Seventeenth-century Puritan theologian John Bunyan wrote The Life and Death of Mr. Badman as a companion piece to The Pilgrim’s Progress, the literary work for which Bunyan is best remembered. Although both works are Christian allegories that provide the reader with moral and spiritual instruction, The Pilgrim’s Progress accomplishes this goal primarily via the positive example of the protagonist, while The Life and Death of Mr. Badman does the opposite; Pilgrim is ultimately destined for heaven, while Mr. Badman is destined for hell.
The two works also differ in their format. Pilgrim’s story is presented as a dream sequence, while Mr. Badman’s story is instead told via a dialogue between two other characters: Mr. Wiseman, who relates Mr. Badman’s narrative and draws life lessons from it, and Mr. Attentive, who asks prompting questions and makes comments on the tale he hears. Throughout the story, Bunyan details a variety of Mr. Badman’s sins including lying, swearing, and Sabbath-breaking.
Despite its length, the original text was one continuous narrative without chapter breaks.
Genre(s): Christian Fiction
John Bunyan (1628 – 1688)
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