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This is a popular property. Don't miss out! No, it's just bad. True, its explicit Protestant theology was different and what not, and this probably mattered a long time ago. But it reads, and probably has read for a long time, as Christianity for Dummies. You see, Bunyan's allegory can't even be called thinly-veiled. I guess on a technicality it qualifies as an allegory, but it has to be the most ham-fisted and ridiculous allegory I've encountered. Here's a list of characters, which aren't really characters as such I suppose, because basically the names cover the whole deal; unlike other allegories, where a character may represent something or quality, here the names are it, there is no actual representation: Christian, Evangelist, Help, Worldly Wiseman, Hypocrisy, Discretion, Piety, Prudence, Charity, The Interpreter, Faithful, Talkative, Mr.
Great-heart, Old Honest, Mr. Fearing, Mr. Feeble-mind, Valiant-for-truth. Sure compared to anything written after it that's just hilarious and sad and not even endearing and after ten pages just infuriating, but it's of the time. Compared to most things written before it, again, including the fucking Bible itself, which most of this is a simplified rehash of with the slight narrative frame of A Man's Journey to Salvation, it's also just totally insanely stupid and infuriating.
But besides the fact that this is just terrible when it comes to any formal criteria, it's also just impossible to read if you're a non-believer or even anything resembling a modern Christian. The intensely spelled-out lessons here are either the worst ones you could choose from the Bible, or the product, ironically, of years of stupid Catholic theologians' bullshit, or they are, more rarely, really of the time in that they're newfangled Protestant things that still lie coiled at the heart of the darkest and most unpleasant aspects of contemporary Western culture.
But even if I didn't find this whole thing morally disgusting on nearly every level, it's just horrifically bad. It's shit allegory, shit fiction, shit everything. Written in prose bad even for the time, because you know, there was other prose written at the time. Take a look at it. It's not this bad. And get this: nobody needs to read this today. You can just, uh, talk about it, if you need to cover it and its content for historical purposes in the study of literature. There is absolutely no reason to actually read the thing because it has absolutely zero literary quality, or relevance, or importance.
Here's everything you need to know about The Pilgrim's Progress, or Christianity for Dummies : it's real stupid, anything in it that's remotely interesting is in the Bible, or in books about the Bible, or about Christianity, that are far better than this, and it's just a hideously boring thing written by a lunatic, though it's popular because some people need to read things like this to dangerously simplify and remove any quality and intelligence from old myths and allegories, and write them anew in a supremely bullshitty manner.
To the extent that this is Historically Important, that importance is in knowing about it and what the deal is with it. But you shouldn't actually read it, unless you're a masochist. And really, I'm not the kinda guy who thinks you should never read old books. I just named Milton and Donne as two examples of near-contemporaries of Bunyan who are, uh, good writers, and as such still relevant in a literary sense, and who also are relevant in a historical sense, but much more so than Bunyan. Because this book has no relevance in a study of the history of allegories, in the study of the history of the novel, or poetry, or anything other than the persistent and sad idiocy of human beings, who have taken it upon themselves to translate this thing to more than a hundred languages, and also to still talk about a complete piece of shit like this centuries after it was written, instead of doing something real Christian like helping others, doing something real literary, like reading almost anything else, or doing something better and more important with their basic human existence, like just talking to another person, or just sitting still and doing nothing.
View all 14 comments. I'd wanted to write this review a while ago. However since I can't write it then I'll have to write it now. The Pilgrim's Progress is one of the most famous examples of allegory and also one of the most popular books ever published. I've heard that at one time it was as common to find this book in a home as a copy of The Bible.
This was one of those books I was introduced to as a child. You probably think I was an odd kid, reading books like this at 8 or 9 years old. And you'd probably be right. Or rather, perhaps I was slightly advanced for my age. I've always been the sort of reader where at the mere suggestion of a book or author I'd go and investigate them.
That was why I read Paradise Lost a few years ago. It is also why I've been reading G. Chesterton recently. For those not in the know this is a story about one man by the name of Pilgrim and his journey through various locations each one named for an emotional, physical or spiritual hardship or positive. It is the story of one man leaving a life of apathy and setting out to find the truth. A story so endearing it has lasted hundreds of years. I recommend this. Not just from a sense of nostalgia, but because it is a classic tale. It is a story that has had great consequence historically and has consequence today.
