This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Pilgrim's Progress Essay

1283 words - 5 pages

The Pilgrim's Progress

The author of The Pilgrim's Progress is well described by Coleridge's remark: "His piety was baffled by his genius; and Bunyan the dreamer overcame the Bunyan of the conventicle." This remark points out the difficulty that Bunyan faces when he attempts to write a religious piece of work in the style of allegory. The Pilgrim's Progress is "pious" because it is a piece written in dedication to God. It contains important religious teachings -- what a good Christian should do and what he should not do. What Coleridge means by Bunyan's "genius" is basically the story itself. The story is so well written that people become so interested in the story and forget the whole spiritual truth behind and this worry Bunyan. Coleridge also indicates in his remarks, the tension between "piety" and "dreaming". "Dreaming", as we know is unreal, and it can hardly be connected with "piety". But Bunyan, through his "genius", not only managed to bring these two things together, but in way that would be satisfiable to all.
The Pilgrim's Progress is a Puritan story, and Bunyan chose to tell it in the form of an allegory. The characters, the objects and the events are presented in a symbolic way, so that the story conveys a deeper meaning that the actual incident described. A moral lesson is being taught here. The mixture of religious context and dialogue makes it more like a morality play (miracle play) which was very popular at Bunyan's time. The story is written in ordinary prose, the language is simple, colloquial and down-to-earth. This appeals to readers of the lower class, who are poor and not highly educated.
Bunyan made an apology at the beginning of his book. He apologized for the fact that all he had wanted was to write a strict philosophical piece, but instead he moved to a totally different kind of writing, more like a play. People at his time indulged in plays and drama for purely earthly pleasure. This is opposed by the Puritans since it is regarded as a kind of corruption and that one could be extracted from the direction to God. But Bunyan justified that if these things are done for God, they could be accepted. The phrase "I have used similitudes" that appeared at the original cover-page of the book explains the use of similes, metaphors and other figures of language. God Himself also speaks in figurative language, not in plain language. Bunyan is going to use similitude to tell the Christians what they should do. It is therefore not for pure enjoyment to read this book. The aim of this book is to teach a religious lesson and ask people to learn from it. Bunyan went on to justify what he did by saying that God had allowed him to do so. He clarified that he was not writing to please anyone and that it should never be used as a way to show off one's ability. He also reminded people that they had to interpret the Bible for themselves for God is not always clear in what he says.
The story opens as a dream and this is...

Find Another Essay On The Pilgrim's Progress

Dante's Inferno Essay

867 words - 3 pages sympathy as he listens to their story, and promptly blacks out again, this time with even more dramatic flair: "for pity I fainted as if I were dying, and I fell as a dead body falls" [ln 141-142]. Before he hits the dust, he manages to express his sympathy to Francesca, one of the lovers: "Francesca, your sufferings make me sad and piteous to tears" [ln 116-117]. This sense of pity is an important indicator of his progress, or lack thereof

Rhetorical Paper O brother where art thou

781 words - 3 pages Aguilar 1Jonathan AguilarProfessor CannonCritical Thinking and Writing 113October 13, 2014 Comparison PaperO brother, where art thou? which is a story based off the classic epic The Odyssey, revolving around three men who escaped from prison and are now looking for a treasure, but along the way they come across many different obstacles such as missing a train, a deceitful preacher, police, and even the KKK. Pilgrim's Progress, which is a story

vanity

631 words - 3 pages . ‘Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero.’ The book's title comes from the allegorical story of John Bunyan - The Pilgrim's Progress. It was first published in 1678. The novel describes a vanity world but lack of fairness. Love, friendship, loyalty… are destroyed because of strong desire to the money of the material world. Rebecca has her own happiness, but she is still not satisfied with it. she loses everything at the end, nothing left and

This essay is on the novel entitled Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut

3960 words - 16 pages optometrist, and married Valencia Merble-a woman who was bought up from a well to do family. Billy Pilgrim's ludicrous personality soon came into play when he began to believe that aliens who inhabited the planet Tralfamadore abducted him. There he remains to be "unstuck in time"- a term used to express the experience of his life out of chronological order.Many passages, motifs, and symbolisms help convey Vonnegut's messages that he expressed in the

Christian Principles in Langland's Works

990 words - 4 pages poem, like Dante's, is certainly in one sense a Pilgrim's Progress--but hardly in Bunyan's sense; it describes not so much a spiritual journey (and journey was the dominant sense of 'progress' in Bunyan's day) as an unfolding, a development, stage by stage, passus by passus. The form of the poem is that of dream vision, a form in which the author presents the story under the guise of having dreamt it, which was common in medieval literature. The

