Extrapolation

Cities of Destruction

Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress in the Dystopian Visions of Huxley and Orwell

Extrapolation (2018), 59, (2), 125–148.

Abstract

Erika Gottlieb and E. J. Brown have both argued that Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) and Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) owe varying degrees of debt to Zamyatin’s dystopian novel We (1921). In the following article it will be argued that the narrative structures and characters of both these British novels constitute more fundamentally a secular transformation of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), but incorporate elements of futility and pessimism not present to the original religious allegory, due to liberal humanist and democratic values replacing the religious vision.

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Gibson, Matthew