Buny The Pilgrim's Progress

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When Bunyan is writing The Pilgrim’s Progress, the literary qualities of his narrative, such as characterization, inclusion of vivid details of action and setting, and his effective use of language, add a dimension to his text that enrich the allegory rather than take away from it. Through his use of these devices Bunyan is able to add to his narrative rather than detract from his Christian message. Bunyan worries about the reception of his book in the first few pages. In his intro he asks forgiveness of the reader if they think that in his writing he seems like he is trying to rewrite the bible. Rewriting the bible is not what he is trying to do, nor does it appear to readers that this is what he does in writing Pilgrim’s Progress. In writing …show more content…
He does this as a way to strengthen his Christian message. The inclusion of actual scripture also serves to add credibility to his narrative. It was a common belief among Christians that the reading of materials other than the bible was a waste of time. By writing his book and including verses from the bible, Bunyan finds a loophole, and is therefore able to work to spread Christianity the best way he knows how. W.R Owens writes in the introduction that the importance of the Bible in The Pilgrim’s Progress cannot be overemphasized. He says, “[Bunyan] frequently quotes from it explicitly, but often we find that he has absorbed biblical phrasing into his own prose. The Bible was absolutely central to religious thought and practice in the seventeenth century, and to artistic, scientific, and political thought” (Introduction xxiv). Bunyan did not think of his book as a work of fiction. He thought that because of the way he wove the bible into his writing his work had a definite sense of authenticity to it. Christians were justified in reading his book because it was the closest thing to truth that fiction would ever get. Bunyan uses his inclusion of scripture to justify his writing. When he writes the conversation between Christian and Pliable as Christian describes to pliable the kingdom of god and the everlasting life he has granted his followers, Bunyan cites Isaiah 45.17 which specifically says “But …show more content…
Bunyan writes his book as an allegory about the spiritual journey that every Christian must go on. In the introduction the editor says that “characters and places are given names indicating that they are not actual individuals but personify or represent abstract qualities or ideas. The Pilgrim’s Progress may seem to be about a journey from one city to another, but it is really about the Christian experience of conversion leading to salvation” (Introduction xx). At the start of his book Bunyan’s dreamer sees Christian for the first time. He says, “Now, I saw upon a time when [Christian] was walking in the Fields, that he was (as he was wont) reading in his Book, and greatly distressed in his mind; and as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, What shall I do to be saved?” (11). Bunyan begins his book by highlighting the distress that all Christians face upon beginning their spiritual journey. He emphasizes the feelings of being lost and confused about the best way to go about living the right Christian life. Bunyan, in his writing of The Pilgrim’s Progress is able to make it directly relatable to his readers in the seventeenth century. While audiences in the seventeenth century did have bibles to read to help them along in their Christian journeys, their bibles did not contain information about living as a

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