View 2 comments. Aug 31, Emily rated it did not like it Shelves: religion , classics , fiction. This isn't easy for me to do, but I admit it. I give up. I can't make myself slog through this anymore. I picked this up as part of my ongoing project to read classics I've somehow missed out on in the first 31 years of my life. Also, an old friend listed it as one of her 20 Most Memorable Books on facebook, so I was expecting to be moved.
Or instructed. Or touched. Maybe that was part of the problem. But I've had it out from the library for 6 weeks, renewed it once already, the due date is loomi This isn't easy for me to do, but I admit it. But I've had it out from the library for 6 weeks, renewed it once already, the due date is looming ever closer and it's not getting any better.
It's an Allegory with a capital "A" and the moralizing is of far more importance than plot or characterization, so it's difficult to find a through story line. Basically, Christian is on a journey and meets with various weakness, temptations, and sins along the way personified as characters. I'm sure it's valuable as a Christian text, perhaps similar in its day to C. Lewis in ours, but I'm laying it down.
For more book reviews, visit my blog, Build Enough Bookshelves. Sep 21, C. I must say that I struggled rather with this book; I continually procrastinated from picking it up, and even when I actually got around to reading it, it was frankly pretty boring. Nonetheless, I'm sure it's a much better book than I give it credit for; context is all, so don't come back to me with essay-length descriptions of the circumstances under which it was written I already know. I can and do read. Also I possess a brain I did not like this book and this review explains why.
That is all I must say that I struggled rather with this book; I continually procrastinated from picking it up, and even when I actually got around to reading it, it was frankly pretty boring. That is all. I was brought up in the Catholic tradition by a devout but sensible mother; baptised, reconciled, communioned, confirmed. I passed from insincere observance to a vague agnosticism to an indignant atheism to general indifference, but I am still surrounded and informed by the Catholic church and its way of thinking. The thing about institutionalised Catholicism is that it's a rather insincere beast; it's entirely ok with conspicuous wealth e.
What I like about Catholicism, though, is most of the non-Vatican Catholics. God, in their mind, is pretty much ok with non-literal interpretations of the Bible and therefore also with other things that both the Bible and the Vatican is decidedly ambivalent about: evolution, contraception, homosexuality, the female half of the human race, and so on. Naturally, the content, philosophy and aesthetic of The Pilgrim's Progress is somewhat at odds with Catholicism, and even more at odds with the mostly liberal-democratic, secular society in which I have lived my entire life.
I railed against this book with every fibre of my being for the entirety of its length. This, to me, only vaguely resembles what Christianity or any religion is about. Its Puritanical fire-and-brimstone approach was completely unfamiliar to me and impossible to identify with or distance myself from. Christian leaves his wife and family to languish in the City of Destruction; he blunders his way blindly and stupidly through any number of obvious religious allegories; he unquestioningly laps up the ideology of every character named with a virtuous adjective; he chastises with intolerance and narrow-mindedness anyone who deviates even slightly from his dogmatic beliefs.
His obsession with reaching eternal glory in the Celestial City is characterised by a disturbing veneration of objects such as "crowns of gold", the very same objects that whose worship he despises in people not in heaven. This to me is an egregious misreading of religious texts not that I've read the originals; so shoot me , not to mention blatant hypocrisy.
Maybe, like in the Bible, Bunyan's being metaphorical about the crowns of gold and all that. But I don't think so. Bunyan was the uneducated son of a tinsmith - whatever virtue this book has comes from the power his vivid imagination invested in the tired old idea of pilgrimage, not the sophistication of his intellect.
This book is all about taking religious metaphors and making them real, concrete. The crowns of gold are meant literally. I think it's possible. There is no discussion in this book; every conversation involves either one person proselytising and the other person agreeing vehemently, or one person proselytising and the other disagreeing and then being condemned to Hell quite literally with no explanation.
Two is the maximum number of people possible in a conversation, even if the third would have to be deaf and blind for this to make sense. Usually characters lay out their confusing and arbitrary-seeming opinions in the form of lists. Names are given according to whichever characteristic Bunyan wants to highlight about a character: ignorance, sloth, avarice, whatever. None of this is makes good literature or profound philosophy; what it makes is a load of crock.
