In Song of the Lark, Cather writes, "Sometimes she [Thea] got so nervous at the piano that she left it, and snatching up her hat and cape went out and walked, hurrying through the streets like Christian fleeing from the City of Destruction."
In Cather's One of Ours, there is an engraving with scenes from Pilgrim's Progress over the sofa in the Wheeler house.
In a letter, Lewis writes that Cather said she read The Pilgrim's Progress eight times during one of her first winters in Nebraska.
In an 1897 Home Monthly article, Cather writes, "If I were asked what two books were the most essential to a child's library and most important in his education, I should name two very old-fashioned ones that their fathers and mothers read and loved before them: Pilgrim's Progress and The Swiss Family Robinson.... Like Jo and Meg in Little Women, [some children] even dramatized and played [Pilgrim's Progress]."
In "Before Breakfast," Henry Grenfell is compared to Christian because he "left his burden at the bottom of the hill."
In "Old Mrs. Harris,"as she lies dying, grandmother Harris recalls the line "Then said Mercy, how sweet is rest to them that labour."
In Sapphira and the Slave Girl, Henry Colbert identifies Nancy with Mercy.
In "Scandal," Kitty Ayrshire wants "to believe that everything for sale in Vanity Fair was worth the advertised price."