Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pilgrim for All Generations

     Pilgrim’s Progress has been #1 on my list of favorite books since 1961. While everyone else I know struggled and swore their way through Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and excerpts from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, I found my genre of choice: the allegory. Nothing beats a well written allegory with characters and places named for their defining characteristics: Doubting Castle, Talkative, Hopeful, and the piece de resistance Christian, the pilgrim.
     Although it was written in the 1670s, Pilgrim’s Progress is timeless, allowing the reader to apply its symbolism to the present for a perfectly crafted story of man’s struggles to arrive at the Celestial City in a state of worthiness; although, symbolically, I suppose any ambitious goal might be substituted. The challenges are universal.
     I try to read Pilgrim’s Progress at least once a year and have 4 copies – one in the original Old English, one modernized version, and a third pictorial copy. I even have a copy on my Kindle in case I get stuck in an airport with nothing of interest to read. Although my youngest son and I may share a common interest in the genre, I’m fairly certain no one in the family has read my all time favorite. I think it’s one of the best “Yes, you can!” motivational books that has certainly endured through generations. See me if you want to borrow a copy. Or, if you are waiting for the movie, YouTube comes through with an uninspiring read aloud video version.