LIT101: Inferno Canto 21 Analysis

Analysis of Canto XXI

Originally submitted to Medieval Literature (LIT103) on October 2, 2012 

Canto XXI takes place in the fifth pouch of Malebolge, where Barrators or Grafters are punished in a boiling pitch. Malebranche demons watch the sinners closely so as to grapple and prick anyone who surfaces the pitch. When Dante and Virgil journey through the fifth pouch, they see a demon that plunges a new sinner into the pitch. Once the sinner resurfaces, other demons pierce him with hundreds of prongs. Then Virgil warns Dante to hide himself from the demons behind a large rock. Virgil then speaks with Malacoda, the leader of the demons, to allow them passage because their journey is according to the will of God. Malacoda recedes and offers ten demons to escort them in an alternative ridge.


At the beginning of the canto, Dante introduces his readers to the nature of the Barrators’ punishment by means of a simile. On the surface, the simile looks as if Dante simply wants to lengthen the canto, but that’s not Dante. Even its length (12 lines) subtly beckons the readers to pay attention to the lines.

As in the arsenal of the Venetians,
all winter long a stew of sticky pitch
boils up to patch their sick and tattered ships
that cannot sail (instead of voyaging,
some build new keels, some tow and tar the ribs
of hulls worn out by too much journeying;
some hammer at the prow, some at the stern,
and some make oars, and some braid ropes and cords;
one mends the jib, another, the mainsail);
so, not by fire but by the art of God,
below there boiled a thick and tarry mass
that covered all the banks with clamminess. (21.7-18)

Dante compares the pitch where sinners are submerged with the tar used in the Venetian Arsenal. If the lines are studied closely, one can see the irony that is underneath the simile. Lines 7-15 explain how tar is used to repair and restore tattered ships. Dante likened the sinners’ pitch with tar. It is also dark, sticky, and boiling, but that’s where the similarities end. Unlike the tar used in the Venetian Arsenal, the pitch where the sinners are submerged does not repair broken souls. The fact that they are in hell implies that the pitch can never repair or restore them.
            In fact, they even suffer because the pitch is boiling and the demons are waiting to prick them once they resurface.

The sinner plunged, then surfaced, black with pitch;
But now the demons, from beneath the bridge,
Shouted: “The Sacred Face has no place here;
Here we swim differently than in the Serchio;
If you don’t want to feel our grappling hooks,
Don’t try to lift yourself above that ditch.”
They pricked him with a hundred prongs and more,
Then taunted: “Here one dances under cover,
So try to grab your secret graft below.” (21. 46.54)

Dante’s use of “The Sacred Face” is interesting because even the demons acknowledge that man is created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27). But the truth irates the demons that’s why they don’t want to see the sinners resurfacing the pitch. In case they do, the demons will prick them with prongs to plunge them in the pitch.
            Another excerpt that is noteworthy to discuss is the mention of the death of Christ (21.106-108; 112-114). Why would Dante bring it up in the same canto as the barrators? As previously mentioned, the sinners are in a pitch that does not restore nor repair; rather, they even suffer more. Christ suffered and died on the Cross, but His suffering and death led to man’s redemption. His death could repair broken souls and broken lives, but the suffering of the barrators is meaningless because it would lead to nothing.

So that's my simple "Classics" notes for you guys! :D I hope you find it interesting. ;) I just want to you remind you though that Dante's Inferno is fictional, but the message it conveys is meaningful.  We must learn how to read the message behind the lines. Let's not take Dante's writing as it is because the meaning lies beneath the story. Okay, that's it! 'Til next time! :D God bless you! <3

Joy in the midst of Sickness

Hi! Sorry for being idle for the past few days. I spent my sembreak at St. Lukes Hospital from October 23-27. I was shopping for make-ups and make-up brushes (uhmm. yeah. I just realized that I need to have this stuff) last Tuesday with my mother when my brother-in-law called. He told me that my sister was rushed to the hospital a couple of hours earlier and will undergo an operation the day after! The doctor said that the intense pain that my sister felt was due to appendicitis. I didn't wait for the next day to visit. I immediately packed up my luggage bag and went to the hospital. There I spent my nights and days looking after my sister.

