Pilgrim 's Progress By John Bunyan

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When is the last time you used the terms, “slough” when your car has gotten stuck in some mud or “weed” when you needed to go buy some new clothes? “Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan is a story that lives on into the twenty-first century but is full of phrases such as these that veer away from the way we speak today. Norton’s anthology seems to think that the objects referenced in this story are “simple and familiar” and all of the places the protagonist visits are “homely and commonplace” (2270). Is this story really suitable for the “simplest of readers,” or has the evolution of our modern language made it too difficult to decipher this 17th-century tale (2270)?
Within John Bunyan’s story The “Slough of Despond” is one of the chief metaphors employed (2273). This place is also one of the largest examples of a phrase in this allegory that has no relation to any word we use today. How are we supposed to understand the significance of something that is so pivotal to the story when the language used is not understandable? To make things even more muddled, the friend of our protagonist, Christian, is named “Pliable” (2273). For most readers, this name would go straight over their head. Yet once the meaning of these phrases are uncovered, this moment in this allegory makes sense. A slough means a bog or a marsh, and despond means low spirits. So this low spirited marsh is a place where Christian feels weighed down by the burden on his back. Being in this harsh situation caused
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