'Salvation' versus 'Reunion' Essay

'Salvation' versus 'Reunion' Essay

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Authors tend to have writing styles that set them apart from other authors. “Salvation” by Langston Hughes and “Reunion” by John Cheever are two short stories, both written by acclaimed authors, describing a life changing experience each author had at a young age. It may seem like both stories are completely different in every aspect. However, after analyzing both stories, it becomes apparent that they have plenty in common. Both stories are similar in terms of motifs and the use of dialogue, yet they contrast when it comes to the tone of each story.
First, both short stories have two similar motifs. In both Langston Hughes’ and John Cheever’s short stories is expectation and disappointment. Langston Hughes is expecting Jesus to come and to see the light that his aunt told him he would see once he is saved. In Langston Hughes’ “Salvation” he states, “I didn't believe there was a Jesus anymore, since he didn't come to help me” (643). Hughes is disappointed at the fact that he is expecting Jesus to come, yet he did not. John Cheever is expecting to have a great time with his father because he had not seen him in a long time. In Reunion when John Cheever sees his father he states, “I was terribly happy to see him again”. The use of the words “terribly happy” shows how excited he is to see his father and how he expects to have a great time with him, otherwise he would not be so happy. Once he does get to spend time with his father he feels disappointed, or let down because his father is not the person Cheever thought he would be. Even though both authors had expectations of something good occurring, their hopes are quickly deflated, which is why expectation and disappointment are two key themes in both stories.
Secondly, both storie...


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... an event to turn out a certain way, but are let down when the situation they are in turns out differently than expected. Both stories use dialogue to give insight to the characters and why they behave in a certain manner. The actions of the characters in “Reunion” are a direct result of the disrespect given to them by the father. In “Salvation”, the dialogue helps the reader to understand why Westley and Hughes lie about being saved. Tone is the main difference between the two stories. “Reunion” has a tone of embarrassment while “Salvation” has a tone of solemnity. The authors use these elements to describe a dramatic experience that has happened to them when they were younger. Most authors may have different writing styles or other different elements incorporated into their stories, but they can still have similar elements in each of their individual stories.




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