This is St. Lukes Hospital

See the couch? That's where I slept for 4 nights. :) It's okay though. :D

Praise God she had a successful operation! I also thank God because she was discharged last Saturday. I wasn't able to go home afterwards because I spent three more days in my sister's house. :) Although I didn't get to hang-out with my friends, to rest, or to go out last week, I feel more than blessed! :) There's no greater joy than to spend a whole week with my sister. It was just me and my sister...and of course, movies and books! :D 

Truly, Jesus Christ is our Healer! I saw my sister cry out of pain each night, but there is Power in the Name of JESUS. Just call unto the Name that is above any other name and you will witness great miracles! I called unto JESUS because I know that He can heal my sister. I thank and praise God because my sister's operation was successful and she had a quick recovery. She can now walk and stand! It was really quick! Praise be to God! All Glory to Jesus Christ! :D


If anyone of you or your loved ones is sick, just call unto Jesus. He is our healer. Nothing is impossible with our Lord Jesus! Please watch the video. It's a song entited HEALER by Kari Jobe. :) I pray that you'll encounter Jesus as you watch the video. I speak healing to everyone who is reading this post and to all your sick loved ones, in Jesus' Name! :) (please believe in the power of Jesus and say, AMEN).

'Til next time! :) God bless you more and more! :) 

Book Review: Auracle (5/5)


Title: Auracle
Author: Gina Rosati
Published: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Format: E-book
Pages: 304
Type: Stand-alone
Bookshelves: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Read: October 26-28, 2012

What can I say?

I wonder how come this book only got a 4.08 rating when it is definitely a terrific one!

The story is cool because Anna, the protagonist, can astrally project out of her body! What's even cooler is that she can visit awesome places from different parts of the world without even paying her plane fare! She simply thinks of the place and *poof* she's there. She does it every time: while sleeping, during boring classes, and uhmmm, anytime she feels doing it. Good thing, she has Rei, her bestfriend of all time. Rei is the only person that knows about Anna's gift and he knew it since they were kids.

I love Rei! He's so protective of Anna in a good way. He plays the guitar. (Oh. LOVE.) Who wouldn't fall head over heels with a gorgeous guy who aces every exam, composes songs, plays the guitar, loves his best friends, and does his best to protect the love of his life? <3 *OUCH!* Ooops, sorry about that. I fell. Teeheehee! :))

Anna and Rei have another friend in the group: Seth. Unlike Rei, Seth is a carefree soul who doesn't bother much about his studies. All he wants is to be with cars, machines, and muscle building activities. Seth goes into trouble when Taylor, a mean-girl topnotcher, dies. Taylor is madly inlove with Seth, but Seth ignores her. He doesn't want to get involved in any of the troubles that accompanies Taylor. Unfortunately, his time comes.

Taylor steals Seth's phone and leaves a note in his locker that if he wants to get it back, he must meet her by the waterfalls at four in the afternoon. Anna and Rei offer to accompany him, but he insists to go there alone. Anna astrally projects out of her body and goes to the falls to check on Taylor and Seth. Meanwhile, Rei goes to his aikido class. Taylor tries to seduce Seth, but he does not give in. Taylor walks backward until she falls, but Seth catches her. He tries to save her, but nothing more can be done. She falls and dies.

Anna sees it all and when she returns to her body to tell Rei everything that happened, she can no longer get her body back. Someone is in her body. Taylor is in her body. She tries to hit Taylor, push her, and all other stuff, but she can't push Taylor out of her body.

Taylor wants revenge and she will use Anna's body to testify against Seth. Then Seth will be accused of the murder that he didn't commit. Taylor asks Rei that if he goes out with her, she will no longer testify against Seth. Anna will be left without her body...forever. Who will Rei choose? Anna, the love of his life? Or Seth, his best guy friend? Will Anna get her body? Or will Taylor forever haunt them?

I thought that this book is pretty typical. A girl can go out of her body. Someone takes her body. Fight. Fight. Fight. Then she gets it back. HAHAHA! :)) But I tell you guys, this book has a lot of cool twists to offer that you'll never expect! :) Congrats Gina Rosati! :) I enjoyed this book big time! :)

Hope you enjoy, too! :) God bless you! :)

laurice-with-love <3
Find this review on Goodreads!

Book Review: Animal Farm


Title: Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Published: April 1996 (first published 1945)
Publisher: Signet Classics Printing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 141
Type: Stand-alone
Bookshelves: Classics, Historical Fiction, Fable
Read: September 10 - October 4, 2012

What can I say?

Originally submitted as a paper for Political Thought in October 4, 2012.

