Twelve-Step Program to Escaping Dante’s Hell

4 April 2015
A comparison of the hell described in Dante’s `The Inferno` to the twelve-step program required by an alcoholic to pass by AA.

Dante’s The Inferno paints an incredibly vivid picture of what Hell is like. The journey Dante undertakes in order to progress pass his lost stage and escape Hell can be likened to the 12-Step Program a recovering alcoholic must complete in order to finally escape from the clutches of drinking to excess. This paper explores Dante’s journey through the perspective of this 12-Step Program. By going through each step, one can witness the introspective and emotional self-examination Dante goes through, with a little help from his support group, in order to get out of Hell.
`The first step that every recovering alcoholic must take involves the process of admitting his or her problem. Alcoholics must acknowledge that they are helpless when battling their addiction and they must admit that this addiction to drink has wreaked havoc on their lives to the point where they have lost control (Alcoholic Anonymous, 1955, 59). Dante’s predicament is no different to that of an alcoholic struggling to regain control over his or her life. At the beginning of the poem, Dante is portrayed as having gotten lost on the path of life and trying to get back on the right path. Using imagery, Dante recalls that in the middle of his life, he [finds] himself lost in a dark forest, having lost the right path while half asleep. `

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