The Pilgrim's Progress

by John Bunyan

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Part 2, Chapter 5 Summary

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The pilgrims arrive at the place where Christian met Faithful. Christiana asks Mr. Great-Heart if he was hurt in his battle with the giant, but the Guide says that he has minimal flesh wounds, a proof of his devotion to God. Matthew remarks on God’s goodness in bringing them all out of the Valley safely.

The group continues on their journey and comes across an old man sleeping under an oak tree. They greet him and learn that he is Mr. Honest, although he wishes his nature would agree with his name. He is from the town of Stupidity, which is in an even worse condition than the City of Destruction.

Mr. Honest joins them, and Great-Heart asks him if he knew Mr. Fearing, who had gone on pilgrimage previously. Mr. Honest did indeed know him, and Mr. Great-Heart tells of Fearing’s journey.

Mr. Fearing came to all the places Christian encountered but lived up to his name, being afraid constantly. Yet he refused to turn back but bravely faced his fears until Mr. Great-Heart delivered him successfully to the Celestial City.

Mr. Honest then tells of another person on the pilgrim way who claimed that it was acceptable to follow the examples of vice as shown in the lives of the biblical heroes. His argument was that even though they sinned, they were held up as models of faith.

A messenger meets the pilgrims and warns them about robbers up ahead. They decide to seek shelter at a nearby inn, where they are greeted warmly and provided with food and beds by Gaius, their host.

Gaius urges Christiana to give Mercy to her oldest son, Matthew, as his wife, which she does. The pilgrims stay with Gaius for month, exchanging riddles, until news comes of another giant, Slay-Good, whom Great-Heart must battle.

Great-Heart kills the giant and rescues another pilgrim, Mr. Feeble-Minded. They return to the home of Gaius, where they display the giant’s head. Gaius’s daughter, Phebe, is married to Matthew’s brother James.

As the pilgrim group gets ready to continue their journey, Mr. Great-Heart invites Mr. Feeble-Minded to join them, but he decides he will come after them to avoid holding them up.

As he is explaining, another pilgrim, Ready-to-Halt, arrives. Mr. Feeble-Minded invites him to be his companion on the journey; they are both slower of speed than the others. The pilgrims go forth as Mr. Great-Heart tells them more stories of Christian’s journey on his own quest.

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