Book Assignment: The Pilgrim’s Progress
The Pilgrim’s Progress is a bizarre but timeless allegorical tale of young Christian, and later his family, who journeys away from his home to find salvation in the Celestial City. On this journey, our hero seems to endure outwardly physical but internally allegorical challenges signifying the trials, tribulations, and temptations any Christian may meet on the harrowing road to Heaven or salvation. He meets various characters named after the characteristics they represent that help him or deter him from his path. In a way, this story represents the journey of an ordinary Christian throughout his or her life. The story was written in two parts—the first, telling of Christian’s journey, and the second, telling of his family’s journey through the same path. This book has never been out of print since it was written in 1678 by John Bunyan, an English Christian writer and preacher. Born in 1628 to a modest family, John Bunyan lived in a small village outside Bedfordshire, England. After little schooling, John took up work as a pot mender. In 1644 Bunyan left his family and enlisted in the Parliamentary Army for three years before returning to pot mending in 1647. He claimed he lived a life such that a man he knew called him “the ungodliest fellow for swearing [he] ever heard.” It is for this reason he also claims to have been hearing voices and seeing visions deterring him from his sinful path onto a godly one. Once, while playing an active game on the Sabbath day, he heard a voice saying “Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to heaven or have thy sins and go to hell?” He took this as a sign and thus began the lengthy religious chapter of his life. In 1650 Bunyan married a poor orphan girl with only two books on piety as inheritance from her father. These books strongly influenced Bunyan towards a religious life, as they were the only valuable possessions the couple had. Bunyan soon fell into mental turmoil but found some refuge in...
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