Heavy Laden

21 Sep

Are these daily literary connection posts feeling burdensome?  That’s what I was going for, all in order to lead up to this last one.


You remember them from Pilgrim’s Progress, right? Now I realize not every single use of the word burden is a direct reference to Bunyan’s work.  But it wasn’t just the word.  It was the picture of Bigger lugging the trunk containing Mary’s body and the freedom he experienced when discovering a way to unload it.  He later uses the word in his description.

. . . now that he had killed Mary he felt a lessening of tension in his muscles; he had shed an invisible burden he had long carried.

His mother also has a burden, a “heavy and delicately balanced” one that she “did not want to assume by disturbing it one whit.”

Maybe I’ve just felt too great of a burden in finding literary connections to assume that Richard Wright was harkening back to Paul, er I mean John Bunyan (although, do you think there are any connections between Bigger, and the north’s massive lumberjack?)  I think they’re legit, though.  Were there others?

I don’t want you to feel burdened to answer, but . . .


Posted by on September 21, 2013 in Native Son, Pilgrim's Progress


Tags: , , , ,

4 responses to “Heavy Laden

  1. Christine

    September 21, 2013 at 11:20 am

    The only connection I could get between Bigger and Bunyan was the axe but then I remembered it was John Bunyan not Paul. I did have a fleeting moment when I thought of Christian and his burden at that passage. Well done with all the literary connections this week!

  2. Ruth @ An Experiment with the Well-Educated Mind

    September 21, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I appreciate the connections b/c that is where I am lacking. Continue to share them, please!

    By the way, do we know if Wright read Bunyan?

    • Christina Joy

      September 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      That’s a good question. And when I googled it the first two sites that came up were for this blog. So . . .there we have it. My ability to conflate and confuse the masses seems to be chugging along nicely :-).

      • An Experiment with the Well-Educated Mind

        September 22, 2013 at 12:51 am

        After I thought about it, I googled it, too, and also got CCM first, which means you guys are on the cutting edge.


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