Bunyan’s allegory uses the everyday world of common experience as a metaphor for the spiritual journey of the soul toward God. The hero, Christian, encounters many obstacles in his quest: the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Vanity Fair, Doubting Castle, the Wicket Gate, as well as those who tempt him from his path (e.g., Talkative, Mr. Worldly Wiseman, the Giant Despair). But in the end he reaches Beulah Land, where he awaits the crossing of the river of death and his entry into the heavenly city. "Pilgrim’s Progress' was enormously influential not only as a best-selling inspirational tract in the late 17th century, but as an ancestor of the 18th-century English novel, and many of its themes and ideas have entered permanently into Western culture.