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Pursuit Of Knowledge In Inferno And The Open Boat

684 words - 3 pages

Pursuit of Knowledge in Inferno and The Open Boat

 

It is inherent for man to want to understand more about himself and the universe in which he lives.  Galilio Galilei stated, "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."  However, the pursuit of knowledge has not been easy, for man has endured several obstacles, whether willingly or by chance as presented in Genesis, Dante's "Inferno," and Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat."  Since his creation, man has encountered obstacles in his pursuit of knowledge.  For instance, in the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve are hindered by God's word to eat fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:16-17).  However, being tempted by the luscious fruit and the desire to be wise, Adam and Eve willingly disobey God's word and eat the fruit, thus, surmounting their barrier toward obtaining knowledge (Genesis 3:6-7).  Unfortunately, this longing for knowledge proved to be Adam and Eve's downfall, for God pronounced his judgement by forbidding re-entrance into the Garden of Eden, causing man to cultivate a cursed earth, causing woman to suffer during motherhood, and ending man's immortality.  Overcoming obstacles in the pursuit of knowledge does not always lead to misfortune.  For instance, in Dante's epic poem, "Inferno," Dante the Pilgrim is faced with the obstacle of journeying through the circles of hell, witnessing firsthand the grotesque punishment and suffering of the sinners.  This experience causes Dante to understand and renounce sin, leading him to salvation and allowing him to make his ascent to God.  With reason as his guide, Dante willingly makes his pilgrimage through hell and slowly begins to attain an understanding of the nature of sin.  Signs of this spiritual development are apparent as Dante...

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