Love. There they will live forever in glory and happiness. But first, they have to be purged and cleansed of any imperfection.
How about this? Divine Love is a goal, an inner human spark that needs to be fanned and flamed. We all have the potential to feel and experience this seminal intensity, but it takes commitment. Why would humans possess something that then gets covered up by our own human foibles? Simply because we are not perfect. Our lives are a journey, like Dante’s metaphorical paths, to learn balance. For example in purgatory……
How about? There are many instances of balance in Dante’s Purgatorio. In Antepurgatory, there is a long line of sinners who have to wait to get into Purgatory and begin their process of cleansing. They have to do this because in life these are the people that waited to redeem themselves. They kept sinning and sinning, then at the last moment asked for forgiveness. Of course, Dante’s God is a just God, so he granted them salvation, but their souls are sullied by their lethargy.
So, how do we get to the analysis part? Always ask, why? Always ask, how does this work? What does this say about society as a whole and the human condition? Stop every paragraph AT LEAST and ask these questions. A sure fire way to do this is ask a rhetorical question using why or how and answer it. YOU STILL MUST NOT USE YOU! Say, ‘a human’, ‘a sinner’, ‘a person’.