The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is
is a Christian
written by John Bunyan
and published in February, 1678
. It is regarded as one of the most
significant works of English
, has been translated into more than 200 languages,
and has never been out of print.
Bunyan began the work while in the Bedfordshire
for violations of the Conventicle
, which prohibited the holding of religious services outside
the auspices of the established Church
. Early Bunyan scholars like John Brown
believed The Pilgrim's
was begun in Bunyan's second shorter imprisonment for
six months in 1675, but more recent scholars like Roger Sharrock
believe that it was begun during Bunyan's initial, more lengthy
imprisonment from 1660-1672 right after he had written his
spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of
The English text comprises 108,260 words and is divided into two
parts, each reading as a continuous narrative with no chapter
The first part was completed in 1677 and entered into the
stationers' register on December 22, 1677. It was licensed and
entered in the "Term Catalogue" on February 18, 1678, which is
looked upon as the date of first publication. After the first
edition of the first part in 1678, an expanded edition, with
additions written after Bunyan was freed, appeared in 1679. The
Second Part appeared in 1684. There were eleven editions of the
first part in John Bunyan's lifetime, published in successive years
from 1678 to 1685 and in 1688, and there were two editions of the
second part, published in 1684 and 1686.
, an everyman
character, is the protagonist of the
allegory, which centers itself in his journey from his hometown,
the "City of Destruction" ("this world"), to the "Celestial City"
("that which is to come": Heaven
) atop Mt.
Zion. Christian finds himself weighed down by a great burden, the
knowledge of his sin
, which he believed came
from his reading "the book in his hand," (the Bible
). This burden, which would cause him to sink
Christian's acute, immediate concern that impels him to the crisis
of what to do for deliverance. Evangelist meets Christian as he is
walking out in the fields and directs him to the "Wicket Gate" for
deliverance. Since Christian cannot see the "Wicket Gate" in the
distance, Evangelist directs him to go to a "shining light," which
Christian thinks he sees. Christian leaves his home, his wife, and
children to save himself when his attempt to persuade them to go
with him fails. Two men of Destruction City, Obstinate and Pliable,
follow Christian to persuade him to return and are unsuccessful.
Pliable then decides to accompany Christian on the path, until the
two land in the Slough Of Despond—whereupon Pliable extricates
himself and goes back to the City; Christian is rescued from the
slough by Help, who throws him a rope.
Burdened Christian flees from home
On his way to the Wicket Gate, Christian is diverted by Mr. Worldly
Wiseman into seeking deliverance from his burden through the
supposedly with the help of a Mr. Legality and his son Civility in
the village of Morality, rather than through Christ, allegorically
by way of the Wicket Gate. Evangelist meets the wayward Christian where
he has stopped before a life-threatening mountain, Mount Sinai, on the way to Legality's home.
shows Christian that he had sinned by turning out of his way, but
he assures him that he will be welcomed at the Wicket Gate if he
should turn around and go there, which Christian does.
At the Wicket Gate begins the "straight and narrow" King's Highway,
and Christian is directed onto it by the gatekeeper Good Will. In
the Second Part, Good-will is shown to be Jesus
himself. To Christian's query about relief from
his burden, Good Will directs him forward to "the place of
Christian makes his way from there to the House of the Interpreter,
where he is shown pictures and tableaux
portray or dramatize aspects of the Christian faith and life. Roger
Sharrock denotes them "emblems."
From the House of the Interpreter, Christian finally reaches the
"place of deliverance" (allegorically, the cross of Calvary
and the open sepulchre
of Christ), where the "straps" that
bound Christian's burden to him break, and it rolls away into the
open sepulchre. This event happens relatively early in the
narrative: the immediate need of Christian at the beginning of the
story being quickly remedied. After Christian is relieved of his
burden, he is greeted by three shining ones, who give him the
greeting of peace, new garments, and a scroll
as a passport into the Celestial City — these are allegorical
figures indicative of Christian Baptism
Atop the Hill of Difficulty, Christian makes his first stop for the
night at the House Beautiful, which is an allegory
of the local Christian congregation
. Christian spends three
days here, and leaves clothed with armor (Eph. 6:11-18), which
stands him in good stead in his battle against Apollyon in the
Valley of Humiliation. This battle lasts "over half a day" until
Christian manages to wound Apollyon with his two-edged sword (a
reference to the Bible, Heb. 4:12). "And with that Apollyon spread
his dragon wings and sped away."
As night falls Christian enters the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
When he is in the middle of the valley amidst the gloom and terror
he hears the words of the Twenty-third
, spoken possibly by his friend Faithful:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow
of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and
thy staff they comfort me.
As he leaves this valley the sun rises on a new day.
Just outside the Valley of the Shadow of Death he meets Faithful,
also a former resident of the City of Destruction, who accompanies
him to Vanity Fair, where both are arrested and detained because of
their disdain for the wares and business of the fair. Faithful is
put on trial, and executed as a martyr. Hopeful, a resident of
Vanity, takes Faithful's place to be Christian's companion for the
rest of the way.
