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Johnson, Barbara A. Reading Piers Plowman and The Pilgrim’s Progress : Reception and the Protestant Reader. Carbondale: University of Illinois Press, 1992.
Kaufman, U. Milo. The Pilgrim’s Progress and Traditions in Puritan Meditation. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1966.
MacDonald, Ruth K. Christian’s Children: The Influence of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress on American Children’s Literature. New York: P. Lang, 1989.
Newey, Vincent, ed. The Pilgrim’s Progress : Critical and Historical Views. Totowa, NJ: Barnes and Noble Books, 1980.
Packer, J. I. The Pilgrim’s Principles: John Bunyan Revisited. London: St. Antholin’s Lectureship Charity, 1999.
Twain, Mark. The Innocents Abroad: or, The New Pilgrim’s Progress. New York: Grosset, 1911.
I would take a certain issue with the observation that Bunyan invokes his own imprisonment when he writes about the man in the iron cage. Certainly Bunyan would have been sensitive to the idea of imprisonment, and this sensitivity could very well have emboldened his passion to warn others of the unwanted consequences of certain behaviors, but I believe there the similarity ends. Bunyan had been imprisoned for preaching the gospel without an official sanction from the religious establishment of the day; the unjust result of extreme obedienc
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The characters are very important in establishing the journey. It also dramatic irony in some cases, for instance when Christian talks to the worldly wise man- you know that he will lead him away from his current journey because you understand his name (or label) in context.