The Pilgrim’s Regress

Many people have heard of John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress”, and many people have heard of C.S. Lewis, and are even familiar with some of his works.  This earlier work (his third published work) is less known.  I just heard about it this year after I read a C.S. Lewis biography, and came across it a few weeks ago at my friend’s apartment.  He kindly lent it to me.

The Pilgrim’s Regress” is a work of allegorical fiction, and can even be described as an allegorical autobiography.  Lewis explains at the end that it reflects his own journey of leaving his Christian faith, the philosophies and beliefs that he traveled through, and his coming back to his faith.

As an allegory, it chronicles John, the main character, as he leaves his home country of Puritania  in search of an island that has captured his attention to a lustful extreme.

There are some weak points in the story, and though some of the philosophies that John journeys through aren’t as prominent in today’s (2011) philosophical landscape,  they still inform and influence modern thought, which makes skimming through these sections a poor choice.

While some of the middle sections of the booked lagged, the final chapters of the book make the whole read worth one’s time.  They are powerful in their images of enlightenment and surrender to death, which, when led by Love is the path to life.

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