Langston Hughes' Salvation Essay example

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Langston Hughes' Salvation

In most people's lives, there comes a point in time where their perception changes abruptly; a single moment in their life when they come to a sudden realization. In Langston Hughes' 'Salvation', contrary to all expectations, a young Hughes is not saved by Jesus, but is saved from his own innocence.

'Salvation' is the story of a young boy who has an experience of revelation. While attending a church revival, he comes to the sudden realization that Jesus will not physically come save him.

In the first three sentences of the essay, the speaker adopts a very childlike style. He makes use of simple words and keeps the sentences short, similar in style to that of an early aged teenager. But since the text
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(182) praying at the church, or hear the sound of ?mighty wail of moans and voices? (182). And it is almost impossible not to feel the warmth contained in the ?hot, crowded church? (181). In short, the technique used by Hughes is set to put the reader in the same ambiance the young boy is in, thus giving us a closer look at his innocence.

The innocence shown by the young boy at the beginning of the story can be attributed to many factors, the main reason being his Auntie Reed. She goes on talking for days about the big revival. Just like any other kid would, Hughes listens and believes word-for-word what his aunt tells him: ?She said you could see and hear and feel Jesus in your soul.? (181) This naivete is characteristic of youths of that age group. After all, he ?heard a great many old people say the same thing? (181) and it seemed to him ?they ought to know? (181). With all the hype and anticipation surrounding this event, Hughes is certain something is bound to happen. His disappointment is manifested when he does not literally see Jesus. From what he has been told, Hughes is expecting to see a human incarnation of Jesus. He is actually more than just expecting to see him; he badly wants to be saved! Seeing Westley give up so carelessly, triggers an awkward feeling inside of Hughes. The thought that Jesus is not going to show up after all is starting to grow. That leads him to eventually give up and join Westley in lying. It is only at night that he comes
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