Along a rough stretch of road, Christian and Hopeful leave the
highway to travel on the easier By-Path Meadow, where a rainstorm
forces them to spend the night. In the morning they are captured by
, who takes them to his
Castle, where they are imprisoned,
beaten and starved. The giant wants them to commit suicide
, but they endure the ordeal until Christian
realizes that a key he has, called Promise, will open all the doors
and gates of Doubting Castle. Using the key, they escape.
The Delectable Mountains
the next stage of Christian and Hopeful's journey, where the
shepherds show them some of the wonders of the place also known as
On the way, Christian and Hopeful meet a lad named Ignorance, who
has the vain hope of entering the Celestial City even though he
believes in work's righteousness. A ferryman named Vain Hope
ferries Ignorance across the River of Death, only for Ignorance to
be turned away from the gates of Celestial City and cast into
Christian and Hopeful make it through the dangerous Enchanted
Ground into the Land of Beulah, where they ready themselves to
cross the River of Death on foot to Mount Zion and the Celestial
City. Christian has a rough time of it, but Hopeful helps him over;
and they are welcomed into the Celestial City.
The Second Part of The Pilgrim's Progress
pilgrimage of Christian's wife, Christiana; their sons; and the
maiden, Mercy. They visit the same stopping places that Christian
visited, with the addition of Gaius' Inn between the Valley of the
Shadow of Death and Vanity Fair; but they take a longer time in
order to accommodate marriage and childbirth
for the four sons and their wives. The hero
the story is Greatheart, the servant of the Interpreter, who is a
pilgrim's guide to the Celestial City. He kills four giant
and participates in the slaying of a
monster that terrorizes the city of Vanity
The passage of years
in this second pilgrimage
better allegorizes the journey of the Christian life. By using
, Bunyan, in the Second Part,
illustrates the idea that women as well as men can be brave
Alexander M. Witherspoon, professor of English at Yale University, writes in a prefatory essay:
Part II, which appeared in 1684, is much more
than a mere sequel to or repetition of the earlier
It clarifies and reinforces and justifies the story of
The beam of Bunyan's spotlight is broadened to include
Christian's family and other men, women, and children; the
incidents and accidents of everyday life are more numerous, the
joys of the pilgrimage tend to outweigh the hardships; and to the
faith and hope of Part I is added in abundant measure that greatest
of virtues, charity.
The two parts of The Pilgrim's Progress in reality
constitute a whole, and the whole is, without doubt, the most
influential religious book ever written in the English
This is exemplified by the frailness of the pilgrims of the Second
Part in contrast to those of the First: women, children, and
physically and mentally challenged individuals. When Christiana's
party leaves Gaius's Inn and Mr. Feeble-mind lingers in order to be
left behind he is encouraged to accompany the party by Greatheart:
But brother ...
I have it in commission, to comfort the feeble-minded,
and to support the weak.
You must needs go along with us; we will wait for you,
we will lend you our help, we will deny ourselves of some things,
both opinionative and practical, for your sake; we will not enter
into doubtful disputations before you, we will be made all things
to you, rather than you shall be left behind.
When the pilgrims end up in the Land of Beulah, they cross over the
River of Death by appointment. As a matter of importance to
Christians of Bunyan's persuasion reflected in the narrative of
The Pilgrim's Progress
, the last words of the pilgrims as
they cross over the river are recorded. The four sons of Christian
and their families do not cross, but remain for the support of the
church in that place.
- Main characters are in capital letters.
Christian enters the Wicket Gate,
opened by Goodwill.
Engraving from a 1778 edition printed in England.
- CHRISTIAN, whose name was
Graceless at some time before, the protagonist in the First Part,
whose journey to the Celestial City is the plot of the story.
- EVANGELIST, the religious man who puts
Christian on the path to the Celestial City. He also shows
Christian a book, which readers assume to be the Bible.
- Obstinate, one of the two residents of the
City of Destruction, who run after Christian when he first sets
out, in order to bring him back.
- Pliable, the other of the two, who goes with
Christian until both of them fall into the Slough of Despond. Pliable escapes from
the slough and returns home.
- Help, Christian's rescuer from the Slough of
- MR. WORLDLY WISEMAN, a
resident of a place called Carnal Policy, who persuades Christian
go out of his way to be helped by a Mr. Legality and then move to
the City of Morality.
- GOODWILL, the keeper of the Wicket Gate through which one enters the
"straight and narrow way" (also referred to as "the King's
Highway") to the Celestial City. In the Second Part we find that
this character is none other than Jesus Christ Himself.
- Beelzebub, literally "Lord of the Flies", is
one of the devil's companion archdevils who
has erected a fort near the Wicket Gate from which he and his
companions can shoot arrows at those who are
about to enter the Wicket Gate. He is also the Lord of Vanity Fair.
Christian calls him "captain" of the fiend Apollyon.
