Thursday, June 17, 2004

Journey from the City of Destruction

It occurred to me this morning that someone needs to study the influence of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress on literature. Three obvious examples come to mind, right off the top of one's head: the running Pilgrim's Progress theme in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Celestial Railroad," and the chapter in George Eliot's Middlemarch where she contrasts a character (Mr. Bulstrode, I think) with Christian on trial at Vanity Fair. And, of course, there's C. S. Lewis's Pilgrim's Regress, and other Bunyan-influenced allegories.

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