In Dante’s Inferno, contrapasso is one of the few rulesthat “applies to hell, stating that for every sinner’s crime there must be anequal and fitting punishment” (Kameen). The second circle appears to be anintroduction of Hell, along with the punishments that sinners receive.
Danteexplains how he “came to a place where no light shone at all,” (Canto V 28)where the darkness alludes to a time where feelings of desire and lust occur. Danteexplores the relationship between love and lust in Canto V, where those who “sinin lust have been condemned, / those who make reason slave to appetite” (CantoV 38-39). According to Dante, love turns to lust when one begins to act upontheir impure desires. The sinners are tossed and whirled by strong winds, whichsymbolizes the power of lust to blow one about needlessly and aimlessly bytheir passion and desires. The sinners in the second circle did not controltheir desires and lust in their previous lives, and here they are not incontrol of themselves as the winds decide where to blow them around in thecircle. The winds depict the message that those blown aimlessly in the windsare prevented from finding peace and rest in the afterlife. According to thepoet Robert Pinsky, Inferno is a bookabout the sadness of sin, and one can see that the punishments of those whosinned, or experienced a moment of being “un-made,” represent the sadness ofthe acts committed.