Literary Precedents for Work: A Story of Experience

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The most immediately recognizable influence upon the novel's structure and theme of spiritual self-fulfillment is John Bunyan's allegorical Pilgrim's Progress, finalized in 1684, which traces the moral journey of a hero named Christian to a heavenly Celestial City. Alcott's heroine has a similar name and, particularly in early chapters, shows steps of progress made through moral lessons. Alcott's indebtedness to Bunyan's allegory is reflected in numerous depictions of temptations overcome and resting-spots along Christie's spiritual way, and in such prose as "God was very patient with her, sending much help, and letting her climb up to Him by all the tender ways in which aspiring souls can lead unhappy hearts."

A painting of a scene from Pilgrim's Progress figures in Work, showing Christie's relationship to Bunyan's hero. Hepsey, Mrs. Sterling, and Rachel /Letty behold the painting and marvel at resemblances to David and little Pansy. Nevertheless, a crucial difference...

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This section contains 345 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Work: A Story of Experience Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Work: A Story of Experience from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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