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Pilgrim's Progress

Pilgrim's Progress. Religious allegory by John Bunyan, published in two parts (1678, 1684). Widely regarded as a classic in puritan literature, it renders Bunyan's own spiritual progress (recounted in Grace Abounding) into a more objective universalized myth, embodied by the solitary pilgrim Christian's search for the Celestial City. Allegorical figures (Giant Despair, Hopeful), satirical portraits of hypocrites or backsliders (Mr Worldly-Wiseman), and realism enliven an episodic series of adventures, though each reflects a step in the puritan stages of conversion. Part II, centred around Christian's wife, is more concerned with problems in nonconformist communities than with the individual.

A. S. Hargreaves

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