The influence of western culture has permeated nearly every part of the world. Even before Christopher Columbus made his famous voyage, westerns have been spreading their language, traditions and especially their religion. The largest of which happened to be Christianity, specifically the Catholic Church. Christianity is a very strong evangelical power that firmly believed, spread and enforced the teachings of the Bible. Both “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce and The Inferno by Dante depict a vivid image of hell formed by western influence, specifically the Christian Bible.
When hearing words like fire, brimstone, pain, suffering and evil the image of Hell is not usually far behind. The word hell in Italian is inferno, a word in English which is associated with intense fire. The word inferno is a great example of how the western Christian view of the afterlife shapes society. Inferno derives from the Latin word infernus, meaning below or of the below world. In Christianity, hell is viewed with the fire and brimstone idea. A great example of this comes from the book Revelation in the bible which describes hell as a “lake of fire (Revelations 20:14). The view of the “below world,” hell, as fire has shaped taken the word inferno from meaning below to meaning fire, an apparent influence of Christianity.
In canto X of the Inferno, Dante writes about the fate of the heretics. Here, in the sixth circle of hell these sinners are enclosed alive in flaming tombs as punishment for their hearsay (Dante). Once again we see the Christian image of hell being displayed. In the book of Revelation, a sinner is described as being “stripped of her clothing… and burned her remains” (Revelation 17:16). In the sixth circle of hell Dante is describing a punishment remarkably similar to the one described in the Christian bible.
In canto XI Dante describes a stench of sulfur so overpowering that both Dante and Virgil have to sit. In the book of Revelation,...