The Pilgrim’s Progress

by: John Bunyan

Christiana

Characters Christiana

Christiana is introduced in Part I of the book as Christian’s wife. She and Christian are each other’s better halves, as shown by their names. Yet Christiana does not agree to accompany her husband on his journey to the Celestial City in Part I. She seems beholden to the worldly values and limitations from which Christian must break free. But, at the beginning of Part II, she develops a deep appreciation of the value of pilgrimage. Indeed, her resolution to embark on a pilgrimage carries even more weight in some ways than Christian’s decision did, since she has more responsibilities. She has four children to care for during a perilous and exhausting journey. As a woman, she risks dangers that a male traveler escapes. And her final success as a pilgrim may even outstrip Christian’s, since she and her group achieve victories unknown to him, like slaying Giant Despair. In the end, Christiana emerges as a hero at least on par with her famous husband.

Christiana demonstrates an attunement to more worldly matters, grasping more about the everyday workings of the social world than her husband cared to know. For example, she deals with sick children and babysitters. She asks Mercy to accompany her as her servant. Christian never had an employee. When she leaves the House Beautiful, she gives the porter Watchful a tip of a golden angel coin, a considerable sum. In contrast, Christian never tips anyone because he believes money is evil. Christiana shows a more worldly awareness that money can be used for good as well as bad. She understands that certain worldly things like gold and employment can be integrated into a truly spiritual existence. The way her worldliness balances her faith gives Christiana a fullness that Christian lacks.