Litery Essay

872 words - 4 pages

“Be not wise in thine own eyes. Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” (NIV, Prov. 3:7). The great Puritan writer, John Bunyan, did not always turn from sin. In fact, his early life was of a “sad and sinful state” (Bunyan, “Grace” 9). A few years after marriage, be began to read the Bible and attend church regularly. After years of spiritual battle, he accepted the LORD and his fears were set free from God’s love and grace. He shared his joy with others and became a powerful preacher during a time of political and religious turmoil. In 1660, Bunyan was arrested for preaching without a license and spent over twelve years in prison ( ). While in prison, he wrote one of his greatest works, The Pilgrim’s Progress. Bunyan’s pilgrim is rightfully named “Christian,” a symbol of all Christians. In this religious allegory, Bunyan uses personification, religious symbolism and allusion to illustrate that all Christians must endure struggles while on the journey towards salvation.
Bunyan uses personification as a way to make important concepts about salvation standout to the reader. Names of characters and places portray certain virtues and character attributes in order to teach a lesson. Christian represents all Christians and their search for truth. His name is his faith. After Evangelist shows him the word of God, Christian leaves his life in the City of Destruction (“this world”) in order to get to Celestial City (“that which is to come”). Throughout his journey, Christian meets many characters. Not everyone he meets is supportive. Obstinate and Pliable try to get Christian to give up on his journey. There are also many struggles along the way. The Slough of Despond weighs the pilgrim down with fear, doubt and the burden of sin. Vanity Fair, a place of “thefts, murders, adulteries, false-swearers, and that of a blood-red color” (Bunyan 84) attempts to seduce Christian with worldly goods and things of the flesh. Help, Faithful and Hopeful encourage Christian and aid him in his journey. Goodwill shows him the path he must take which is the path taken by "the patriarchs, prophets, Christ, and his apostles" (Bunyan 33). Bunyan also uses religious symbolism throughout his allegory.
Religious symbolism is used to portray what Christians need to successfully reach the kingdom of God. The cross symbolizes Christ’s sacrifice. The Christian faith has no value without the cross. When Christian sees the cross, his sin is lifted from his shoulders and thus “[eases] him of his burden” (Bunyan 42). Christian rejoices in...

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