- THE INTERPRETER, the one who has his House
along the way as a rest stop for travellers to check in to see
pictures and dioramas to teach them the
right way to live the Christian life. He has been identified as the
Holy Spirit. He also appears in the
- Shining Ones, the messengers and servants of
"the Lord of the Hill", God. They are obviously
the holy angels.
- Formalist, one of two travellers on the King's
Highway, who do not come in by the Wicket Gate, but climb over the
wall that encloses it, at least from the hill and sepulcre up to
the Hill Difficulty. He and his companion Hypocrisy come from the
land of Vainglory. He takes one of the two bypaths that avoid the
Hill Difficulty, but is lost.
- Hypocrisy, the
companion of Formalist. He takes the other of the two bypaths and
is also lost.
- Timorous, one of two who try to persuade
Christian to go back for fear of the chained
lions near the House Beautiful. He is a
relative of Mrs. Timorous of the Second Part. His companion is
- Watchful, the porter of the House Beautiful.
He also appears in the Second Part and receives "a gold angel" coin
from Christiana for his kindness and service to her and her
companions. "Watchful" is also the name of one of the Delectable
- Discretion, one of the maids of the House
Beautiful, who decides to allow Christian to stay there.
- Prudence, another of the House Beautiful
maidens. She appears in the Second Part.
- Piety, another of the House Beautiful maidens.
She appears in the Second Part.
- Charity, another of the House Beautiful
maidens. She appears in the Second Part.
- APOLLYON, literally
"Destroyer"; the lord of the City of Destruction and one of the devil's companion
archdevils, who tries to force Christian to return to his domain
and service. His battle with Christian takes place in the Valley of
Humiliation, just below the House Beautiful. He appears as a
dragon-like creature with scales and bats'
wings. He takes darts from
his body to throw at his opponents.
- Giants "Pope" and "Pagan", allegories of Roman
Catholicism and paganism as persecutors of Protestant Christians.
"Pagan" is dead, indicating the end of pagan persecution with
Antiquity, and "Pope" is alive but decrepit, indicating the then
diminished power and influence of the Roman Catholic pope.
- FAITHFUL, Christian's friend from the City of
Destruction, who is also going on pilgrimage. Christian meets him
just after getting through the Valley of the
Shadow of Death.
- Wanton, a temptress who tries to get Faithful
to leave his journey to the Celestial City. She may be the popular
resident of the City of Destruction, Madam Wanton, who hosted a
house party for friends of Mrs. Timorous.
- Adam the First,
"the old man" (representing carnality) who tries to persuade
Faithful to leave his journey and come live with his 3 daughters:
the Lust of the flesh, the Lust of the eyes, and the Pride of life.
- Moses, the severe,
violent avenger (representing the Law, which
knows no mercy) who tries to kill Faithful for
his momentary weakness in wanting to go with Adam the First out of
- Talkative, a hypocrite known to Christian from
the City of Destruction, who lived on Prating Row. He talks
fervently of religion, but has no evident
works as a result of true salvation.
- Lord Hate-good, the judge who tries Faithful
in Vanity Fair.
- Envy, the first witness against Faithful.
- Superstition, the second witness against
- Pick-Thank, the third witness
- HOPEFUL, the resident of Vanity Fair, who
takes Faithful's place as Christian's fellow traveller. The
character HOPEFUL poses an inconsistency in that there is a
necessity imposed on the pilgrims that they enter the "King's
Highway" by the Wicket Gate. HOPEFUL did not; however, of him we
read: "... one died to bear testimony to the truth, and another
rises out of his ashes to be a companion with Christian in his
pilgrimage". HOPEFUL assumes FAITHFUL'S place by God's design.
Theologically and allegorically it would follow in that "faith" is
trust in God as far as things present are concerned, and "hope", biblically the same as "faith", is trust in God as far as things of the
future are concerned. HOPEFUL would follow FAITHFUL. The other
factor is Vanity Fair's location right on the straight and narrow
way. IGNORANCE, in contrast to HOPEFUL, came from the Country of
Conceit, that connected to the "King's
Highway" by means of a crooked lane. IGNORANCE was told by
CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL that he should have entered the highway
through the Wicket Gate.
- Mr. By-Ends, a hypocritical pilgrim who
perishes in the Hill Lucre silver mine with three of his friends. A "by-end" is
a pursuit that is achieved indirectly. In the case of By-Ends and
his companions, it is pursuing financial gain through
- Demas, a deceiver, who
beckons to pilgrims at the Hill Lucre to come
and join in the supposed silver mining going on in it.
- GIANT DESPAIR, the owner of Doubting Castle,
where Christians are imprisoned and murdered. He is slain by
GREAT-HEART in the Second Part.
- Giantess Diffidence, Despair's wife. She is
slain by OLD HONEST in the Second Part.
- Knowledge, one of the
shepherds of the Delectable Mountains.
- Experience, another
of the Delectable Mountains shepherds.
