Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 11 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys examples of the use of poststructuralist and postmodernist theory to analyse Bunyan’s work. The primary concerns and general agenda of poststructuralist/postmodernist theory are identified to assess their applicability to Bunyan’s writings (particularly his fiction and spiritual autobiography), focusing on the concepts of difference, différance, discourse, grand and little narratives, and the differend, as outlined in the work of Jean-François Lyotard, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault. It is argued that such theories emphasize instability, and that this was a prominent feature of life in later seventeenth-century England: a period of considerable socio-political turmoil in which various ideological narratives were vying for power. Bunyan is seen to be someone constantly struggling against difference, différance, and differends: a factor that renders his writings particularly receptive to poststructuralist/postmodernist readings.

Keywords: différance, difference, differend, discourse, little narratives, postmodernist, poststructuralist

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.