`` Salvation `` By Langston Hughes Essay

`` Salvation `` By Langston Hughes Essay

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Influential 20th century American writer Langston Hughes describes an incident which made him lose his religious beliefs as a young boy of twelve in his essay called “Salvation.” At his aunt’s church, there was a service being held for the children of the town to be “brought to Jesus” (Hughes). Hughes’ aunt and many other people of the congregation said when Jesus came to Hughes, he would see a light and feel something happen on the inside. After the preacher “sang a song about the ninety and nine safe in the fold, but one little lamb was left out in the cold,” a few girls jumped up and ran to the altar (Hughes). Over time, all of the children had gone to the altar except Hughes and another boy, Westley. After a while of not seeing or feeling Jesus, Westley just wanted the service to be over and he said, “God damn! I 'm tired o ' sitting here. Let 's get up and be saved” (Hughes). He then got up and went to the altar. This appalled Hughes. He knew that Westley had lied to the whole church. Now that Hughes was the only one left on the mourners bench, his aunt and the rest of the congregation sang and prayed for him. He kept waiting to see if anything would happen, and when it didn’t he decided that he was done waiting. Hughes walked to the altar and the whole congregation cheered, sang, and prayed for him. He felt terrible about himself because he, too, had lied to his aunt and the church. That night, Hughes was in bed crying because he had lost faith in his religion and no longer believes in Jesus. His aunt was in another room and heard him. She believed that he was crying because he was so moved by Jesus and that the Holy Ghost had come into his life (Hughes). Around this age, most children start to think separately from their pa...


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...man in a racist society” ("Langston Hughes."). Hughes’ column lasted 23 years. It was very influential during the Harlem Renaissance because it’s about an ordinary African American man named “Jesse B. Semple, better known as ‘Simple’” and his everyday struggles with being the minority (Biography.com Editors). Hughes used this column to “further explore urban, working-class black themes, and to address racial issues” (Biography.com Editors).
“Salvation” describes a major turning point in Hughes’ thinking that affects him and his career for the rest of his life. Hughes becoming atheist is just the beginning of him breaking tradition. He strays from tradition multiple times in his career from supporting communism to using African American music in his poetry. This all results in him becoming a major influence in the Harlem Renaissance and helping to desegregate America.

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`` Salvation `` By Langston Hughes Essay

- Influential 20th century American writer Langston Hughes describes an incident which made him lose his religious beliefs as a young boy of twelve in his essay called “Salvation.” At his aunt’s church, there was a service being held for the children of the town to be “brought to Jesus” (Hughes). Hughes’ aunt and many other people of the congregation said when Jesus came to Hughes, he would see a light and feel something happen on the inside. After the preacher “sang a song about the ninety and nine safe in the fold, but one little lamb was left out in the cold,” a few girls jumped up and ran to the altar (Hughes)....   [tags: Langston Hughes, African American]

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