Pilgrims Progress Essay

This essay has a total of 1546 words and 6 pages.

Pilgrims Progress

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 represents in the story, for
example, the character Hopeful represents hopefulness, Help represents people who are
willing to help others in need of assistance, Faithful represents people who are faithful
to whatever they are associated with, and the main character, Christian, represents all
young Christians in the world. His journey to the Celestial City is a journey every
Christian must face in their lifetime before allowed into heaven. Within his journey
there are many obstacles such as temptations both tangible and intangible for instance,
the merchandises sold at Vanity Fair and the shortcuts offered, illustrate temptations
real Christians must face and overcome; finding an easy way into heaven, and being thrown
off course by material things. The character Christian overcomes many obstacles before
reaching his destination, the Celestial City. But during his journey he does not face all
these obstacles alone. He meets a variety of people all through his journey to the
Celestial City; some of these people mock his traveling to the Celestial City, some decide
to follow him, and some help him along his way. Christian meets Faithful who decides to
join him on his travels. Faithful is a character that faces many difficulties on his own
journey to the Celestial City; his journey has many differences and similarities to the
life of Jesus Christ.

Faithful first meets Christian while he is upon his journey to save his life. Christian
cries out for Faithful to stop and wait so they can be companions along their travel, but
Faithful replies, “No, I am upon my life, and the avenger of blood is behind
me” (60). In the story, the life he is trying to save is his real, tangible life.
But his running away from the avenger of blood to save his “life” actually
symbolizes saving Faithful’s spiritual life. Because he has sinned and broken the
Ten Commandment, “You shall not kill,” he is now being chased by death and if
caught, he will kill Faithful; this death characterizes the death of eternal life and
therefore not being able to enter heaven (Deuteronomy 5:17). In the bible there is a
passage that talks about the avenger of blood and who is he. “This is the provision
for the manslayer, who by fleeing there may save his life. If anyone kills his neighbor
unintentionally without having been at enmity with him in time past…he may flee to
one of these cities and save his life; lest the avenger of blood in hot anger pursue the
manslayer and overtake him” (Deuteronomy 19:4-6). Jesus Christ was born without
sin, and never sinned throughout his lifetime. Faithful, however, who although did not
try to kill his neighbor, killed him unintentionally and therefore, sinned. Jesus would
never have caused pain to any living creatures, neither accidentally nor deliberately.
This is one example of how Faithful differs from Christ.

Faith is a large part in a Christian’s life and journey. Faith is also very
important for one to overcome evil, corruption, and fear. Along their journey, Christian
and Faithful reach Vanity Fair, a fair that sells goods solely based on vanity, such as
titles, kingdoms, lusts, pleasures, lives, husbands, wifes, blood, bodies, and souls
(78-79). When they first enter the fair, they cause a disturbance because of the way they
dress, their speech, their unwillingness to glance at the merchants’ wares, and
their answer “We buy the truth” when a merchant asks them what they are
interested in buying “(80). Christian and Faithful’s presence at the fair
causes such a disruption that they are brought to examination and are asked their origin,
their destination, and the reason their unusual dress. Christian and Faithful answers,
saying they are pilgrims journeying to “the heavenly Jerusalem” (80).
Although these may not be the answers the men at the fair are looking for, they have faith
in the word and are not afraid to tell the truth. They are not willing to lie and forget
their beliefs because of the possible consequences. Because of these answers the fair
people thought of them as causing chaos and disorder at the fair and therefore beat and
placed them into cages so all the men at the fair could watch. Yet again the two were
taken to the examiners and were charged of being guilty and “they beat them
pitifully, and hanged irons upon them, and led them in chains up and down the Fair, for an
example and a terror to others…”(81). And because Christian and Faithful had
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