Francesca's Style in Canto V of Dante's Inferno

5171 words - 21 pages sinners are fitful, inadequate, and constantly in need of later correction and reassessment, thus reflecting the pilgrim's own progress. In the reading and re-reading, these confessional passages and canti define themselves as exercises in humility: as understanding becomes the product of a series of misreadings and revisions of the text. In the case of Francesca we have a confession that is more a literary rationale for her offense than an

Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

1605 words - 6 pages assimilated allegorical elements” (149). Throughout the novel, numerous allegories can be found in the form of Hawthorne's characters and even his settings. Much like Christian and Mr. Money-love of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, Hester, Pearl, Dimmesdale and Chillingworth are, to an extent, allegorical characters. Chase says that critic Yvor Winters has tried to incorporate this with the “unconvincing meanings he assigns to the characters

Dante: A Journey to Hell and Back Progressing from Sympathetic to Apathetic

2012 words - 8 pages begins to understand these punishments. Back to the scene between Filippo and Dante the pilgrim; when Dante the pilgrim suggests that Filippo be punished even further, he is adopting a more apathetic view of sinners. A view more in line with God's beliefs are on what sins deserve what punishments. Again, this is an instance where we see Dante the pilgrim's views progress towards Dante the narrator's views.The final instance where we see Dante

The Sucsesses and Failures of the Progressive Era

932 words - 4 pages The Progressive Era was a time of great reforms in government and in factories. There were a few different forms of Progressivism: the muckrakers (from a character in John Bunyan's book Pilgrim's Progress) were the type of Progressives who exposed corruption. For example, Collier's and McClure's journalists, some of them secretly went as far as moving into the slums to get the full sense of what life was like for the downtrodden, and shed

The Work of William Blake

1173 words - 5 pages known as The Ancient of Days, the frontispiece to his poem Europe, a Prophecy (1794). Other art works of this later period are the illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy, illustrations for the work of John Milton, his favourite poet (although he rejected Milton's Puritanism), for John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, the Book of Job, and Thornton's translation of Virgil, the last a set of charming woodcuts. After his death on Aug

Stephen Crane: The Literary Red Badge

1054 words - 5 pages within the story, presents how Crane went about writing the novel, and how the world was shaped by The Red Badge of Courage. “Edward Stone (1964), who argues that life as a ‘pilgrim's progress’ is a prominent motif of Crane's novel. William R. Linneman, on the other hand, while sidestepping Stallman's claims regarding religious symbolism, hails his choice of the wafer as an especially pregnant image in Crane's narrative.” (Dooley ¶ 21). This quote

Similar Essays

The Pilgrim's Progress: Are Dreaming And Sleeping The Same?

817 words - 4 pages the pilgrims on their journey to the Celestial City. It is a kind of blindness towards the God whereas dreaming is accepted as the direct relationship to the God. Basically in Pilgrim's Progress Sleeping is the potential danger to reach salvation and to the Celestial City. It is more like a spiritual disaster. When pilgrims sleep they lose their control and their direction to the Celestial City.

Pilgrim's Progress: The Theology Of Justification By Faith

937 words - 4 pages The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan tells the story of Christian, a deeply religious man whose self-imposed pilgrimage takes him through a variety of locations in his quest to reach Celestial City. However, to better understand Bunyan's perspective on Christianity as given in his novel, we must examine the life experiences of the author. Born in 1628, Bunyan lived in a time period that was undoubtedly heavily influenced by the Reformation

Analysis Of The Pilgrim's Progress By John Bunyan

1573 words - 6 pages Analysis of The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress is an allegorical story about the Christian religion. It allegorizes the journey of a Christian into "the Celestial City, which represents heaven. Although Pilgrim's Progress may seem simple and straightforward, there are many deeper meanings throughout the whole story. Bunyan uses the names of his characters to signify whom the character

Book Review: "Pilgrim's Progress" By John Bunyan Discuss Main Themes And Their Application To Christian Living

1172 words - 5 pages BOOK REPORT I: "Pilgrim's Progress"Written by John Bunyan and published first in 1968, 'Pilgrims Progress' has seen much success and acclaim. Bunyan was a popular puritan lay preacher who did not conform to state expectations. It is believed that he wrote the book whilst in prison for his seperationalist views. In writing the book he leaned heavily on the scriptures, using approximately 500 direct or indirect references (Bunyan, 1998:xii). He