Reading criticism was not helpful. Unlike with Don Quixote , the only criticism I found was not of a high standard, and tended to wax lyrical about how great it was without going into any real detail about why. I was totally unable to identify with any conception of this work as a masterpiece of artistic and philosophical exposition. I was also bored and disgusted by George Bernard Shaw's likening of Bunyan to Nietzsche, and his disparagement of Shakespeare in comparison as "a fashionable author who could see nothing in the world but personal aims and the tragedy of their disappointment or the comedy of their incongruity".
This, Mr. Shaw, I cannot agree with - Shakespeare writes for always and everyone; Bunyan writes one single narrative expressing a single, narrow view of life. There are good things here, though: mainly his prose, which is excellent in the way the Bible is excellent - possibly because a lot of the best parts are cribbed from the Bible - the valley of the shadow of death, for example. By the waters of Babylon I lay down and wept as I remembered Zion Bunyan's prose is very simple - he uses short words, but they have a fantastic rhythm.
This is the opening of the book: As I walked through the wilderness of the world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den [jail], and I laid me down in that place to sleep, and as I slept I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and behold I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back LIfe, life, eternal life!
There's power here, in these words, and in the very nature of the allegory.
The sheer simplicity of making literal all those metaphors! And yet, how striking the result. In small doses. When I consider it carefully. The dramatic and tragic qualities of Christianity are, I believe, one of its redeeming features. Anyone who has, for example, been to the tenebrae mass at a big cathedral will know what I mean, or even a decently-done funeral or memorial service.
I sing in a cathedral choir; I read a book during the sermons and don't take communion or say any of the prayers, but it's educational all the same. So I suppose in the end I'll give this book three stars, which seems a bit strange, but although I really hated it I also kind of love it. View all 20 comments. Nov 15, Lise Petrauskas rated it liked it Shelves: the-novel-a-biography , bloom-western-canon , philosophy-religion-psychology. Oh, Pilgrim's Progress, how glad I am that I have finally read you and that I'll never have to read you again.
Thank you for being shorter and easier to read than I was expecting. Little Women obvious references and The Lord of the Rings not so obvious , both books I've loved since childhood, came to mind as having been heavily influenced by you in different ways. The value in this book lies, for me, in the fact that it gives me some insight into the culture and history of the literature that Oh, Pilgrim's Progress, how glad I am that I have finally read you and that I'll never have to read you again.
The value in this book lies, for me, in the fact that it gives me some insight into the culture and history of the literature that came after and in the Christian mind set that has long been almost incomprehensible to me. Not to say that I get it now, but the word "evangelist" has long had a negative connotation, so much so that I was actually surprised that one of the "good guys" was called "evangelist.
Schmidt about A Pilgrim's Progress: "Bunyan at his best is not only telling a story but building a marvelous structure in which all the parts relate to one another. It is original without meaning to be; it entertains even the pagan and atheist heart. Jan 31, Brian rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy , christian.
I first heard of this book in Bible college. Today Christianity offers many opposing viewpoints and brings confusion and arguments to many. To those who hunger for and seek truth I understand the difficulty. I had my own journey and had to fail and become desperate before I found the real thing. This book gives clear and concise guidance on the Christian faith and makes it fun and exciting, as we follow a man's dangerous journey to escape the destruction of his own city and journey to the celest I first heard of this book in Bible college. This book gives clear and concise guidance on the Christian faith and makes it fun and exciting, as we follow a man's dangerous journey to escape the destruction of his own city and journey to the celestial fortress.
Oct 07, Kellyn Roth marked it as did-not-finish Shelves: books-for-teens , books-for-children , books-for-adults , era-olddddd , rating-uber-g , christian-fiction , rating-g , classical-reads , re-read-someday. DNF Just not for me. It's the writing style and the in-your-face allegories and whatnot. It's just not worth my time as there is the Bible if I want obvious Christianity and fiction which I'll enjoy and don't have to slough-of-despond my way through if I want less obvious Christianity.