- Watchful, another of the Delectable Mountains
- Sincere, another of the Delectable Mountains
- IGNORANCE, "a brisk young lad", who joins the
"King's Highway" by way of the "crooked lane" that comes from his
native country, called "Conceit." He follows Christian and Hopeful
and on two occasions talks with them. He believes that he will be
received into the Celestial City because of his doing good works in
accordance with God's will. Jesus Christ is for him only an example
not a Savior. Christian and Hopeful try to set him right, but they
fail. He gets a ferryman, Vain-Hope, to ferry him across the
River of Death rather than cross it on foot as
one is supposed to do. When he gets to the gates of the Celestial
City, he is asked for a "certificate" needed for entry, which he
does not have. The King, then, orders that he be bound and cast
- The Flatterer, a deceiver who leads Christian
and Hopeful out of their way, when they fail to look at the roadmap
given them by the Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains.
- Atheist, a mocker of CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL,
who goes the opposite way on the "King's Highway" because he boasts
that he knows that God and the Celestial City do not exist.
- Mr. Sagacity, a guest narrator who meets
Bunyan himself in his new dream and recounts the events of the
Second Part up to the arrival at the Wicket Gate.
- CHRISTIANA, wife of CHRISTIAN, who leads her
four sons and neighbour MERCY on pilgrimage.
- MATTHEW, CHRISTIAN and CHRISTIANA's eldest
son, who marries MERCY.
- SAMUEL, second eldest son, who marries Grace,
Mr. Mnason's daughter.
- JOSEPH, third eldest son, who marries Martha,
Mr. Mnason's daughter.
- JAMES, youngest son, who marries Phoebe,
- MERCY, CHRISTIANA's neighbour, who goes with
her on pilgrimage and marries MATTHEW.
- Mrs. Timorous, relative of the Timorous of the
First Part, who comes with MERCY to see CHRISTIANA before she sets
out on pilgrimage.
- Mrs. Bat's-Eyes, a resident of The City of
Destruction and friend of Mrs. Timorous. Since she has a bat's
eyes, she would be blind or nearly blind, so her characterization
of Christiana as blind in her desire to go on pilgrimage is
- Mrs. Inconsiderate, a resident of The City of
Destruction and friend of Mrs. Timorous. She characterizes
Christiana's departure "a good riddance" as an inconsiderate person
- Mrs. Light-Mind, a resident of The City of
Destruction and friend of Mrs. Timorous. She changes the subject
from Christiana to gossip about being at a bawdy party at Madam
- Mrs. Know-Nothing, a resident of The City of
Destruction and friend of Mrs. Timorous. She wonders if Christiana
will actually go on pilgrimage.
- Ill-favoured Ones, two evil characters CHRISTIANA sees in her dream, whom she
and MERCY actually encounter when they leave the Wicket Gate.
- Innocent, a young serving maid of the
INTERPRETER, who answers the door of the house when Christiana and
her companions arrive; and who conducts them to the garden bath,
which signifies Christian baptism.
- MR. GREAT-HEART, the guide
and body-guard sent by the INTERPRETER with CHRISTIANA and her
companions from his house to their journey's end. He proves to be
one of the main protagonists in the Second Part.
- Giant Grim, who "backs the [chained] lions"
near the House Beautiful, slain by GREAT-HEART. He is also known as
- Humble-Mind, one of the maidens of the House
Beautiful, who makes her appearance in the Second Part.
- Mr. Brisk, a suitor of MERCY's, who gives up
courting her when he finds out that she makes clothing only to give
away to the poor.
- Mr. Skill, the physician called to the House
Beautiful to cure Matthew of his illness, which is caused by eating
the apples of Beelzebub.
- Giant Maul, a giant that GREAT-HEART kills as
the pilgrims leave the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
- OLD HONEST, a pilgrim that joins them, a
welcome companion to GREAT-HEART.
- Mr. Fearing, a pilgrim whom GREAT-HEART had
"conducted" to the Celestial City in an earlier pilgrimage. Noted
for his timidness. He is Mr. Feeble-Mind's uncle.
- Gaius, an innkeeper with whom the pilgrims
stay for some years after they leave the Valley of the Shadow of
Death. He gives his daughter Phebe to JAMES in marriage. The
lodging fee for his inn is paid by the Good Samaritan.
- Giant Slay-Good, a giant that enlists the help
of evil-doers on the King's Highway to abduct, murder, and consume
- Mr. Feeble-Mind, rescued from Slay-Good by Mr.
Great-Heart, who joins Christiana's company of pilgrims.
- Phoebe, Gaius's daughter, who marries
- Mr. Ready-to-Halt, a pilgrim who meets
CHRISTIANA's train of pilgrims at Gaius's door, and becomes the
companion of Mr. Feeble-mind, to whom he gives one of his
- Mr. Mnason, a resident of the town of Vanity,
who puts up the pilgrims for a time, and gives his daughters Grace
and Martha in marriage to SAMUEL and JOSEPH
- Grace, Mnason's daughter, who marries
- Martha, Mnason's daughter, who marries
- Mr. Despondency, a rescued prisoner from
- Much-Afraid, his daughter.
