The correct answer is A. The sinners' compulsion to look backward darkly mirrors their strained attempts to see into the future in life.
The word symbolism refers to the use of symbols, objects or words to represent a more abstract or complex idea. In the case of literature, symbolism is one of the most common devices used to give certain actions, words or events a more deeper meaning. In the epic poem "The Divine Comedy" by the Italian writer Dante Alighieri the use of symbolism is quite common and mainly linked to religious ideas, this can be seen in Dante's Inferno description of punishment for prophets and fortune tellers who are the people that use different practices to try to predict the future and who are punished in Dante's Inferno by having their faces turned around which force them to walk backward. The punishment these people received is linked symbolically to their practices of trying to know the future as their new condition in the Inferno stops them from looking forward which is what they did or tried to do during all their lives as they wanted to look forward in time or know the future. Thus, the symbolism is mainly used to show "the sinner's compulsion to look backward darkly mirror their strained attempts to see into the future in life" as this punishment represent in a symbolic way their sin was mainly to try to look forward or in the future and because of this they are condemned to never be able to look forward again.