The Pilgrim’s Progress

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

John Bunyan

Pilgrim’s Progress

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.

Follow your heart”

John Bunyon, The Pilgrim’s Progress

3 Comments »

  1. Very interesting post, Rebecca! Somehow I’ve never read “The Pilgrim’s Progress” — the thought of it seemed rather grim and moralistic. I didn’t know, and am impressed, that well-known/evocative phrases such as “vanity fair,” “slough of despond,” “the straight and narrow,” and “muckraking” originated in that book. Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Dave – it is grim and moralistic and yet is has been translated into more than 200 languages. So this book continues to be read. John Bunyan wrote it which in prison for six months in 1675. This was the second imprisonment for violations of the Conventicle Act of 1664, which was to forbid religious services outside the establish Church of England. YIKES!!! Aside from the religious theme and the influence of the politics of that era, there is a good plot and a great adventure – but grim is the word. There is redemption and he does make it to celestial city, but here again, it is a passing from life. The character names are brilliant – Faithful, Hopeful, Obstinate. To me Pilgrim’s Progress is an internal journey.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Dave Astor Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.