Allegories of clarity and obscurity: Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress and Beckett's Molloy
Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui, 24, .
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This article explores the ways in which Beckett’s Molloy can be considered as an allegory – a modern narrative which both uses and confuses the methods of traditional allegory. John Bunyan, in The Pilgrim’s Progress, was able to depend upon his readers’ knowledge of the bible to decode the allegorical nature of his text. He used the journey narrative, so widespread in oral and written literature through the ages, to tell the tale of Christian and his endeavours to lead a good life and reach his ultimate goal – heaven. Beckett, on the other hand, treats the journey narrative in quite a different way. This discussion is concerned with the way Beckett redefines the allegoric mode, simultaneously encouraging and thwarting the reader’s interpretive activity, and the ways in which the allusions to Bunyan’s text which are present in Molloy play a part in this process
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