The Animal Farm written by George Orwell (1977) revolves mainly on the struggle of the Manor Farm animals against human aggression and the totalitarian rule that the animals experienced after the revolution. An old boar named Old Major inspires the animals to hold a revolution against the tyrannical human beings. He claims that the human beings simply exploit their resources and energy. They steal the fruits of their labor and give the animals little or even nothing in return. He calls them to stand up and stop the ruthless and unjust rule of the humans. After Old Major dies, the animals did not expect the revolution to take place so early. They overthrow the humans and have the Manor Farm—which they change into Animal Farm—to themselves. Two pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, harmonize and adapt Old Major’s teaching into the Principles of Animalism. There they create the Seven Commandments, which state that those with two legs are enemies and those with more legs are friends, no one should wear clothes, sleep in a bed, drink alcohol, kill another animal, and finally, all animals are equals. Napoleon is not good to begin with so he casts Snowball out of the Animal Farm, discredits his good intentions, and speaks ill about him. Eventually, the freedom and the prosperous living that the animals achieved are subtly suppressed by Napoleon until he only deceives them about their true social and political condition. The animals work harder and receive less food than before, but Squealer the spokesperson of Napoleon deceives them that they actually are more prosperous. This continues for years until the animals are mere slaves of their own kind, but the pigs live more prosperous than ever. In the end, the animals can no longer distinguish the pigs from the humans. They can no longer see which is which.
The Animal Farm is both an allegory and fable that is rooted upon the historical events of the Russian Revolution and Soviet Communism, where Orwell expresses his strongest opposition against communism. Each character in Animal Farm symbolizes a particular historical character: Old Major, Napoleon, Snowball, Squealer, Benjamin, and Boxer to name a few.
Old Major represents Karl Marx and his philosophy about social classes. Karl Marx believes that history is the history of class struggle. He points out two social classes: the working class and the owner class. He says that the working class toil to produce the desired goods while the owner class do nothing but enjoys the fruits of the working class’ labors. Inequality then arises from the divisions of the social class. Hence, Marx points out that social class must be abolished and it can be achieved through a revolution (Thomas as cited in Boucher & Kelly, 2010). Napoleon represents no less than Joseph Stalin himself. The totalitarian rule of Napoleon, his use of the menacing guard dogs, and the unjust killings and workload that he imposes upon the animals reflect Stalin’s rule. On the other hand, Snowball symbolizes Leon Trotsky, who was Stalin’s political rival whom he banished and killed. Snowball represents Trotsky’s belief of the possibility of a utopia. Next is Squealer, who deliberately deceives his fellow animals into believing that their condition is better because of Napoleon’s leadership. Squealer represents the Russian press Pravda, which spreads news that are contrary to the truth. Benjamin is another interesting character because he knows the ill-doings of Napoleon and the pigs and yet, he does nothing. Benjamin represents the group of people that were aware of Stalin’s injustice and yet, remain cynical and uninvolved. Boxer is like Benjamin. Although he lacks knowledge about the truth, he has the skills and ability to overthrow Napoleon and fight the dogs, but still he follows and reveres Napoleon. Boxer symbolizes the working class who blindly follows Stalin’s orders in the belief that he will protect him because of their hard work.
 Animal Farm touches upon a number of themes. Among these are class struggle, politics, language, human rights, and equality. He illustrates how class struggle creates inequality among the members of the society. In Animal Farm, Owell shows this through the division between the pigs and the rest of the animals. The pigs acquire better treatment because they claim that they are intellectuals. They assert that the job of the mind is difficult and thus, they must receive larger and better food supply than the rest. Politics and human rights are linked with each other. Orwell shows that if the form of rule is unjust, the citizens will also be deprived of their natural rights. Through the totalitarian rule of Napoleon, Orwell shows the oppression of its fellow animals. Another important theme in the novel is the power of language. Orwell demonstrates that language can change black to white. It can manipulate the minds of the listeners and distort the truth. 

laurice-with-love <3
Check this review on Goodreads! :)

Blog Tour: The Star Dwellers (Guest Post from Tristan Nailin)

The Star Dwellers is heeeeeere! :"> 

Bonjour! :D Okayyy. I'm so excited! One of my the best dystopian series of 2012 is hereeeeee! The first of the trilogy, The Moon Dwellers, was released in June 30, 2012. If you haven't read it, you better do! It's an action-packed-slash-romance novel that will surely captivate you! :D

The Moon Dwellers (The Dwellers, #1)
Click here for my review! :)

As for the moment, The Star Dwellers, which is the sequel, is stopping by guys, so you better brace yourselves because we're privilege to have a special character guest post from no less than the son of the Tri-Realms President, Tristan Nailin! :"> *squeal*

A Prelude to The Moon Dwellers

A passage taken from the diary of Tristan Nailin, a sun dweller and the eldest son of President Nailin, ruler of the Tri-Realms, in the year 497 P.M. (Post-Meteor), two years before The Moon Dwellers was written.

