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Pilgrim's Progress (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
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Pilgrim's Progress (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

3.2 130
by John Bunyan, David Hawkes (Noted by)
 

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The Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

Overview

The Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

Faith, Hope, Mercy, Envy, Ignorance, Guilt: These are not abstract concepts, but the names of vividly imagined, sharply drawn human characters encountered by Christian, the hero of The Pilgrim’s Progress. In John Bunyan’s seventeenth-century allegory of the soul’s search for salvation, each step along the way becomes a dramatic rendering of an inner state of the human psyche. As Christian journeys from “the wilderness of this world” to the glory of the Celestial City, he confronts a seemingly endless array of temptations, threats, and dangers, including the nearly irresistible allure of material splendor at Vanity Fair; the crushing psychological burden of depression and despair in the Slough of Despond; and the fear and uncertainty that eats away at faith in Doubting Castle.

This edition includes both the first and second parts of The Pilgrim’s Progress, which collectively reflect the feverish intensity of Bunyan’s religious beliefs. What remains significant is Bunyan’s ability to transform this intensity into an allegory that speaks to people of all faiths and all eras.

David Hawkes is Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University. His books include Idols of the Marketplace (2001) and Ideology (second edition 2003), and he has contributed articles to The Nation, the Times Literary Supplement, and the Journal of the History of Ideas.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593083724
Publisher:
Barnes & Noble
Publication date:
11/01/2005
Series:
Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.44(h) x 1.44(d)

Read an Excerpt

From David Hawkes’s Introduction to The Pilgrim’s Progress

To understand fully The Pilgrim’s Progress, we must remember that it was written in prison. Imprisonment is its major theme, and escape from prison is its primary purpose. Although Bunyan was without a doubt incarcerated in the literal, physical sense while he composed his work, he did not believe that he was truly in jail. He was convinced that, as Richard Lovelace had written in “To Althea, from Prison” (1642), “Stone walls do not a prison make, / Nor iron bars a cage,” and Bunyan echoed the sentiment in his own “Prison Meditations” (1665; quoted from The Works of John Bunyan, edited by George Offor, vol. 1, p. 64; see “For Further Reading”):

I am, indeed, in prison now

In body, but my mind

Is free to study Christ, and how

Unto me he is kind.

For though men keep my outward man

Within their locks and bars,

Yet by the faith of Christ I can

Mount higher than the stars.

As far as Bunyan was concerned, the real prisoners were outside the walls, in the world. The Pilgrim’s Progress aims to establish two deeply counterintuitive propositions: that its author is not in jail, and that its readers are. But while Bunyan argues that the world is the prison of the soul, he also offers us a way to escape from the world. The book’s subtitle, From This World to That Which Is to Come, indicates our ultimate destination, but the world “to come” is to be reached by a way not measurable in space or time. The pilgrim’s progress is not a literal journey along a physical road, but an exercise in semiotics: a reinterpretation of the world. As Stanley Fish puts it, Bunyan’s work teaches us that “the truth about the world is not to be found within its own confines or configurations, but from the vantage point of a perspective that transforms it” (Self-consuming Artifacts, p. 237).

In the course of his journey the hero, named Christian, learns to understand the world as an allegory. He comes to perceive his experience as a series of signs that point toward nonmaterial, spiritual referents, and this constitutes his liberation. But before he can escape from prison, he must become aware that he is in one. The progress toward an allegorical interpretation of reality is simultaneously a process of alienation from the mundane world of experience. The Pilgrim’s Progress shows us a man who becomes a stranger to the world, to the extent of rejecting empirical sense perception, as well as the laws, morality, and behavioral standards of society. The first lesson Christian learns after his conversion is that “Mr. Worldly Wiseman is an alien.”

Allegory has often been described as a suitable mode to represent the alienated, objectified character of worldly experience. This line of reasoning originates with Walter Benjamin’s seminal analysis of the genre in The Origin of German Tragic Drama (1928). Benjamin argues that allegory’s purpose is to teach us that the experiential world—the “carnal” or “fleshly” dimension, in Bunyan’s terms—is fallen into a disharmonious relation with its Creator: “Allegory itself was sown by Christianity. For it was absolutely decisive for this mode of thought that not only transitoriness, but also guilt should seem evidently to have its home in the province of idols and of the flesh” (p. 224). Plato had argued that, because the material world is transitory, it is also illusory, and to take empirical appearances for reality thus constitutes a philosophical error. But Christianity introduced an ethical dimension to this argument. From the Christian perspective, taking appearances for reality is not only erroneous, but also sinful, and in The Pilgrim’s Progress, understanding this fact is the first step on the way to redemption. This is a paradoxical operation, however, for the process of understanding that creation is alienated from the Creator simultaneously involves the recognition of another, spiritual, realm to which the carnal world points the way.

Meet the Author

John Bunyan (1628-1688) was an English writer and Baptist preacher best known for his Christian allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress. He wrote more than 60 books and tracts in total. Buynan spent many years in prison because of his faith, and it was during this time that he began writing The Pilgrim’s Progress. Part One was published in 1678; Part Two in 1684.

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The Pilgrim's Progress 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 130 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a read of 54 pages that has nothing to do with PILGRIMS PROGRESS.. I read the real book years ago and it was FANTASTIC ... DO YOUR SELF A FAVOR read the real PP..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had the same issue as the other person, bought it, and was a completely different book. not happy. do they refund?
H82W8 More than 1 year ago
Was suppose to be Pilgrim's Progress, but when downloaded, was actually The Pilgrimage of Etheria by M L McClure. I was very disappointed.
Julia Locklear More than 1 year ago
the cover may say pilgrim's progress, but the inside is something else. A huge disappointment.
Tropical_Island More than 1 year ago
I love "Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan and wanted to purchase a digital version to read on my Nook. When I purchased the $0.99 version of the book, I ended up with "The Pilgrimage of Etheria" By M.L. McClure. To make sure the same thing doesn't happen to you, please preview the book and make sure you are getting what you are paying for!
jimdad More than 1 year ago
I bought and downloaded this book. When I opened it on my nookcolor the content was a different book: The Pilgrimage of Etheria by M. L. McClure
JR90 More than 1 year ago
This is a false cover and is the the original Pilgrim progress by John Bunyan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are better versions even among the freebies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy this book in other verisons but i had truble reading this verison of course it does make a difference if you just got into double digits so i wouldn't sugest it for people like me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Five star rat
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This should be read by every Christian.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The contents are not the correct book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not The Pilgrim's Progress!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you think this is the Pilgrims Progress story it IS NOT! Be warned.
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grampie14 More than 1 year ago
Nice
Anonymous More than 1 year ago