1. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    how do you envision hell.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by dave_c, Jan 27, 2013.

    I'm currently writing a scene where my main character is thrown into what is essentially hell (though not named hell as it is kind of a lord of the rings setting.)

    I'm looking for some other opinions on how you envision hell. Do you see lava and brimstone or do you see it like a desert or maybe a more constantine style where it is just a ruined parallel of the origonal world. Any and all ideas more than welcome and greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Norse Hel is a dark and frozen wasteland. Dante's vision of Hell, from the Divine Comedy consists of nine circles of varying characteristics appropriate to the sinners that each circle is populated with. The Twilight Zone has offered a number of interpretations of Hell. Islamic jahannum is a fiery pit much like the popular image of Christian Hell.
     
  3. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Oblivion from the Elder Scrolls games is a pretty good rendition of a fiery nether world, populated by blood sucking plants, bags of gore and organs, and dominated by imposing black towers and angry demonic creatures... Oh, and lava... there is lots of lava...

    Personally, I don't believe in hell... but if I had to say what my version of hell would be, it would be the repeated ten minutes before a math exam that you aren't studied for...
     
  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Milton's hell seems to be like a really dark cavernous place with fire that never gives off light, only heat.
    The Greeco/Roman underworld of Elysium in Homer and Virgil is a place both of punishment, only of some 'sins', though I think that might only be in Virgil now that I think about it and a paradise, the Elysium Fields. The Underworld is typically reached by the river Styx and the river Acheron, and manned by the boatman Charon who ferries the souls of the dead (the rivers Styx and Acheron, and Charon the boatman also appear in Dante).

    How do I see hell personally? As an eternal episode of 'Jersey Shore'.
     
  5. Em_Anders
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    Em_Anders Member

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    For me, my interpretation of Hell is somewhere where a person hated being, surrounded by people the person hated being around. I think Hell should be personal since nothing gets under the skin, tortures, and/or creates intense discomfort like that of something personal.

    A man who gets killed and goes to Hell wouldn't immediately feel or think "I'm in Hell" if it were a dark and barren wasteland. But maybe if he died and went to "Hell" and Hell turned out to be the living room of his grandparents house where he saw something horrific as a child. Reliving the horrific moment in a replica of the location of where it happened would be worse than a barren wasteland.

    My personal Hell would be... Being 10 again, living in my mom's house, forced to eat butter and broccoli and having an arguement with my mom every hour on the hour for all eternity. Ugh. Just imagining it makes me break out in anxious hives.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The problem with all these visions of hell is that the torment never changes. No matter how horrific the torture, the tormented soul gets inured to the suffering. Sooner or later, it loses its power over the victim.
     
  7. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I prefer the Christian version of hell. You know what the most torturous thing about hell is?

    Awareness.

    The fact that you become aware that there is a loving God, who wanted to spend an eternity with you, and you made the conscious decision to reject His offer.

    So hell is an eternity of complete isolation from God. I don't believe it will have physical characteristics that we can describe. It will be more ephemeral.

    When judgement day finally comes, every man woman and child will stand alone before the throne of God, and many will hear him say, "Leave me, I never knew you."

    This is something that we can't understand while we still live in this faith-based world. You will be alone. You will experience a version of lonliness that doesn't exist among mortal men. A soul-crushing eternity of heartache and suffering.

    That's what I think, anyways. ;)

    ~ J. J.
     
  8. wavodavo
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    wavodavo Member

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    There is an East Asian version of hell that gives me the shudders. You die and awake in a benign but impossibly complex bureaucracy. You have the equivalent of a Get Out of Hell Free card, but you have to get a million different stamps on it and card punches and fill out mountains for paperwork and have to trundle it all from office to office, building to building, forever trying to get to the right person who would let you out, but only if your card is in perfect order. Otherwise, off you go again to get it right.
     
  9. GHarrison
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    GHarrison Senior Member

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    Hell would be spending an eternity ruled by an overlord who demands you constantly praise Him.
     
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  10. capturedpotential
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    capturedpotential Member

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    I like CS Lewis' idea on it:

    “Christianity asserts that every individual human being is going to live forever, and this must be either
    true or false. Now there are a good many things which would not be worth bothering about if I were
    Going to live only 70 years, but which I had better bother about very seriously if I am going to live
    Forever. Perhaps my bad temper or my jealousy are gradually getting worse – so gradually that the
    Increase in seventy years will not be very noticeable. But it might be absolute hell in a million years: in
    fact, if Christianity is true, hell is the precisely correct technical term for what it would be.” Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others . . . but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself and wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even to enjoy it, but just the grumble itself, going on forever like a machine. It is not a question of God 'sending us' to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE Hell unless it is nipped in the bud.
    [Lewis, Mere Christianity]
     
  11. Rafiki
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    Rafiki Active Member

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    Splinters underneath fingernails. All the fingernails.
     
  12. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't believe in Hell as proscribed by any religion. But I believe in karma and reincarnation. I believe that each life teaches us lessons we failed to learn in the previous lives, and once we learn and become enlightened, our need for a physical body disappears and we join with the cosmic life-giving energy which different cultures call different things.

    Hell for me is on this Earth when a soul is given a terrible life full of pain and being born into another and another. Stagnation in self-development leads to this, as does vanity, greed, laziness, jealousy, hate and violent preoccupations. I believe those follow us through different lives until we atone for the hurt we caused other people and change ourselves into beings that contribute positively to the Universe and all those within it.

