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MonkeyNotes-The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
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Part II, written six years later and as a completely independent work, repeats much of the ground covered in Part I. Christiana, Christian's wife, realizes that she, too, longs to be relieved of her burden. She takes her children and sets out on the same path her husband did. Her comely neighbor, Mercy, joins her.

Their journey is at times a repetitive re-hash of the earlier work, lacking the surprise and suspense of the first work. Christiana and Mercy encounter many of the same villains and obstacles, as well as a few new ones. The only difference is that they also have the advantage of a protector in the person of Great-heart.

Remarkably, Christiana easily crosses some of the hurdles that Christian had found difficult to overcome. And the ones exclusive to her journey are lacking of the dramatic import that was found in the first work.


An interesting difference is that Christiana's group of pilgrims becomes larger as the story progresses. Her sons marry and some lonely pilgrims such as Ready-to-halt and Feeble-mind join in. When this large group finally reaches the Land of Beulah, each of them are individually invited into the Celestial City. Christiana enters first, followed by the rest. Only her sons and their wives are left behind, as the Lord wants them to pass on the word of the Lord and the Church to the world.

The book thus is a religious allegory, describing the journey which Christian and Christiana go through to finally reach the Celestial City. Each part is in itself a separate work, though Part I far exceeds Part II in imagination and execution.

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