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The Pilgrim's Progress (Wordsworth…

The Pilgrim's Progress (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) (original 1678; edition 1996)

by John Bunyan

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11,351105244 (3.72)241
Title:The Pilgrim's Progress (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature)
Authors:John Bunyan
Info:Wordsworth Editions Ltd (1996), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Owned - Kindle Copy, Read, Your library
Tags:1001 Books

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The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan (1678)


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Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
Didn't read all of it just parts ( the Nicholas / Smike parts mostly ) ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
A book to be read forever more. ( )
  PBugriyev | Dec 24, 2016 |
I'm unsure how to rate this. I read it for a reading challenge, under the category of "A book written by a Puritan," and since it is so famous, I figured it was about time I read it. I wavered between wanting to read the original version and a more "modern" updating or children's version, and ultimately decided that not only would the original best fit the category, but as an English major I was confident that I could handle text written in archaic English.

And I was right, I can handle it, but I think an updated version would have been a more enjoyable reading experience. The best parts of this book are the allegorical elements, not the writing itself, and those would have been easier to understand in modern English. I'm sure this book was not poorly written for its time period, but reading it now can be, well, something of a slough (see what I did there?).

The actual finer points of allegory were quite interesting--names of people and places were all significant, and the ways in which they interacted were used to illustrate Puritan teachings. I'm sure I would not fully align with all of them--there's a fair amount about hellfire and fear of hell (even for believers), and other things, but I still found it interesting. However, these illustrations become the purpose of the story to the detriment of most other story elements, so character development and descriptions take a back seat to plot.

I also found the allegory a bit difficult overall in the sense that it was not just an illustration of a spiritual journey but of physical life as well... and that's where it's difficult, because you have (in the second part of the book) parents and children making the journey together, and they would most likely not be in the same place spiritually, but could still "journey" together in the physical, time-bound world. So understanding what was represented at times seemed tricky. At one point the adults leave their young children behind with a "shepherd" and journey on, and I wondered if this was an attempt to bridge the gap, showing the spiritual maturity of the adults, but it still struck me as strange and wasn't really followed up on.

Anyway, there is more I could say, but overall I appreciated most the visual of Christian losing his burden--that stands out for many people (though it is near the beginning and not the climax of the story as I'd assumed). I don't think I'll read this version again, and I think I would have benefited more from a condensed, modernized re-telling--that's what I would recommend to anyone else, unless you just want to be able to say you read the original. ( )
  LauraTwitchell | Dec 12, 2016 |
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan was written in 1678 and can be counted among the most significant works of English literature. It is an allegory, presented as a narration of a dream, and it is divided into two parts. The first part follows protagonist Christian from the City of Destruction, i.e. this world, to the Celestial City, i.e. heaven. Christian sets out on this journey, leaving behind his wife, his children and his home, because he is weighed down by a burden. On his way, he goes through several stages and meets various persons, some of whom accompany him on his journey and some of whom try to convince him of leaving the path he is on. The characters he encounters have, as he himself, very straightforward names that show their main character trait. They can be regarded as flat characters whose name already gives away what their character is like and what their role in the story will be. Examples of such names are Legality, Goodwill, Faithful, Ignorance, Giant Despair, and Mistrust, to name but a few. The same thing can be said for the stages Christian passes through. There is the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Vanity Fair, the Hill of Difficulty, or the Delectable Mountains. The second part of The Pilgrim's Progress relates the story of Christiana, Christian's wife, who sets out with her children and Mercy, another woman from the City of Destruction, to follow her husband's path to Mount Zion and the Celestial City.

Although the book was written in 1678, the text is very easy to follow as the language is quite simple with no complex sentence structures. Bunyan's writing style is very direct, which is probably due to the fact that the book was intended for a popular and not for a higher-educated academic readership. Being a Christian allegory it was aimed at a broad audience depicting Christian life as the only true way of life. The names of characters and places ensure that there is no trouble in deciphering the allegoric meaning of the novel. Yet, I have read that Bunyan, who is said to have traveled from Bedford to London, was influenced by his personal surroundings in the description of the places in the story. Generally, the book can be approached without much background knowledge, but you probably might get more out of it with a religious background.

On the whole, 3.5 stars as the second part was somewhat repetitive after having read the first one. Plus, I felt I was getting a moralizing lecture. ( )
1 vote OscarWilde87 | Aug 26, 2016 |
  CPI | Jul 29, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (166 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bunyan, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barnard, FrederickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterton, G. K.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Froude, James AnthonyContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, G.B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hawkes, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hazelbaker, L. Edwardsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, R.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Linton, J.D.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maguire, RobertNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robertson, PatForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sharrock, RogerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Small, W.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Southey, Robertsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Witherspoon, Alexander M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wumkes, G. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I have used similitudes. Hosea xii.10
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Introduction (Penguin edition by Roger Sharrock)
The Pilgrim's Progress is a book which in the three hundred years of its existence has crossed most of the barriers of race and culture that usually serve to limit the communicative power of a classic.
As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep; and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream.
And all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.
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The front cover of my paperback edition shows what appears to be the right leg and boot of a man walking through long, tough grass. If you are able to look a little more closely, you will see that the stalks of grass are in fact weapons used in Bunyan's time - halberds, pikes, swords, and even hands - all striking up at him to prevent him from reaching Mount Zion. Those weapons are shown very well in the earlier, illustrated editions. Perhaps they represent all that would prevent a person from entering the Kingdom of God?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486426750, Paperback)

One of the most powerful dramas of Christian faith ever written, this captivating allegory of man's religious journey in search of salvation follows the pilgrim as he travels an obstacle-filled road to the Celestial City. An enormously influential 17th-century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:19 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

A religious allegory which follows the trials and tribulations of Christian as he journeys to the Celestial City.

(summary from another edition)

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