View all 15 comments. Sep 24, R. The whole book was great, but I've always loved the last bit the best. When Christian and Hopeful read the Celestial City! It's so wonderful and amazing! And that small part when Ignorance arrives - from riding the rowboat across the river - I always smile, because I remember it so well in the movie! Even though he went to Hell in the end, it still made me laugh when he so proudly rowed across that dangerous river!
Anyway, a great read. Of course, I had no choice but to read this as it's for my school, but I enjoyed it. A proper review will come sometime in the future as I think I'm going to read this book for a report in school! View all 5 comments. Oct 28, Amy rated it it was amazing Shelves: s. Third time through, finally found an audio version we love! My fourth child will start this in the fall. Love it and highly recommend because of the great discussion.
Apr 11, David Sarkies rated it really liked it Recommends it for: People who haven't read it. Shelves: christian. Okay, I probably don't follow the readings of many of these groups as closely as some do, but they can be good to spur me on to reading a book that I probably wasn't thinking of reading at the 7 things you probably knew about Pilgrim's Progress 22 April Well, I will have to thank the Classics of the Western Canon discussion group for selecting Pilgrim's Progess for this month's read because otherwise it would have continued to sit on my shelf until such a time as I got around to reading it.
Okay, I probably don't follow the readings of many of these groups as closely as some do, but they can be good to spur me on to reading a book that I probably wasn't thinking of reading at the time. The discussions on this book have also been interesting to follow as well, though I do note the comments do tend to come quite thick and fast and I end up getting left behind. It is also been interesting that my evening church has been studying the Book of Hebrews or at least the last part of the book because there are connections, and references, in that part of the Bible to Bunyan's work.
Mind you, Bunyan draws heavily on the Bible in this book, but the exploration of the struggles of the Christian life is a central theme to this work. Anyway, instead of simply dumping my thoughts onto the page as I normally do, I thought that I might discuss a number of ideas that came to me as I was reading it.
Also, since this is probably one of the most well known books in the English Language, I probably don't need to give a synopsis, or a background, and if you want one there is always Wikipedia. Oh, and I should also mention that Pilgrim's Progress is listed as number two on The Guardian's list of best novels of all time. Mind you, I'm not really sure if allegory was actually all that big simply because there are very few allegorical novels that come to mind — Piers Plowman and Gulliver's Travels are two more, but other than that I really can't think of any others.
The main reason that I suspect that people don't write allegory is simply because it is really hard to read. However there are a couple of reasons why authors occasionally do so: a The literature is subversive : One of the reasons is because if they were to say what they were saying directly, and the literature fell into the wrong hands, then the author would land up in an awful lot of trouble. This was the case with some of the more difficult books of the Bible, such as the book of Revelation as well as Gulliver's Travels and Animal Farm.
By writing the way that they did the authors were able to challenge the system, or criticise the ruling authorities, without fear of retribution. As with the case of Revelation, John the Baptist was able to continue to promote his religion in an environment that had effectively banned it. What Bunyan was trying to do was to paint a picture of the Christian walk, and to simply write like your standard, everyday theologian would have probably put quite a lot of people off and the book would never have become as well known, and as popular, as it did.
Thus through the use of allegory Bunyan is able to turn a dry, and somewhat very heavy topic, into a form that is not only accessible, but also quite enjoyable. In fact there is quite a lot of discussion about the nature of faith and spirituality. As Christian travels on his journey, not only must he overcome obstacles, but he also meets various people, some good, some bad, and enters into conversation with them.
Through these conversations we learn about quite a few aspects of the Christian faith and concepts such as grace, the nature of God, and salvation, are all explored. While the book does paint a number of pictures, Bunyan to does resort to simply explaining a number of concepts through the mouths of his characters.
Okay, while prison is probably not a place that any of us should ever aspire to spend the rest of our lives, at least what it does give us is a lot of time, which means we can sit down and write stuff without having to be interrupted with work. It is also a place of solitude meaning that you are less likely to be disturbed. Okay, it probably wasn't a prison like this one: or this one: but that does not necessarily mean that it was any better, or any worse. I'm not sure whether he had to wander around wearing orange overalls, or even if he was given three meals a day if you were in prison back then you were not guaranteed any of the things that prisoners these days are guaranteed — well, yes, a roof over your head, but that didn't necessarily mean that the place was dry , however he did have time to write, which meant that he must have had access to writing materials.