My mom didn’t show up for dinner tonight.

Come to think of it, I haven’t seen her all day. Although my schedule was jam-packed—sword training all morning, an interview for a silly telebox show in the early afternoon, a painful two hours of “life lessons” from my father in the late afternoon (where the President “his highness” imparted his unending wisdom upon my brother and me), and barely a half hour to myself to clean up and get ready for dinner—I would still usually cross paths with my mom at some point. But not today. And now she isn’t at dinner, which is very unusual, her designated spot at the foot of the table empty save for the untouched place setting.

“Where’s Mom?” I ask from the center of our mile-long table.

From the head, my father looks up from his juicy prime beef. “She’s gone,” he says so matter-of-factly I think it’s a joke.

“Gone?” I snort. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

There’s no compassion in my father’s dark stare. “Are you dumb, boy? Gone means gone. Vanished, disappeared. She left you.” He wears a smirk, like the joke’s on me.

“She wouldn’t do that,” I say firmly. I know she wouldn’t. She loves me. My brother, Killen, too, who sits across from me watching our exchange with unreadable eyes.

“She would and she did,” the President says. “Her handmaiden found her cupboard empty this morning. She packed up as if she’s never coming back. If you’re ever going to be a man, Tristan, you have to face the truth. She’s abandoned you.”

But that’s not a truth I can face. Not now—not ever. She didn’t leave. She was driven away.

“You did this,” I growl. For a second my father’s face is vulnerable, his eyebrows raised, as if I’ve struck a nerve. A moment later, he’s himself again, unflappable. 

“Watch your tone, son,” he says back, his voice simmering with hot coals.

I know not to push him too far, but tonight I can’t stop myself. “I hate you,” I say through clenched teeth. Pushing back my chair, I add, “I’m going to find her.”

Before I can get to my feet, he’s up and moving, barreling around the table, his face a swirling mixture of wrath and fire and his idea of discipline. I’ve seen him bad, but never this bad, and it takes me by surprise, so much so that I’m frozen for a split-second, just enough time for him to reach me.

There’s no hesitation in him as he towers over me; despite my recent growth spurt, he’s still taller by a head. And his frame is that of a man, chiseled from his daily personal training sessions, while I, though athletic, still sport the body of a boy. The strike comes so fast I have no time to react.


My head snaps back as the vicious uppercut lands just beneath my chin. Still half on the plush red velvet cushion of my cast-iron chair, I feel my feet tangle with the chair legs as I go down in a heap, unwittingly pulling the heavy seat on top of me. Pain is shooting through my jaw but I don’t even have time to massage my chin before my father’s vise-like hands are clutching the top of my tunic, pulling me to my feet, and then further, lifting me in the air, my legs dangling helplessly beneath me.

I’m looking down at my father, and I feel the warm trickle of blood from my mouth. I must’ve bitten my tongue when he hit me. Out of the corner of my eye I see Killen watching, his face that of a ghost, white and powdery. I look back at my father when he shakes me, once, twice, thrice, a reminder of the power he holds over me.

“You will NOT speak to me like that!” he spits out. “If anyone’s to blame for your mother’s disappearance”—another shake—“it’s you.”

He drops me, and although I land on my feet, my legs are weak and rubbery, unable to sustain my weight as my knees crumble beneath me. His shadow looms over me and I shudder. Why won’t he just let me be, leave me to my own grief? Because that’s not who he is. I suspect that his cold, uncaring shell of a heart stopped beating years ago.

“You will not leave this house again until I say so,” he commands, and despite the rebellion in my heart, I know I’ll obey him. But someday, when I’m stronger, I won’t.

I never saw my mother again.

