The Pilgrim’s Progress
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
Vanity fair, slough of despond, the straight and narrow, and muckraking – these words and phrases are familiar to us, thanks to John Bunyan and his allegory, “The Pilgrim’s Progress.”
On February 18, 1678, The Pilgrim’s Progress was first listed in a Term Catalogue. Term Catalogues, which were generally listed four times a year, were lists that informed traders of books that would be available at upcoming fairs.
The Pilgrim’s Progress tells the story of Christian, who embarks on on a long and dangerous pilgrimage to Celestial City. John Bunyan is known as “the narrator.” He introduces us to a list of characters: Obstinate, Pliable, Help, Mr. Worldly Wiseman, Mr. Legality, Watchful, Charity, Faithful, Shining Ones, the Lions and the list goes on.
As a young child, my mother read me the children’s version of The Pilgrim’s Progress. The most memorable character to me was Giant Despair of Doubting Castle, who tempts Christian to despair. Good news – he escapes the dreaded castle with his companion, Hopeful. The Pilgrim’s Progress gave me an opportunity to see that even giants, with scary names, can be overcome when you have good friends and family to love you.