Argument And Narrative Technique In John Bunyan's Autobiography (rhetoric, Oratory, Puritan)

Date of Award




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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners was read in light of narrative technique and rhetorical purpose. John Bunyan's literary style was discovered to be the outgrowth of the designs and methods employed to evangelical ends in the early treatises and thus, by implication, an outgrowth of his pulpit oratory. Unlike the usual critical assumption that the book emphasizes Bunyan's religious conversion, a close reading indicated that the narrative crisis is consistently a crisis of temptation, similar in design to the temptation in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-11, and that the author's stated purpose is to persuade Christians to persevere in temptation. The autobiography's address to the implied reader, its characterization of the author as narrator and protagonist, its dialectical argument, its narrative technique, and its imagery resembled aspects of the early non-narrative books on doctrine and of the later allegories.


Biography; Literature, English

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