Salvation" and "On Going Home

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"Salvation" and "On Going Home" Renee C Allen ENG/125 March 31, 2014 Angela Mullennix "Salvation" and "On Going Home" “Salvation” by Langston Hughes, is a personal short non-fiction story about a boy who was saved but not saved. There are two themes in this short story. These two themes are conflict and deceit. The setting for “Salvation” is during a revival of his aunt’s church. After weeks of the revival, the elders decided “to bring the young lambs into the fold”. (Hughes) Langston interpreted this as a physical manifestation rather a mental or emotional state. In the story, Auntie Reed, Hughes aunt, tells Langston “that when you were saved you saw a light, and something happened to you inside!” (Hughes) Langston believed this to be true because he heard many elders talk about it and since they were elders they should know. While in church, Langston waits for Jesus to come to him. After many hours, watching others walk to the alter, and Auntie Reed expecting him to be saved, Langston walks to the alter. Langston only got up to be saved because it was getting late and it was expected to him. Since Langston did not feel or see Jesus, he wondered if Jesus even existed. This is the basis of the conflict and deceit. In the short story “Salvation”, Langston uses imagery, irony, and figurative language. An example of both is when Langston describes the youth as “lambs” and describes the elder men “with work gnarled hands”. Langston also describes the singing and the preaching. In the third paragraph, Langston describes the sermon as “a wonderful rhythmical sermon, all moans and shouts”. (Hughes)This can give the reader a sense of appreciation of what congregation was experiencing. The irony is evident when Langston goes to the revival to be saved and in turn loses his faith because he was expecting a physical experience and not an emotional
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