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Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan is an allegorical story that follows the travels of the pilgrim Christian and then the travels of his wife, Christiana, and their children.

Christian decides to leave the City of Destruction where he has been living in search of the Celestial City. When he is unable to convince his wife to come with him and bring the children along, he leaves by himself on the journey. Along the way he wanders through strange places like Slough of Despond, Vanity Fair, the Doubting Castle, and the Valley of the Shadow of Death. He also meets many people along the way, such as Evangelist, Obstinate, and Piety. The second part has Christiana and her children, as they follow Christian's path to the Kingdom of God.

Bunyan left nothing to chance or interpretation. Every place and every person in both part one and part two are given obvious names. When things happen the characters often recap immediately after the event to make sure the reader is clear on what the events are meant to represent. While some may find this tiresome, others may appreciate the clear symbolism, over the more subtle type used by modern authors.

Christian's journey and that of his family is a journey of faith that many people experience. Many may find their own life or the lives of others reflected in this story.

Pilgrim's Progress is an out of copyright text and may be found for download from gutenberg.org and many other sites.

Recommended Reads:
The Bible
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Pilgrim's Regress - C.S. Lewis

Recommended Viewing:
Pilgrim's Progress

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