Pilgrim’s Progress ~ My last and most difficult allegorical review

John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress‘ was a must read for me having lived in Bedfordshire for most of my adult life. Bunyan haunts the area. There’s The Bunyan Centre, The Bunyan Meeting House, (which houses a wonderful museum reflecting his life and beliefs) Bunyan Road, The Statue of Bunyan, The Bunyan Tree and The Bunyan Trail.


Bunyan’s Tree

Here’s me sitting eating a picnic

seeking inspiration beside the tree where Bunyan allegedly preached :




I started reading the original version but, since I read for pleasure before bedtime I found myself nodding off and not really appreciating either the beauty or the meaning of the text. Next I cheated and downloaded a translated to modern English version.

I found Christian’s journey inspiring, as I expected I might. His encounters of evil and good along his pilgrimage to guide or distract him from his path, or even to harm him, were plausible and the meaning of the allegory clear. The path to tread is an extremely narrow one and he meets all sorts of characters with human failings along the way; some of whom bear a reflection of yourself which is meant as a warning, I feel.

Strangely, it was not fighting with Appolyon or even Vanity Fair which made me most fearful as I journeyed with Christian towards the Celestial City, it was  the King’s Arbour; a place for pilgrim’s to rest. The danger lurking here is that if you fall asleep in your exhaustion and pleasure to relax, you are filled with forgetfulness. It made me think of one of the greatest foes of ageing and the least understood – Dementia. I’m not sure if this passed through Bunyan’s mind at all, but that is the joy of an allegory ~ the emotions and senses are stirred by the experiences which are most pertinent to the reader’s own life, although each is also made aware of the failings and successes of others as paths are crossed.

I must admit that I found the second half of the book harder to concentrate on, since it appeared to be quite repetitive, as Christiana and her sons are inspired to follow in the footsteps of Christian. In a sense I understand that we do need to revisit truths to learn by them and maybe that was Bunyan’s intention. For me, maybe I need to read this second half again at a later date to fully appreciate it.


About Diana Jackson

Author of 'The Healing Paths of Fife', Historical Romantic fiction ~ The Riduna Series set in 19th and early 20th Century a murder mystery ~ 'Murder, Now and Then' and two memoir. What links my books ~ history! Website:www.dianamaryjackson.co.uk Blog:www.dianamj.wordpress.com Riduna on Twitter and on Facebook too!
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13 Responses to Pilgrim’s Progress ~ My last and most difficult allegorical review

  1. Pat says:

    Hi Diana — I wasn’t familiar with John Bunyan nor his popular classic, “Pilgrim’s Progress”. It sounds interesting and you’ve educated me in another form of literature. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  2. Bunyan wrote it whilst in prison for preaching his beliefs. It is hard to believe that this could have happened in good old England. It is a little heavy going in places but it is certainly a book I shall reread in the future. all the best D

    • Pat says:

      I understand what you’re saying, Diana. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for your beliefs and have your voice heard. The consequences of that are sometimes severe — such as in the case of one of Rome’s famous orators, Cicero, centuries ago (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicero). He met with an ill fate of having his head and hands cut off and put on display for speaking beliefs that didn’t agree with government.

      I’m trying to write a post about having the courage to speak up for what you believe, given our current political drama these days. It hasn’t quite come together yet as it’s something I rarely choose to enter into. But, this post has a different twist and very little of it has to do with politics.

      Good conversations we could have. Why people feel so strongly about certain issues and what it is that drives them to do what they do with it. 🙂

  3. An interesting subject – ‘When is speaking out going a step too far?’ ‘Is speaking out politically correct?’ ‘Is a “live and let live” society really working?’ Oh, so many issues Pat. I grew up in St Albans, Hertfordshire knowing Alban’s story, a Roman soldier who lost his life for his faith. There is a line today but where exactly is it? …

    • Pat says:

      Sorry, taken so long to reply, Diana. It is an interesting subject and makes me wonder, too, if there is really a line we draw today and where is it. Don’t know that the “live and let live” approach is really working. Questions and conversations could go on and on — love it! Thanks, Diana, always appreciate your perspective.

  4. Hi Pat We seem to have quite slow internet access at the moment and Skype video seems to leap frog frames. I’ll let you know if we get it sorted. Fingers crossed Dx

    • Pat says:

      I understand that, Diana, and hit-and-miss on the internet. Love technology but still can’t replace people, connections and plain old conversations via letters and in person. Take care, my friend, and keep in touch with how your internet access is going. Maybe, we can try another time.

      • Mobile phones can be problematic too. I’ll email you but in person is certainly best Dx

      • Pat says:

        I’d love that, Diana. Do you have my email? Maybe we can work something out that way on hooking up. There’s always Skype, too. I talked with a fellow blogger in Scotland a year or so ago on Skype and it was fun.

        I’m also checking out podcasting. Whew! Technology can do a lot of things these days but it’s learning how that I get hung up on. Keep me posted and I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

      • Now podcasting is something I’d like to look into Pat. You are doing well. My email is diana@dianamaryjackson.co.uk

      • Pat says:

        Oh Wow! Thank you, Diana. I will definitely save your email and contact you when I get a little more of this podcasting figured out.

        I’m doing some research and online courses and videos. Just trying to decide which way to go and get technical equipment talking to each other. You just made my day, my friend. I have you and another fellow blogger interested — cool! (Can you tell I’m excited!)

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