What role does disillusion play in Dante's Divine Comedy, canto XXXIV, and in "The Explosion" by Larkins?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In canto XXXIV of Inferno, Dante and Virgil have at long last reached the very bottom of hell, known as Judecca. This level of hell is reserved for people who have betrayed their benefactors, and sinners here are completely frozen in ice. Disillusion plays a role when Dante slowly approaches a giant, mist-shrouded shape. When the fog clears, he beholds Satan. The disillusion of this figure is so shocking to Dante that he considers for a moment that he might be dead.

Disillusion also plays a huge role in the poem "The Explosion" by Philip Larkin. The poem details the moments leading up to a mine disaster. The disillusion is illustrated in the fact that everything seems ordinary to the miners before the moment of the explosion. The environment around the mine seems cheerful and serene, and there is no sign whatsoever of impending doom.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial