In my view Twain is drawing on Dante's "Inferno" in these last chapters to
a vision of Hell. There's no indication that he had read D's poem that I
but he did own a detailed prose synopsis (see Gribben). "The Inferno"
detailed description of a sand belt that exists near the very pit of hell
some similarity to the one created by Twain. MT was always interested in
Satan as a
master of technological wizardry as well as a bringer of forbidden truths
THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER). If Hank Morgan is a type of Satan, his last stand
the book might well be construed as occuring on Satan's own ground. Pay
lar attention to the concentric structure of the Yankee's
removed from the descending rings of Hell in D.
Yours, Bob Champ