- Mr. VALIANT-FOR-TRUTH, a pilgrim they find all
bloody, with his sword in his hand, after
leaving the Delectable Mountains.
- Mr. Stand-Fast, a pilgrim found while praying
for deliverance from Madame Bubble.
- Madame Bubble, a witch whose enchantments made
the Enchanted Ground enchanted. She is the adulterous woman
mentioned in the Biblical Book of Proverbs.
Places in The Pilgrim's Progress
A map of the places Pilgrim travels
through on his progress; a fold-out map from an edition printed in
England in 1778
- City of Destruction, Christian's home,
representative of the world (cf. Isaiah 19:18)
- Slough of Despond, the miry swamp on the way
to the Wicket Gate; one of the hazards of the journey to the
Celestial City. In the First Part, Christian falling into it, sinks
further under the weight of his sins (his burden) and his sense of
- Mount Sinai, a frightening mountain near the
Village of Morality that threatens all who would go there.
- Wicket Gate, the entry point of the straight
and narrow way to the Celestial City. Pilgrims are required to
enter the way by way of the Wicket Gate.
- House of the Interpreter, a type of spiritual
museum to guide the pilgrims to the Celestial City.
- Cross and Sepulchre, emblematic of Calvary and
the tomb of Christ.
- Hill Difficulty, both the hill and the road up
is called "Difficulty"; it is flanked by two treacherous byways
"Danger" and "Destruction." There are three choices: CHRISTIAN
takes "Difficulty" (the right way), and Formalist and Hypocrisy
take the two other ways, which prove to be fatal dead ends.
- House Beautiful, a palace that serves as a
rest stop for pilgrims to the Celestial City. It apparently sits
atop the Hill Difficulty. From the House Beautiful one can see
forward to the Delectable Mountains. It represents the Christian
congregation, and Bunyan takes its name from a gate of the
Jerusalem temple (Acts 3:2, 10).
- Valley of Humiliation, the valley on the other
side of the Hill Difficulty, going down into which is said to be
extremely slippery by the House Beautiful's damsel Prudence. It is
where Christian meets Apollyon in the place known as "Forgetful
Green." This valley had been a delight to the "Lord of the Hill",
Jesus Christ, in his "state of humiliation."
- Valley of the Shadow of Death, a treacherous
valley with a quick sand bog on one side and a deep chasm/ditch on
the other side of the King's Highway going through it (cf. Psalm
- Gaius's inn, a rest stop in the Second
- Vanity and Vanity Fair, a city through which
the King's Highway passes and the yearlong fair that is held
- Plain Ease, a pleasant area traversed by the
- Hill Lucre, location of a reputed silver mine
that proves to be the place where By-Ends and his companions are
- The Pillar of Salt, which was Lot's wife, who
was turned into a pillar of salt when Sodom and Gomorrah were
destroyed. The pilgrim's note that its location near the Hill Lucre
is a fitting warning to those who are tempted by Demas to go into
the Lucre silver mine.
- River of God or River of the Water of
Life, a place of solace for the pilgrims. It flows through
a meadow, green all year long and filled with lush fruit trees. In
the Second Part the Good Shepherd is found there to whom
Christiana's grandchildren are entrusted.
- By-Path Meadow, the place leading to the
grounds of Doubting Castle.
- Doubting Castle, the home of Giant Despair and
his wife; only one key could open its doors and gates, the key
- The Delectable Mountains, known as "Immanuel's
Land." Lush country from whose heights one can see many delights
and curiosities. It is inhabited by sheep and their shepherds, and
from Mount Clear one can see the Celestial City.
- The Enchanted Ground, an area through which
the King's Highway passes that has air that makes pilgrims want to
stop to sleep. If one goes to sleep in this place, one never wakes
up. The shepherds of the Delectable Mountains warn pilgrims about
- The Land of Beulah, a lush garden area just
this side of the River of Death.
- The River of Death, the dreadful river that
surrounds Mount Zion, deeper or shallower depending on the faith of
the one traversing it.
- The Celestial City, the "Desired Country" of
pilgrims, heaven, the dwelling place of the "Lord of the Hill",
God. It is situated on Mount Zion.
The frontispiece and title-page from
an edition printed in England in 1778
The allegory of this book has antecedents in a large number of
devotional works that speak
of the soul's path to Heaven
, from the
Bunyan's allegory stands out above his predecessors because of his
simple and effective, if somewhat naïve, prose style, steeped in
texts and cadences. He confesses his
own naïveté in the verse prologue to the book:
- ". . . I did not think
To shew to all the World my Pen and Ink
In such a mode; I only thought to make
I knew not what: nor did I undertake
Thereby to please my Neighbour; no not I;
I did it mine own self to gratifie."