    But that probably won't help you with your story.
     
  13. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    "Hell is the closet I'm stuck inside - can't see the light..."

    Dave Matthews' hell.
     
  14. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I always picture the Underworld as depicted by Disney in Hercules, but that's because I'm proper cultured.
     
  15. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    I would have to agree on that. I got a small taste of it, and it taught me a lot.

    I went to the Univserity of Wisconsin at Madison, and was surrounded by whacko liberals for 24/7. This was in the Vietnam protest years. Most of the time I just jumped onto my bike and lived over on the lower east-side of Madison to be around normal people.

    It's one of the reasons that my wife and I moved out to the 'burbs. If you can imagine any concept or idea that is lazy, ill-conceived, illogical, expensive and an ultimate waste of time, then that's what your typical Madisonian will choose.

    For example, in our recent gun debate, most of the folks think it's better to disarm yourself even if that means begging for your life while being executed in terror. If your very existence is defined by your destruction, than you're a whacko, but we have 175,000 of them.

    As a Christian, then the separation from God would dovetail into that. All reason and hope is gone, but never to return.
     
  16. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    There are many different ways of suffering - envisioned, interestingly enough, by other people.

    The worst kind of hell is the one unique to us, though I'm not sure a Tokein-esque story will feature a journey into the mind's inner circles of self-inflicted suffering.

    If you're looking for an afterlife-of-the-damned setting, then it's probably tailored to the tastes of whoever's in charge.

    Fire and brimstone is all well and good, but a road paved with the living souls of the dead? Then you've got the seven rivers of the Greek underworld or the divine punishments: Eternally hopeless tasks or tortures (liver, anyone?)

    Personally? Hell is the place where the worst people have the best of things and the best have the worst. I shouldn't have to tell you how close we are to that already =(
     
  17. The Tourist
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    The Tourist Banned

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    Could you expand on this.

    As an older person, I have sold off almost 75% of my personal possessions because the thrill is gone.

    On the other hand, experiences and idiots take up most of my time.

    Are you referring to possessions like homes and cars based on revenue, or opportunities based on insider knowledge?
     
  18. dave_c
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    dave_c Active Member

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    thankyou for the input all. think ill combine a few of these to make a more generic but a little differant hell :D

    i was already thinking of using a dante-esc kind of hell (with multiple levels/circles.)

    Cogito, youve given me an idea, thanks.
     
  19. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    Hell to me is having to speak with people before I've had coffee and breakfast
     
  20. D-Doc
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    D-Doc Active Member

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    I don't believe in hell, but I always thought that an endless, black abyss, devoid of anything at all, would be a much worse place to spend eternity than burning caverns where you're at least able to communicate with other damned souls.
     
  21. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Wasn't being terribly specific, really. Just a general, "bad people get what they want, usually at the expense of good people" thing.

    Sure, we have laws and stuff but so long as it's not against the law to be a bad person (and it never will be for obvious reasons) then you will always have cheats and liars, thieves and deceivers. You can go on all you want about karma and comeuppance and guilt but the fact is that if selfish people and kind people exist side by side, the selfish will bleed the kind dry - and the unwary, naive, innocent and helpless - over the generations. It's an unavoidable state of affairs, one of the main criticisms leveled against capitalism and corporate corruption and a source of much of the world's misery at large.

    Rich kids can kill bystanders in broad daylight in China, bribe their way to a lenient sentence then pay a body double to sit in jail for them. Women can found a multibillion dollar personal franchise based entirely on their selfish antics, encouraging likewise behaviour in the generation that venerates them and discrediting genuinely diligent women worldwide. An entire football team can watch and participate in the rape of an unconscious, underage girl and be acquitted of all charges because the entire town they represent doesn't want to sully its reputation on account of one girl who was totally asking for it just look at the way she dresses etc. Brutal, bloodstained, fascist regimes in their home nations have to be treated with kid gloves abroad because they're really just a misrepresented minority and you have to respect their every ignorant demand to change your nation's culture to suit their requirements because they're just better people than you, you godless son of a whore, ohwaitdidIsaythatoutloud?

    Not that I'm about to get up on a soap box and tell people how to fix it - you can't. That's rather the point of it being hell.

    Stuff a man with dry rice and then tell him he can go free if he drinks his weight in water. The game is devised in such a way that you can only lose.
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't believe in any god, religion, heaven or hell, but if there is a hell, i hope it resembles larry niven and jerry pournelle's modern redo of dante's classic, "Inferno"... which is itself a classic worth reading more than once or twice...

    as a matter of fact, i'm more than ready for another read and will be heading for thriftbooks.com to replace my second lost copy as soon as i finish my daily writing site postings...
     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed. I especially like the ending, and the point it makes (also as an atheist, but one who still appreciates a well-told story regardless of the implicit assumptions).
     
  24. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Canto XXXIII always gets me. It sends a horrible shiver up my spine whenever I read Count Ugolino telling his tale. I love that whole epic to be honest, and not just Inferno.
     
  25. Malkhalifa
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    Malkhalifa Member

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    Well, let me put it this way. That tube of Banana Boat ultra defense isn't going to cut it.
     

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