By John Bunyan
20 April 2010
Format: MLA Style
The Pilgrims Progress, composed in 1678 by John Bunyan, is said to have originally graced John in a dream. As a Preacher and English writer, Bunyan comprised this during the time in which he was imprisoned for preaching the word of God. This makes good sense because of the timing of it all. If there were ever to be a good time for a person to consider their life as it was and eventual death that would one day come, it would be the time in which they were imprisoned if they were ever to find themselves in such a situation. Bunyan seemingly wrote this allegorical story to track the main character’s journey that would eventually lead him to find his salvation. As the author uses an allegorical style, he apologizes for it in the preface of the text but it actually saves the reader. Allegory uses symbolism as a disguised representation for meanings. Without allegory, the characters would have names that could easily take on the persona of any one person. The characters that Bunyan utilizes in this piece truly appear to be universal. The personalities of the characters that were conveyed could have been found just as easily in 1678 as they could in the present day. Carl Rollyson states that John Bunyan was a Puritan who wrote about every earnest Christian’s continuous search for salvation (394). The primary purpose was not only to spread the word, but to continue to strengthen faith and win souls as well. The author was fascinated with the ideas that backed the human experience. Evidence of this comes from some of the names that were assessed to his allegorical characters. These personalities such as Mr. Feeble-Mind, Mr. Talkative, Mr. Money-Love, and Mr. Save-All were just a few that were created from involvement in everyday life. Likewise, the allegorical stops in the way such as Valley of Humiliation, Slough of Despond, Vanity, and the Delectable Mountains can be closely compared to places everywhere that come to be known by a wide variety of people regardless of their culture or religious beliefs.
The Pilgrim’s Progress begins with a man by the name of Christian as he is reading a book that comes to trouble him. Because of this he seems to be carrying a large burden on his back, which would later be known to represent his sins. As he continues to read on in this book, which is the Bible, he begins to have visions of a massive fire that he believes will eventually destroy his town, the City of Destruction, his family, and the entire world as he has come to know it. Christian’s goal was to find a place of refuge, of pure joy, for him and his family (Carrales). In a moment of despair, Christian meets a man called Evangelist, who points the way to the refuge that Christian had been seeking for both himself and his family. He tells Christian to run toward the light. On this journey, Christian comes to encounter numerous obstacles. Some individuals even try to convince him to return to the City of Destruction. Then, there are others who help him to keep moving on as they encourage him to continue on his journey. Although Christian is being pushed onward by his faith, his doubt still seemingly slows his progression at times. The noticeable turning point in the book is when Christian reaches the cross at Mount Calvary, where he is able to rid himself of a longstanding burden. Shortly after, Christian is presented with a scroll, which is viewed as his passport to the Celestial City. After climbing the Hill of Difficulty, Christian is able to make his way to the House of Beautiful. While there, he is given a suit of armor and a two-edged sword [Bible]. Christian then comes to face Apollyon and wounds him. He is also able to survive a horrifying walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death by reciting the very words of the Twenty-third Psalm. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with; thy rod...