One person even suggested that quite a lot of books were written in prison, but once again that is not surprising because, as I mentioned, you do have a lot of time on your hands in there. Mind you, not all of them were good, or even popular, though I must admit that Mark Chopper Read did generate a decent income from his writings and even boasted about how he, an uneducated illiterate became a best selling author while all of these university types, such as me, can't get a single book published — but then people like books about crime.
Which brings me to: 4 Bunyan didn't go to school Well, maybe he did, but apparently he didn't stay there long enough to be considered educated, and he certainly wouldn't have had the education that many of the other great writers of the time would have had, yet much like Chopper Reed, while many of them were writing rubbish, he not only wrote a best seller, he wrote a classic which sort of outclasses Chopper's efforts in my books.
Another reason I mention this is because there has been some suggestions that he was inspired by Dante hey, another allegory, I forgot that one but there is one big problem with that — he couldn't read Italian, and it wasn't translated into English until the 19th Century.
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Sure, Dante goes to sleep and has a dream, as does Bunyan, but that does not necessarily mean that he copied Dante, or was even influenced by him how could he have been. Rather, what I suspect both authors are doing is bringing the reader on a journey with them, and by placing themselves into the text and then turning it entirely into a dream sequence I suspect gives more credence to what they are trying to say. Anyway, here is a picture from Wikipedia: The other thing that I want to mention are references to classical literature — there aren't any.
A lot of writers at the time where returning to many of the texts of the Greek and Roman world and were drawing inspiration from them. However Bunyan wasn't one of them, which is not surprising since he didn't have a classical education.
Rather, the only book that he draws upon is the Bible. In fact there are quite a lot of Biblical allusions in the text, many of them being quite obscure. What I suspect Bunyan is doing is drawing upon the parables of Jesus, as well as other Biblical allusions, to paint his picture. For instance there is a section where Pilgrim passes Mount Sinai, which is on fire, while travelling towards Mount Zion. This is taken straight out of Hebrews 12, where Mount Sinai represents the law, and Mount Zion represents grace.
What Bunyan is doing here is showing how Christians can be tempted to earn their salvation by being good, however that is not actually how salvation comes about. One cannot be so good as to earn their salvation, and even if they are, there are still deeds that have been done that cannot be wiped out by a few good deeds. It is sort of like me going and robbing a bank and then giving all of the money to a charity.
Sure, I did a noble thing by giving it to charity, and sure, the bank may and probably did deserve to be robbed due to the fact that the money that it has was no doubt earned through nefarious means — but that does not exonerate me from my act of violence. Even if one could say that the bank itself was bad, there are still innocent people working in the bank such as the teller in whose face I stuck the shotgun, or the old granny who was cashing in her pension cheque.
In the end, the law does not care whether I robbed the bank to give the money to the Salvos who wouldn't accept it anyway , or that they bank had committed fraud and were laundering money, I still committed a crime, and no act on my behalf will be able to exonerate me from that crime. I have to be punished, and the only way that I can escape that punishment is for somebody else to takes that punishment on my behalf. The problem is that the Christian sect that Bunyan was a practitioner of, and was eventually gaoled for, no longer exists.
The thing is that Bunyan was what was termed as a 'non-conformist', and honestly, that classified an awful lot of people. Milton was a non-conformist as well though I believe the word puritan is more appropriate to him — another sect that no longer exists. The thing about non-conformists is that they were not Anglicans Epsicopalian or Church of England. In Bunyan's day the only place you could worship, and the only people that were allowed to preach, were Anglican churches. If you live in England and you were not an Anglican you could get yourself into a lot of trouble, especially if, as Bunyan did, you were holding regular church services.
However, the thing about non-conformists is that they were not: a Baptists; b Methodists; c Assemblies of God; or d Pentacostal either. Okay, those denominations may have eventually emerged from the non-conformist movement, but that does not mean that a non-conformist subscribes to any of those particular denominations — they simply did not exist. You see, if everybody in Bunyan's day were Christians then he wouldn't have needed to write this book, or his others such as A Journey to Hell.
