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Compare and Contrast The Pilgrim’s Progress and Gulliver’s Travels

English Paper – Introductory Paragraph
Project instructions:
1. Select two of the following works: The Pilgrim’s Progress, Candide, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Jane Eyre.
2. Explore the role of author, text, and reader in the text.

 The Pilgrim's Progress is a Puritan story, and Bunyan chose to tell it in the form of an allegory.

The silently growing assumption of this age is that the probation of races is past, and that the backward races of to-day are of proven inefficiency and not worth the saving. Such an assumption is the arrogance of peoples irreverent toward Time and ignorant of the deeds of men. A thousand years ago such an assumption, easily possible, would have made it difficult for the Teuton to prove his right to life. Two thousand years ago such dogmatism, readily welcome, would have scouted the idea of blond races ever leading civilization. So wofully unorganized is sociological knowledge that the meaning of progress, the meaning of "swift" and "slow" in human doing, and the limits of human perfectability, are veiled, unanswered sphinxes on the shores of science. Why should Æschylus have sung two thousand years before Shakespeare was born? Why has civilization flourished in Europe, and flickered, flamed, and died in Africa? So long as the world stands meekly dumb before such questions, shall this nation proclaim its ignorance and unhallowed prejudices by denying freedom of opportunity to those who brought the Sorrow Songs to the Seats of the Mighty?

The Pilgrim's Progress - Wikipedia

This storyline is portrayed in John Bunyan’s allegorical book, Pilgrim’s Progress.

But the facing of so vast a prejudice could not but bring the inevitable self-questioning, self-disparagement, and lowering of ideals which ever accompany repression and breed in an atmosphere of contempt and hate. Whisperings and portents came borne upon the four winds: Lo! we are diseased and dying, cried the dark hosts; we cannot write, our voting is vain; what need of education, since we must always cook and serve? And the Nation echoed and enforced this self-criticism, saying: Be content to be servants, and nothing more; what need of higher culture for half-men? Away with the black man's ballot, by force or fraud,--and behold the suicide of a race! Nevertheless, out of the evil came something of good,--the more careful adjustment of education to real life, the clearer perception of the Negroes' social responsibilities, and the sobering realization of the meaning of progress.

John Bunyan (1628 -1688), undoubtedly one of the most notable historical figures of the Bedford area, originated from Elstow and is remembered for his religious writings and sermons. As a Reformed Baptist, he refused to recognise the Established Church of his time and spent as many as 12 years in prison for his religious determination. During his imprisonment he wrote his most remarkable work, The Pilgrim's Progress, which is the allegory of a spiritual journey.

SparkNotes: The Pilgrim’s Progress

While in prison he proceeded to write the classic BiblicalChristian allegory, "Pilgrim's Progress".

the past have in the main proved themselves useful to their race and generation, the question then comes, What place in the future development of the South ought the Negro college and college-bred man to occupy? That the present social separation and acute race-sensitiveness must eventually yield to the influences of culture, as the South grows civilized, is clear. But such transformation calls for singular wisdom and patience. If, while the healing of this vast sore is progressing, the races are to live for many years side by side, united in economic effort, obeying a common government, sensitive to mutual thought and feeling, yet subtly and silently separate in many matters of deeper human intimacy,--if this unusual and dangerous development is to progress amid peace and order, mutual respect and growing intelligence, it will call for social surgery at once the delicatest and nicest in modern history. It will demand broad-minded, upright men, both white and black, and in its final accomplishment American civilization will triumph. So far as white men are concerned, this fact is to-day being recognized in the South, and a happy renaissance of university education seems imminent. But the very voices that cry bail to this good work are, strange to relate, largely silent or antagonistic to the higher education of the Negro.

Both John Bunyan and Jonathan Swift criticized society. Compare and contrast John Bunyan’s style in The Pilgrim’s Progress and Jonathan Swift’s style in Gulliver’s Travels.

John Bunyan, who wrote Pilgrim's Progress, served in the Puritan Army.
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SparkNotes: The Pilgrim’s Progress: Plot Overview

There I lay down to sleep: and as I slept, I dreamed a dream." This great and simple opening of The Pilgrim’s Progress may tell us that in the late 1600s Bunyan is trying to talk about his dream to the public to get his message through to the people.

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