The Pilgrim's Progress is written as a dream by author John Bunyan, a strict religious man with Puritan beliefs who began writing the book while imprisoned for his religious convictions. The dream is of a man named Christian who is tormented by spiritual anguish. A spirit guide appears to him and explains to him the path he must take to salvation.
Christian, intent on completing the spiritual journey the spirit guide has set forth for him, decides to leave the City of Destruction and make way for Mount Zion, where spiritual awakening awaits him. The novel, divided into several acts, takes the listener through the many tests that Christian must endure on his way to his spiritual freedom. Some of these include falling into a bog, being tempted to live without religion by wise men, and learning lessons of faith.
On his journey, Christian is able to witness Christ's tomb, and cross where he unburdens himself and gains entry into the celestial city. On his way are more dangers to be faced including vanity, monsters, Shadow of death, ignorance, and judgement. He is also joined by several other pilgrims, some who enhance his walk, and some who are lost along the way, before finally reaching his destination at the peril of others.