Okay, while the multitude of faiths that we have today think Hinduism, Buddhism, etc didn't exist in Europe back then, and the only religion you would find was Christianity though there were Jews , and everybody went to church, it did not mean that they actually believed it. In fact many of the people who went to church went there because it was expected of them, and even then it was mostly a middle and upper class phenomena.
If everybody was Christian then, as I have suggested, you would not have had Bunyan writing his book, or even characters such as the Wesleys going out and preaching to the people of England. Even then, the Anglican church was not necessarily a place that would teach evangelical Christianity, and there were quite a lot of people out there that simply did not like the way the church operated. What Bunyan is showing in his book suggests that even though people would go to church, they were not necessarily saved, and in many cases simply left standing in the City of Destruction.
Also, consider the fact that Christian leaves his wife and children suggests that even when one was living in an apparent Christian country, one would still be mocked and ridiculed for their faith. It is interesting that they don't follow him on his journey, in a sense rejecting what he believes.
In the end though, what the book does in a way is to challenge an apathetic society into understanding more about the faith to which their nation allegedly adheres. What a wonderful book. This is one to ponder! Every passage has meaning to study and it will take time BUT it is time well spent. Reading with a friend or a group is a good suggestion because you will want to discuss as you read! Ask questions of another if there are parts that are difficult. A commentary may also be helpful. I fo What a wonderful book. I followed up my reading with one by Derek Thomas. Be sure you do!
I think it might be better than Part 1. It was included in the edition I read. Largely and overall, the allegory is a wonderful lesson. There was a point or two that I question but much more so, it relayed great lessons and touched my heart. I was strongly reminded to stay alert on my earthly pilgrimage, persevere, be strong, be faithful and hold tight the hope in the will, work and promises of the Lord.
Yes, I highly recommend. Any suggestions for narration? I read this book as part of a reading project I have undertaken with some other nerdy friends in which we read The Novel: A Biography and some of the other texts referenced by Schmidt. It took me from Aug 6 to today to read the first half of the book. And then I read the second half of the book in one sitting. Here's the thing - this is not a good bedside table book. Aside from its soporific quality because it's boring , it really needs to be read in big gulps at a time instead of small sips ov I read this book as part of a reading project I have undertaken with some other nerdy friends in which we read The Novel: A Biography and some of the other texts referenced by Schmidt.
Aside from its soporific quality because it's boring , it really needs to be read in big gulps at a time instead of small sips over long periods of time. There are no breaks really along the way, so you put it down for a while and pick it up and you're on a page that starts with Talkative saying What's happening? Where are we? Are they dead yet? It's a slog. This book is referenced so often in the world that I figured I should read it eventually; most popularly it comes up quite frequently in Little Women , a book I read when I was like 12 or 13 years old.
It made an impression on me at the time as far as I can remember it now this many years later. That was not a world I grew up in. But then I also didn't grow up in a world wherein I was easily at risk for contracting scarlet fever. The first book was printed in , exactly years before I was born. That's pretty trippy when you think about it. The story involves Christian hello, hit me over the head one more time with your crazy allegory, Bunyan and his pilgrimage.
It's pretty straight forward. As an allegory goes it seriously couldn't be less subtle. He encounters a lot of folk along the way and they have irritatingly allegoric names like Talkative, Good Will not Hunting , Interpreter, Faithful, Hopeful, and a slew of others.
They all have long, drawn-out conversations about this and that other thing, and holy shit, it is boring. The second book was printed in and this story involves Christian's wife whom he left behind when he was all "Pilgrimage! I just want to point out first of all that Christian's wife's name is unimaginatively Christiana.
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I mean, really. Christiana is basically like "Hmm, pilgrimage? Okay, let's do it" because it really worked out well for her husband. She goes off on a similar adventure, and she and the boys meet a bunch of other people along their way like Great-Heart, Honest, Feeble-mind, Bat-Eyes, and Ready-to-Halt. They also have some conversations about some things, the boys all marry a variety of ladies will equally ridiculous allegorical names, and then the story is over. I suppose I could say I'm happy to have read this because of all of the references in other literature I will now totally understand There are some okay pieces of the story, and these were the parts where I would pretend I was reading Lord of the Rings and not some insanely stupid allegory.