John Bunyan himself wrote a popular hymn that encourages a hearer
to become a pilgrim-like Christian: All Who Would Valiant Be
Because of the widespread longtime popularity of "The Pilgrim's
Progress", Christian's hazards — whether originally from Bunyan or
borrowed by him from the Bible — the "Slough of Despond", the "Hill
Difficulty", "Valley of the Shadow of Death", "Doubting Castle",
and the "Enchanted Ground", his temptations (the wares of "Vanity
Fair" and the pleasantness of "By-Path Meadow"), his foes
("Apollyon" and "Giant Despair"), and the helpful stopping places
he visits (the "House of the Interpreter", the "House Beautiful",
the "Delectable Mountains", and the "Land of Beulah") have become
commonly used phrases proverbial
For example, "One has one's own Slough of Despond to trudge
Context in Christendom
The explicit Protestant
The Pilgrim's Progress
made it much more popular than its
predecessors. Bunyan's gifts and plain style breath life into the
abstractions of the anthropomorphized
abstractions that Christian encounters and with whom he converses
on his course to Heaven. Samuel
said that "this is the great merit of the book, that
the most cultivated man cannot find anything to praise more highly,
and the child knows nothing more amusing." Three years after its
publication (1681), it was reprinted in colonial America
, and was widely read in
Because of its explicit English Protestant theology The
shares the then popular English antipathy
toward the Roman Catholic
. It was published over the years of the Popish Plot
(1678-1681) and ten years before the
of 1688, and
it shows the influence of John Foxe
Acts and Monuments
Bunyan presents a decrepit and harmless giant to confront Christian
at the end of the Valley of the Shadow of Death that is explicitly
Now I saw in my Dream, that at the end of this Valley
lay blood, bones, ashes, and mangled bodies of men, even of
Pilgrims that had gone this way formerly: And while I was musing
what should be the reason, I espied a little before me a Cave,
where two Giants, Pope and Pagan, dwelt in old
times, by whose Power and Tyranny the Men whose bones, blood ashes,
&c. lay there, were cruelly put to death.
But by this place Christian went without much
danger, whereat I somewhat wondered; but I have learnt since, that
Pagan has been dead many a day; and as for the other,
though he be yet alive, he is by reason of age, and also of the
many shrewd brushes that he met with in his younger dayes, grown so
crazy and stiff in his joynts, that he can now do little more than
sit in his Caves mouth, grinning at Pilgrims as they go by, and
biting his nails, because he cannot come at them.
When Christian and Faithful travel through Vanity Fair, Bunyan adds
the editorial comment:
But as in other fairs, some one Commodity is
as the chief of all the fair, so the Ware of Rome
and her Merchandize is greatly promoted in this fair: Only
our English Nation, with some others, have taken a dislike
In the Second Part while Christiana and her group of pilgrims lead
by Greatheart stay for some time in Vanity, the city is terrorized
by the seven-headed beast of Revelation 17, which is driven away by
Greatheart and other stalwarts. In his endnotes W.R. Owens points
out about the woman, who governs the beast: "This woman was
believed by Protestants to represent Antichrist, the Church of
Foreign language versions
African version of Pilgrim's
Progress from 1902
in the 1850s, illustrated versions of the The Pilgrim's
in Chinese were printed in Hong Kong
distributed by Protestant missionaries. Hong Xiuquan
, the quasi-Christian leader of the
, declared that
the book was his favorite reading.
The "Third Part"
Part of the Pilgrim's Progress
Tender-Conscience, hero of Part Three,
awakens from sleep in the palace of Carnal-Security
was written by an anonymous
author; beginning in 1693, it was published with Bunyan's authentic
two parts. It continued to be republished with Bunyan's work until
1852. This third part presented the pilgrimage of Tender-Conscience
and his companions.
The book was the basis of an opera
by Ralph Vaughan Williams
, premiered in
1951; see The
. It was also the basis of a condensed
radio adaptation starring John Gielgud
including, as background music, several excerpts from Vaughan
Williams's orchestral works. This radio version, originally
presented in 1942, was newly recorded by Hyperion Records
in 1990, in a performance
conducted by Matthew Best
. It again
starred Gielgud, and featured Richard
and Ursula Howells
English composer Ernest Austin
whole story as a huge narrative
for solo organ
, with optional 6-part choir
approximately 2½ hours.
Twin brothers Keith and Kurt Landaas also composed, recorded, and
performed a compelling rock opera version of the work in the early
1990s. The first act focused on Christian's journey, the second on
that of Christiana, and their teenage son Matthew.
based on the book was presented at the LifeHouse Theater in
California, in 2004 and 2008, with book, music and lyrics by
Kenneth Wright, with additional text, music and lyrics by Wayne
References in literature
Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist (1838) is subtitled 'The Parish Boy's
In 1847 William Makepeace
entitled his work Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero
with the Vanity Fair of Pilgrim's Progress
In Mark Twain
's Adventures of Huckleberry
mentions The Pilgrim's Progress
as he describes
the works of literature in the Grangerfords' library. Twain uses
this to satirize the Protestant southern aristocracy.
