In the House and Dante’s Inferno?

Here’s a link to a review published in the New York Times of In the House. While I think the author makes some interesting points, I suspect he read the book rather quickly, and missed some important points. For instance, he didn’t seem to understand that the wife had in fact stolen the child from the bear, instead saying “he convinces himself that the child is not his” and that the fingerling “an to wreak vengeance on his wife and the child to which she ultimately gives birth.”

One thing that was enlightening was the description the man’s decent into the deep house as a decent into his “own personal hell” which evoked images from Dante’s Inferno for me. I’m wondering if any connections can be drawn between the levels of hell in Dante’s work and the different rooms and themes that the husband encounters in his wife’s house. I think we can certainly draw connections between the 3rd circle of hell (gluttony) and the 7th circle (violence) where the husband encounters rooms full of the animals he had killed, and rooms where the abuse against his wife is revisited, as well as his attack on the foundling.


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