The Pilgrim's Progress

by John Bunyan

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What is the symbolic role of Evangelist in The Pilgrim's Progress?

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The symbolic role of Evangelist in The Pilgrim’s Progress is akin to that of a guardian angel or a helpful guide. When Christian is in trouble or unsure of how to proceed, Evangelist steps in and sets Christian on the appropriate path. At the start of John Bunyan’s book, Evangelist consoles a despondent Christian. He advises him to flee and to head toward the wicket gate.

Like a guardian angel or a caring adviser, Evangelist allows Christian to rely on him. He gives Christian a purpose. Without Evangelist’s interference, someone else would have had to enter Christian’s life and tell him where to go.

The reappearance of Evangelist reinforces the claim that Evangelist symbolizes stability and wisdom. Later on, after Christian and Faithful successfully overcome their trials, Evangelist tells them that they must not be content. Playing the role of a knowledgable helper once again, Evangelist warns them that the devil is not completely out of sight, so they must remain vigilant and faithful.

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