The Star Dwellers 

Early praise for The Star Dwellers

 Estes´s creative genius continues to shine in this installment. We get quite a few questions answered and more are raised.”
Author Christie Rich

This is easily becoming one of the best dystopian books I've read.”
Lolita  Goodreads

The Star Dwellers surpassed all of my expectations and more. I was just completely amazed and thrown back into this fantastic world and left dying to know what will happen next.
Kayleigh Goodread

Early praise for the author

“David Estes you are a genius! This book kept me on the edge of my seat. I felt such intense emotion to the main characters and their cause.”
Tina Donelly Goodreads

“Another fantastic book by David Estes that had me gripped straight away”
Adele Goodreads

Blog Tour Dates
Oct 1th – Oct 19th 2012

Oct 1st
Author Info, Book Blurb, Cover & Giveaway (paperback)

Oct 2nd
.- Terri My Book Boyfriend.
Excerpt 1

Oct 3rd
.- Zuleeza 
Review & Giveaway

Oct 4th
Alana http://darkobsessionchronicles.blogsp...
Interview and Character Bio (Adele)

Oct 5th
.- Rachel
Guest post 1

Oct 6th
.- Kayleigh
Review & Giveaway

Oct 7th
.- Roxy Kade 
Excerpt 2

Oct 8th
.- Alana 
Character Bio (Tristan)

Oct 9th
.- Martha 

Oct 10th
.- Katrina http://www.athousand-lives.blogspot.c... 
Character Guest post 2

Oct 11th

Oct 12th
.- April Http://myparanormalbookreview.blogspo... 
Characetr Bio (Tawni)

Oct 13th
.- Marni 
Guest post 2 

Oct 14th
.- Shieka 

Oct 15th
.- Tana http://tana-someofmyfavoritebooks.blo... 
Excerpt 3

Oct 16th
.- The Cover Contessa 
Interview & Review

Oct 17th
.- Laurice 
Character Guest Post 1

Oct 18th
.- Marissa http://beneaththemoonandstars.blogspo... 
Character Bio (Roc)

Oct 19th
Review and closing giveaway TMD &TSD paperback

About the author

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010. He´s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table

Author of the Evolution Trilogy

The Star Dwellers Synopsis:

After rescuing her father and younger sister, Adele is forced to leave her family and Tristan behind to find her mother in the cruel and dangerous realm of the star dwellers. 

Amidst blossoming feelings for Adele, Tristan must cast his feelings aside and let her find her own way amongst the star dwellers, while he accompanies Adele's father to meet with the leaders of the moon dwellers and decide the fate of the Tri-Realms.

Will Adele be able to rescue her mother and make it back to the Moon Realm before the President and the sun dweller soldiers destroy her family?

Can Tristan convince the moon dweller puppets of the error of their ways?

Was Adele's lost kiss with Tristan her one and only chance at love?

In her world there's only one rule: Someone must die.

I'm baaack. First day of vacation! :D

Howdy my fellow bloggers! :') Please forgive me for being AWOL lately. The previous month was just so intense! O.0 I guess some of you have heard of the terrible storm we experienced in August (Click to read more details). Quite a number of classes were suspended--which we hardly enjoyed--due to the nonstop rain and heavy flood. As a result, our university had to hold classes seven (7) days--can you believe it--SEVEN days a week! Well I don't know of the case of my other schoolmates, but my professors had to conduct classes on Sundays! O.o It was definitely a wild September. 

The "fun" was not over because there came October.....the dreaded finals week. It was supposedly a finals week, but I had to admit, it's better called "finals weeksssss." :)) Well, I had mine from October 1 to 15! Piles of papers, readings, presentations, FGDs, film reviews, book reviews, and research papers overwhelmed me every single day. T-T

Although I had many--more like a whole semester of--sleepless nights, I am thankful. :) Throughout the roughly four months of hard work in my studies, I saw the work of God's hand. I knew He lead me through every hardship and triumph. I know that nothing is wasted because it's all for Jesus! And it's all because of Jesus that I'm still standing. His Grace and Love sustained me throughout this--literally and figuratively--stormy semester. 
God is my refuge
Today's a special day because...I remember God's faithfulness in my life throughout the semester's the start of a month-long vacation! :"> Wheeeee! I'm so excited for the following days and weeks to come! :"> I'm sure it'll be a fun and a stress-free vacation, which I really really really need. :D

At the moment, I'm virtually hugging everyone because I missed you all so much and I'm so excited to be back here!!! :"> Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! :') Please do tell me how you are doing at moment! :D I'm so excited to hear from you all! <3 God bless us all! :D

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