Essay about Salvation by Langston Hughes

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Salvation by Langston Hughes 'Salvation', by Langston Hughes is part of an autobiographical work written in 1940. The author narrates a story centering on a revival gathering that happened in his childhood. During the days leading up to the event, Hughes' aunt tells him repeatedly that he will be 'saved', stressing that he will see a light and Jesus will come into his life. He attends the meeting but when Jesus fails to appear, he is forced by peer pressure to lie and go up and be 'saved'. Hughes uses his story to illustrate how easy it is for children to misinterpret adults and subsequently become disillusioned. Adults sometimes forget that children communicate on a much more literal level than they do; their conversation is often…show more content…
As time passed the congregation became more and more animated, wailing for Hughes to come up and be saved. Hughes became more and more impatient and extremely agitated. At the same time he must have been very curious as to why all the others were going up to the altar. During childhood we begin to learn the meaning of integrity. Having patiently awaited Jesus? appearance for what must have seemed an interminable amount of time, the pressure on Hughes to get up and go to the altar must have been ponderous. Finally, when Jesus failed to make an appearance that evening Hughes had a choice of continuing to wait or rising and satisfying the expectations of the congregation. In making his decision to approach the altar, Hughes is fearful, as most children are when disobeying the ?rules?. Hughes? reticence in coming forward probably reflects his type of up bringing, and he watches his friend to see what punishment God will mete out and bases his decision on the fact that nothing appears to happen. In embracing his friend Westley?s deception, in being saved without seeing Jesus, and because of his own up bringing, Hughes had to acknowledge his own dishonesty. Children trust the words of adults and despite the misunderstanding associated with the words his aunt used, Hughes believed her unquestionably. Later that evening when his aunt heard Hughes crying in bed, she assumed it is because he had been moved by his experience at church in receiving
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