“Who Will Light the Incense When Mother’s Gone?” By Andrew Lam Nonfiction Reaction
University of Phoenix
“Salvation” by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes, author of the nonfiction short story “Salvation,” was born James Mercer Langston Hughes on February 1, 1902 to Carrie and James Hughes in Joplin Missouri (New World Encyclopedia, 2008). Langston Hughes was among the principle figures of the Harlem Renaissance. He is a major influence to writers and poets of different races and creeds. His writings, inspired by the rhythms and language of the black church and blues and jazz music of his era, send messages of equity, harmony, and unity. Hughes believed music to be the true expression of the black spirit.
In Hughes’ nonfiction story, “Salvation,” he writes about his salvation from sin that was instead an abandonment of his belief in Jesus. The story begins with the revival at his Auntie Reed’s church. Hughes was told:
When he becomes saved he would see a light, and something would happen inside. Jesus would come into his life and God would be with him from then on. He would be able to see, hear, and feel Jesus in his soul. (Hughes, 1940, p. 351) During the revival that night the children were brought to the front of the church. At the end of the sermon the preacher asked the children enter the fold of Jesus and save their soles from sin. Some of the children went right away. People of the church prayed for the other children until they went to the altar. Hughes did not go because he was waiting to see Jesus and the light. Hughes and Westley were the only children left. Westley became tired and went up to the altar to save his sole from sin. Hughes was still waiting to see the light and Jesus. The congregation continued to pray for Hughes. Hughes was waiting to see Jesus. Jesus never came. Hughes began to wonder why he could not see Jesus and what would happen to Westley...