also makes numerous
references to it in his prose work, The Enormous Room
", a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Christian's journey in Hawthorne's time. Progressive thinkers have
replaced the footpath by a railroad, and pilgrims may now travel
under steam power. The journey is considerably faster, but somewhat
admirer of Bunyan, and Pilgrim's Progress
significantly in his third Richard
, which also takes its title from one of Bunyan's
in his League of Extraordinary
enlists The Pilgrim's Progress
protagonist, Christian, as a member of the earliest version of this
group, Prospero's Men
, having become wayward on his
journey during his visit in Vanity Fair, stepping down an alleyway
and found himself in London in the 1670s, and unable to return to
his homeland. This group disbanded in 1690 after Prospero vanished
into the Blazing World
; however there
are some parts of the text which seem to imply that Christian
resigned from Prospero's league before its disbanding and that
Christian traveled to the Blazing World before Prospero himself.
The apparent implication is that; within the context of the League
stories; the Celestial City Christian seeks and the Blazing World
may in fact be one and the same.
In Louisa May Alcott
's Little Women
, whose protagonist Jo reads it at
the outset of the novel, and tries to follow the good example of
wrote a book inspired by The
Pilgrim's Progress called The
, in which a character named John follows a
vision to escape from The Landlord, a less friendly version of The
Owner in Pilgrim's Regress. It is an allegory of C. S. Lewis' own
journey from a religious childhood to a pagan adulthood in which he
rediscovers his Christian God.
Henry Williamson's The Patriot's Progress
title of The Pilgrim's Progress and the symbolic nature of John
Bunyan's work. The protagonist of the semi-autobiographical
novel is John
Bullock, the quintessential English soldier during World War I
The character of Billy Pilgrim
Slaughterhouse-5: The Children's
, by Kurt Vonnegut
a clear homage to a similar journey to enlightenment experienced by
Christian, although Billy's is a journey which leads him to an
acceptance of life and of
a fatalist human
. Vonnegut's parallel to The Pilgrim's
is deliberate and evident in Billy's surname.
In Jane Eyre
, Charlotte Brontë
borrows the mythic
quest-plot, but not the devout substance, of The Pilgrim's
. Brontë ends Jane Eyre
with a half-ironic
allusion to The Pilgrim's Progress
A classic science fiction fan
novelette, The Enchanted
by Walt Willis
, is explicitly modeled on The
; it has been repeatedly reprinted over the
decades since its first appearance in 1954: in professional publications
and as a monograph
wrote "The Land of Far
Beyond" as a children's version of Pilgrim's Progress. First
published in 1942 by Methuen.
The book is briefly referenced in the David Foster Wallace
novel Infinite Jest
, when it is compared to the
Eschaton vademecum that is written by Hal Incandenza.
's novel The Grapes of Wrath
as one of an (anonymous) character's
favorite books. Steinbeck's novel was itself an allegorical
spiritual journey by Tom Joad through America during the Great
Depression, and often made Christian allusions to sacrifice and
redemption in a world of social injustice.
The Pilgrim's Progress in films, television, and video
Director Todd Fietkau
is making a
version of Pilgrim's Progress
, scheduled to be released in
A children's animation
is set to be produced by Cliff
, scheduled to be released in 2010.
The novel was made into a film, Pilgrim's Progress
1912. Another film version was made in 1977 by Ken Anderson films,
in which Liam Neeson
played the role of
Evangelist and other smaller roles like the crucified Christ.
Maurice O'Callaghan played Mr. Worldly Wiseman and other "bad"
characters that met Christian in his journey. A sequel Christiana
followed in 1979.
More recently, a version by Danny Carrales was produced in
In 1985 Yorkshire Television
produced a 129-minute 9-part serial presentation of The
with animated stills by Alan Parry and
narrated by Paul Copley
In 1950 an hour-long animated version was made by Baptista Films
. This version was edited down
to 35 minutes and re-released with new music in 1978. As of 2007
the original version is difficult to find, but the 1978 has been
released on both VHS and DVD.
A 2006 computer animation
was made, directed and narrated by Scott Cawthon.
The novel is frequently alluded to in the video game Deus Ex: Invisible War
. Saman, a
significant character, utilizes its allegories to create purpose in
his speech; "Young enemy, thy name is Pliable... you bend your ear
to the Worldly Wiseman, to continue the archaic analogy.". If the
player makes the choice to side with the Templar faction at the end
of the game, after the cinematic, the quote appears, taken from
both the novel and Proverbs
"He that wandereth out of the way of understanding, shall remain in
the congregation of the dead."Curiously, the player's actions
towards the Templar faction are not entirely unlike the struggle of
Christian throughout the Pilgrim's Progress.
the popular christian radio drama, Adventures in Odyssey (produced
by Focus on the
Family), featured a two-part story, titled "Pilgrim's
At the 2009 San Antonio
Independent Christian Film Festival
, the adaptation
Progress: Journey to Heaven
received one nomination for
best feature length independent film and one nomination for best
- James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1987, ISBN 0-7188-2164-5
- Oxford at the Clarendon Press, edited by James Wharey and Roger
Sharrock, providing a critical edition of all 13 editions of both
parts from the author's lifetime, 1960, ISBN 0-19-811802-3
- Oxford World's Classics edition, edited by W.R. Owens, Oxford,
2003, ISBN 978-0-19-280361-0
- Penguin Books, London, 1965, ISBN 0-14-043004-0
- Pocket Books, New York, 1957
- The Children's Pilgrim's Progress. The story taken
from the work by John Bunyan. New York: Sheldon and Company,
- "The Aussie Pilgrim's Progress" by Kel
Richards. Ballarat: Strand Publishing, 2005.
