Tuesday, 24 January 2017

PSA: Bunyan Is a Grumpy Old Fart

Urgh. I am now midway through The Pilgrim's Progress, thanks to some still going strong new year resolutions. Spoiler alert: Christian just got to the Pearly Gates and earned his crown of gold, robe of white and wings (apparently), but now I have to face his entire family following on his tracks on the whole dreary journey.

(If you are wondering why I am inflicting this to myself, here's why).

I cannot wait for it to be over.

So, could someone please tell me why it has value? I mean, I am pretty sure all the clichés he uses about Heaven etc are clichés because his book had such an impact on his time (a bit like how Shakespeare is full of quotes), and I am bearing in mind it is an allegory, (an actual one -just ask Tolkien what he thinks about them) and trying to see it as a great historical document, but really!

Christian is just the most hateful character you could imagine, and he is not selling protestantism to me (suddenly feeling very cosy in Joyce's definition of the Catholic Church as "here comes everybody"). By-Ends does not hold the correct opinions? Let us cheerfully speculate on how he will fall to his death in the hill of Lucre! Ignorant is Ignorant? (the cheek of the man!), Let's talk to him a bit, then cheerfully watch as he is refused access to the Pearly Gates and bundled off to hell.

Plus the million of numbered lists of reasons expounding on how So-and-so is not saved, Such-and-such went wrong, and how good it is to be on the righteous path oneself whilst all these other people err.

So, before I gouge my eyes out, will someone, anyone defend Bunyan to me so I can find some slither of enjoyment as I plough through the book?

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