And LOST was a lot more fun to experience than this book. View 1 comment. Jul 17, Annie rated it did not like it. Reads like satire, but just I feel like it's mocking itself but I really don't think it is? It's just really hard to take this book seriously. It's incredibly dated, mind-numbingly boring, and obscenely moralizing. This book felt like my entire childhood of nuns making me kneel on the hard marble floor for laughing in chapel on Friday mornings. I love allegory as much as your mom, but I do like just a tiny bit of subtlety. In Pilgrim's Progress, Allegory comes over to you and she slaps Reads like satire, but just In Pilgrim's Progress, Allegory comes over to you and she slaps you in the face see what I did there?
Over and over again. And then she tells you to turn the other cheek. A summary: a guy named Evangelist helps a guy named wait for it Christian, who by the way is married to wait for it twice Christiana, find Jesus.
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He gallivants down the road to meet Jesus and makes new friends, like Faithful and Hopeful. They meet some nefarious people- shockingly, named after vices- who prepare to be shocked again meet righteously unhappy ends. Later on, Christiana, who got left behind, makes the same journey with the rest of the fam. The End! Did you enjoy that? Me neither. I fuck you not, there are characters named Lord Hate-Good, Mrs.
Inconsiderate, and Mr. It's like 17th century Clue. It was Mrs. Inconsiderate, in the Valley of Humiliation, with a candle-stick! How very inconsiderate of her! Paradise Lost, it ain't. What a powerful book that is still effective today. I loved seeing the details of each character and comparing them to myself.
There is power in this story This book I highly recommend and endorse! After reading the "children's version" for school when I was younger, I was picturing something decidedly more lighthearted and adventurous. But nonetheless, this was a good read! In this book, John Bunyan describes his dream, where he sees a man named Christian living in the City of Destruction, with a great burden on his back.
The poor man must figure out how to escape doom and find the way to the This great classic, The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, was actually different than I expected. The poor man must figure out how to escape doom and find the way to the Celestial City. He meets various people among the way, some helping, and some hindering his progress; and encounters many a trial and tribulation. I love the idea, this allegorical picture of the Christian's life. In The Pilgrim's Progress , we see symbolic pictures of facing temptation; being led away from the Bible's truth by worldly knowledge; falling into depression and despair; and also getting revived by godly fellowship; and being released from our burden of sin by accepting the forgiveness Jesus Christ grants.
It's quite profound. I especially loved the chapter where the man Christian walks through "the valley of the shadow of death", facing all sorts of goblins and demons. It's fearful, and Christian is bombarded by all manner of darkness; but it has a certain beauty I also loved the ending, where inside the Celestial City is glimpsed and what life will be like there spoken of briefly. How glorious! I felt it was a wonderful picture of heaven. Things I didn't like as much. Compared the shorter versions I read before, this one was a bit too dark and even depressing at times. There wasn't any humor or lightheartedness.
And sometimes it felt a bit like a "fire and brimstone" sermon; be very, very careful, lest you fall! It gave this feeling like you could loose you salvation if you make a mistake. But our actions, good or bad, don't save us. And I don't think that you can just slip away. You're in God's hands now. And nothing can snatch you from them. When we make mistakes or go astray, I believe God leads us back to Him.
Rebukingly even. But He doesn't forsake us. And each day, as we seek Him, we learn to love Him more, and come nearer and nearer to Him. Also, the feeling that life is horrid and we must be weary travelers until we die and reach heaven. To a certain extent, that is true! But life is also a gift. We can choose joy and choose to see beauty each day. There are lovely things like family, and friends, and marriage, and new life, and doing the things we're passionate about.
God put us here for a reason and gave us a gifts and people for a reason. But it is truly the suffering, and trials, and temptations, and persecution will come if we are wholeheartedly following Christ. Because the Enemy is against us. I don't know if it was at all John Bunyan's intention for some of the story to come across that way, but it just felt like it here and there. But so you know, I do believe the theology and overall message is Biblical. It's just that certain times, things could come across a bit "doom and dismay".
In the end, The Pilgrim's Progress is a profound picture, showing the spiritual battle in a fantastical way. There were some scenarios I especially connected with, like: "Wow! What an interesting way to put that! A hopeful way even. To see that there is a way out. That the road can be hard, but that is to be expected, and God knows and He's there!