- John Bunyan's Dream Story: the Pilgrim's Progress retold
for children and adapted to school reading by James Baldwin.
New York: American Book Co., 1913.
- John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress as retold by Gary D.
Schmidt & illustrated by Barry Moser Published by
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- Little Pilgrim's Progress-Helen L. Taylor
simplifies the vocabulary and concepts for younger readers, while
keeping the story line intact. Published by Moody Press, a
ministry of Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois, 1992,
- The Pilgrim's Progress - A 21st Century Re-telling of the
John Bunyan Classic - Dry Ice Publishing, 2008 directed by
Dany Carrales http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1000768/
- Pilgrim's Progress in Today's English - as retold by
James H. Thomas (ISBN : ) - Moody Publishers, 1971.
- The Pilgrim's Progress in Words of One Syllable by
Mary Godolphin. London: George Routledge and Sons, 1869.
- Pilgrim's Progress retold and shortened for modern
readers by Mary Godolphin (1884). Drawings by Robert Lawson.
Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1939. [a newly illustrated
edition of the retelling by Mary Godolphin]
- "The two parts of The Pilgrim's Progress in reality
constitute a whole, and the whole is, without doubt, the most
influential religious book ever written in the English language"
(Alexander M. Witherspoon in his introduction, John Bunyan, The
Pilgrim's Progress, (New York: Pocket Books, Inc., 1957), vi.;
cf. also John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, W.R. Owens,
ed., Oxford World's Classics, (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
2003), xiii; Abby Sage Richardson, Familiar Talks on English
Literature: A Manual (Chicago, A.C. McClurg and Co., 1892),
221; "For two hundred years or more no other English book was so
generally known and read" (James Baldwin in his foreward, James
Baldwin, John Bunyan's Dream Story, (New York: American
Book Company, 1913), 6).
- John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, W.R. Owens, ed.,
Oxford World's Classics, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003),
xiii: "... the book has never been out of print. It has been
published in innumerable editions, and has been translated into
over 200 languages." Cf. also F.L. Cross, ed., The Oxford
Dictionary of the Christian Church, (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1983), 1092 sub loco.
- John Brown, John Bunyan: His Life, Times and Work,
(1885, revised edition 1928)
- John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, edited with an
introduction by Roger Sharrock, (Harmondsworth: Penguins Books,
Ltd., 1965), 10, 59, 94, 326-27, 375.
- "The copy for the first edition of the First Part of The
Pilgrim's Progress was entered in the Stationers' Register on
22 December 1677 ... The book was licensed and entered in the Term
Catalogue for the following Hilary Term, 18 February 1678; this
date would customarily indicate the time of publication, or only
slightly precede it" [John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress,
James Blanton Wharey and Roger Sharrock, eds., Second Edition,
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960), xxi].
- 2 Peter 1:19: "a lamp
shining in a dark place"
- Go to section 220.127.116.11
Mr. Sagacity leaves the author
- A marginal note indicates, "There is no deliverance from the
guilt and burden of sin, but by the death and blood of Christ", cf.
Sharrock, page 59.
- "Many of the pictures in the House of the Interpreter seem to
be derived from emblem books or to be created in the manner and
spirit of the emblem. ... Usually each emblem occupied a page, and
consisted of an allegorical picture at the top with underneath it a
device or motto, a short Latin verse, and a poem explaining the
allegory. Bunyan himself wrote an emblem book, A Book for Boys
and Girls (1688) ...", cf. Sharrock, p. 375.
- "the whole
armor of God"
- "the whole
armor of God"
- John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, (New York: Pocket
Books, Inc., 1957), vi.
- John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, W.R. Owens, ed.,
Oxford World's Classics (Oxford: University Press, 2003), 66,
- John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, W.R. Owens, ed.,
Oxford World's Classics (Oxford: University Press, 2003), 86,
- John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, W.R. Owens, ed.,
Oxford World's Classics (Oxford: University Press, 2003),
- John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, W.R. Owens, ed.,
Oxford World's Classics (Oxford: University Press, 2003), 318.
- Jonathan D. Spence, God's Chinese
Son, 1996. p. 280-282
- New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, vol. 2 sub
- see Chapter 10 of The Madwoman in the
Attic by Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar
- A Brief History of Christian Films: