Pressures of Finding Salvation

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Chandler Hoffman
Professor Turley
Writing 150 Section 5
25 September 2012
The Pressures of Finding Salvation
Langston Hughes’ story “Salvation” is one that raises many questions about his life and childhood experiences. Hughes patterns this story to portray the pressures that caused his faith to be lost. Hughes sat on the mourners’ bench waiting for God to save him but, due to these pressures, he chose to stand and pretend that he found his salvation. Pressure is the influences of outside sources that convince you to conform. Hughes undoubtedly felt pressured. He felt pressured to find truth. Hughes ironically lost his faith in God because of an extreme environment, high expectations, and an overly passionate caretaker. Churches are places of worship, and that is how Hughes’ church is in a very extreme and loud way. Praises to the Lord were shouted out at every moment and “Amens” were given in agreement frequently. Hughes states that, “Suddenly the whole room broke into a sea of shouting…Waves of rejoicing swept the place [and] women leaped in the air” to portray the enthusiasm and the energy that was flowing throughout the room (281). Specific words such as, “suddenly” and “rejoicing” show the quick emotional reaction of the church congregation. The environment he was in was capable of great pressure and power. The congregation of the church puts strong emotion into every move they make because of their passion and want “’to bring the young lambs to the fold’”(280). Hughes places this quote in his story to show how the minister sees them and how Hughes feels they are being treated. They are the “young lambs” and the “fold” is the church community and congregation. This congregation was a tight group inviting the children unto their “fold”. The pressure from Hughes’ environment was part of his downfall towards disbelief in Jesus. Hughes was facing positive peer pressure in a negative way. This means he was being pressured into something that was genuinely...
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