The Pilgrim’s Progress

The Pilgrim’s Progress

by

John Bunyan

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The Pilgrim’s Progress: Part 2: The Valley of Humiliation Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After leaving the Porter’s House, the group descends the steep hill into the Valley of Humiliation, where Christian had fought Apollyon. The women enter the Valley with ease, so they don’t fear combat themselves—Great-heart explains that Christian’s troubles came as a result of his slippery descent.
The Valley of Humiliation isn’t haunted; the troubles pilgrims encounter there result from their own lack of humility. This is why Christian was forced to fight the demon. The women’s ease suggests that they are humble enough.
Themes
Obstacles on the Journey Theme Icon
Women as Pilgrims Theme Icon
The Valley of Humiliation is a beautiful and fruitful place. Christ once had his country estate here. It is a peaceful, solitary place well suited to contemplation.
The narrator suggests that Christ—who is noted in the Gospels to have sought solitude—lived in the Valley of Humiliation during his earthly life.
Themes
The Centrality of the Bible Theme Icon
Great-heart points out a spot called Forgetful Green where Christian’s battle with Apollyon took place. However, Mercy observes that passing through this Valley makes her feel happier and healthier than ever. Great-heart says that he has led many pilgrims through this place who have said the same. He quotes from Scripture, saying that God looks “to him that is Poor, and of a Contrite Spirit.” They look at the disturbed stones, bloodstains, and stone monument marking the spot where Christian fought Apollyon.
Unlike Christian, who faced special challenges in this Valley, Mercy feels naturally suited to its humble atmosphere. Great-heart’s Bible verse (Isaiah 66:2) suggest that God is with the humble in a special way, which is why they find this place especially inviting.
Themes
Obstacles on the Journey Theme Icon
The Centrality of the Bible Theme Icon
Women as Pilgrims Theme Icon
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