The Pilgrim’s Progress

The Pilgrim’s Progress

by

John Bunyan

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Wicket-gate Symbol Icon

The wicket-gate symbolizes Jesus Christ as the savior of sinners. When Christian desires freedom from his burden—itself symbolic of his sin—Evangelist instructs him to flee to the Wicket-gate, declaring that it’s the only place where Christian will find salvation. Indeed, when Christian knocks at the gate and introduces himself as a needy sinner, he is warmly welcomed without condition. But self-proclaimed pilgrims who try to bypass the Wicket-gate, like Ignorance, are ultimately rejected at the Gate of the Celestial City, or Heaven. This illustrates Bunyan’s belief that Christ and the salvation he offers sinners is indeed the only way to Heaven; sinners who claim other saviors (including their own inherent goodness) will discover that they have been deceived. By making the pilgrims journey through the Wicket-gate, then, and not allowing for other workarounds, Bunyan upholds Christ as the only one able to redeem people from the sin that bars them from Paradise.

Wicket-gate Quotes in The Pilgrim’s Progress

The The Pilgrim’s Progress quotes below all refer to the symbol of Wicket-gate. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
).
Part 1: Fleeing the City of Destruction Quotes

Then [Evangelist] gave him a Parchment-roll, and there was written within, Fly from the wrath to come.

The Man therefore read it, and looking upon Evangelist very carefully, said, Whither must I fly? Then said Evangelist, pointing with his finger over a very wide field, Do you see yonder Wicket-gate? The Man said, No. Then said the other, Do you see yonder shining Light? He said, I think I do. Then said Evangelist, Keep that Light in your eye, and go up directly thereto: so shalt thou see the Gate; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou shalt do.

Related Characters: Christian (speaker), Evangelist (speaker)
Related Symbols: Wicket-gate
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: Ignorance, Little-faith, and Flatterer Quotes

I know my Lord’s will, and I have been a good liver; I pay every man his own; I Pray, Fast, pay Tithes, and give Alms […] Gentlemen, ye be utter strangers to me, I know you not; be content to follow the Religion of your Country, and I will follow the Religion of mine. I hope all will be well. And as for the Gate that you talk of, all the world knows that that is a great way off of our Country.

Related Characters: Ignorance (speaker), Christian, Hopeful
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:
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Wicket-gate Symbol Timeline in The Pilgrim’s Progress

The timeline below shows where the symbol Wicket-gate appears in The Pilgrim’s Progress. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Fleeing the City of Destruction
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
The World vs. Christianity Theme Icon
The Centrality of the Bible Theme Icon
...this, the man asks where he should flee. Evangelist asks if he can see the Wicket-gate in the distance. When the man says no, Evangelist instructs him to follow a shining... (full context)
Part 1: The Slough of Despond
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
The World vs. Christianity Theme Icon
...thinking Christian is crazy, but Pliable is intrigued and decides to accompany Christian to the Wicket-gate. Obstinate storms back home. (full context)
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
Obstacles on the Journey Theme Icon
Christian, however, keeps struggling in the direction of the Wicket-gate. Eventually a man named Help appears and pulls Christian out of the Slough. When Christian... (full context)
Part 1: Mr. Worldly Wiseman
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
The World vs. Christianity Theme Icon
Obstacles on the Journey Theme Icon
...Worldly Wiseman asks Christian where he’s headed, and Christian explains that he’s going to the Wicket-gate in order to be rid of his burden, as per Evangelist’s advice. Mr. Worldly Wiseman... (full context)
Obstacles on the Journey Theme Icon
...twofold: forsaking the good path and following a forbidden one. Yet the man at the Wicket-gate will forgive him. He kisses and smiles at Christian, urging him on his way. (full context)
Part 1: At the Wicket-Gate
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
The Centrality of the Bible Theme Icon
Christian hastily makes his way to the Wicket-gate. When he gets there, he sees a sign over the Gate reading, “Knock and it... (full context)
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
Obstacles on the Journey Theme Icon
Good-will gives Christian a slight pull within the Wicket-gate, explaining that Beelzebub, whose castle is nearby, often shoots arrows at those who are approaching... (full context)
Part 1: Hill Difficulty and Palace Beautiful
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
Obstacles on the Journey Theme Icon
...and Christian explains how he fled his city’s destruction and found his way to the Wicket-gate with Evangelist’s help. He also talks about the wonderful things he saw at the Interpreter’s... (full context)
Part 1: Ignorance, Little-faith, and Flatterer
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
...argues that Ignorance can only be admitted to the Celestial City by way of the Wicket-gate, Ignorance replies that they should each follow the religions of their respective countries, and anyway,... (full context)
Part 2: Christiana
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
Obstacles on the Journey Theme Icon
Women as Pilgrims Theme Icon
...through many troubles in order to reach it. He advises her to pass through the Wicket-gate, carrying the King’s letter with her. So Christiana gathers her sons and confesses her past... (full context)
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
Women as Pilgrims Theme Icon
...and servant. Mercy is eager to comply but fears she won’t be accepted at the Wicket-gate. Christiana promises to make inquiries when they get there. So they set out together, though... (full context)
Part 2: The Wicket-gate
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
Obstacles on the Journey Theme Icon
...but she, Mercy, and the boys succeed in crossing it, making their way to the Wicket-gate. (At this point, Mr. Sagacity leaves, and the narrator continues dreaming himself.) They decide that... (full context)
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
Women as Pilgrims Theme Icon
Mercy explains that she, like Christiana, has come to the Wicket-gate seeking forgiveness of her sins. The Keeper of the Gate gently guides Mercy inside, saying... (full context)
Obstacles on the Journey Theme Icon
Women as Pilgrims Theme Icon
...for a Conductor, and besides, she didn’t expect evildoers to be lurking so near the Wicket-gate. And if it was so important for them to have a guide, why didn’t the... (full context)
Part 2: Honest and Fearing
The Burden of Sin and Salvation through Christ Theme Icon
Obstacles on the Journey Theme Icon
...about—he spent weeks trapped in the Slough of Despond, for example, and hesitated at the Wicket-gate. (full context)