The Pilgrim’s Regress, by C.S. Lewis


The Pilgrim's Regress is a book of allegorical fiction by C. S. Lewis. This style of writing uses symbolic figures, events and actions to convey complex meanings. An allegorical figure is a character that is an important person in the story and represents abstract meanings or ideas.

The novel was Lewis’s first work published by after his conversion and is a record of his own search for meaning and spiritual satisfaction—a search that eventually led him to Christianity.

His fictional plot, much like the 17th century novel Pilgrim Progress by John Bunyan’s novel, was also searching the current days philosophical landscape through a search for the Island, or destination, of his desire. The difference in the politics, ideologies, and principles of the early 20th century as seen by Lewis showed the modern phoniness, and hypocrisy of the Christian church, Communism, Fascism, and other movements.

His search represented by pilgrim John was to an enchanting island which created in him an intense longing and desire. His search lead to meeting such people as Mr. Enlightenment, Media Halfways, Mr. Mammon, Mother Kirk, Mr. Sensible, and Mr. Humanist and through such cities as Thrill and Eschropolis as well as the Valley of Humiliation.

 Lewis's allegory enabled the author to confirm, using fantasy, his belief in Christianity.

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“Be sure it is not for nothing that the Landlord has knit our hearts so closely to time and place – to one friend rather than another and one shire more than all the land.” 

“The great art of life is to moderate our passions. Objects of affection are like other belongings. We must love them enough to enrich our lives while we have them, not enough to impoverish our lives when they

“What does not satisfy when we find it, was not the thing we were desiring.” 

“There is no excess of goodness. You cannot go too far in the right direction.”