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Response to Salvation

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Hour 7
Langston Hughes Response In “Salvation” by Langston Hughes, Hughes explains how he as a young boy lost faith in his religion. Hughes writes of being about twelve years old and being brought by his aunt to church to try and find Jesus. Hughes is told that he will see Jesus and “something happened to you inside!” When Hughes went to church he and the other children were put at the front of the church and had all the adults pray around them. Many children got up right away signifying that they had found Jesus right away. Hughes and another boy ended up being the last ones searching for Jesus. The other boy lied about seeing Jesus so he could get up leaving Hughes by himself. Feeling guilty about being the only person not to see Jesus, Hughes lied about seeing Jesus. Later that night Hughes cried and explained to the reader that he had lost faith in Jesus. The piece by Hughes is well written and connects to the reader on a personal basis. “Salvation” by Langston Hughes was well written because of how well Hughes stayed in the character of a twelve year old boy. Hughes was a brilliant and one of the most recognizable writers during the Harlem Renaissance so he did have the ability to use some of the most convoluted diction with extremely complex sentences. Hughes avoided writing like that though and instead wrote like a smart twelve year old boy. The most sophisticated words that were used were direct quotations from the preacher. The sentence structure was not always simple but it never got above the level befitting a twelve year old. Keeping the words and sentence structure simple helped sell the narrator as a twelve year old boy instead of an accomplished writer. Connecting with the reader was what really made “Salvation” a good piece of writing. Hughes use of a lower diction and simple syntax created the persona of a twelve year old boy explaining a big life event. The bond that Hughes created between himself and his readers made it possible to come out and say he had never found Jesus. Without connection to his readers he would lose the favor of many readers in Harlem because of the strong religious affiliations there. Using the view point of a twelve year old was important to the connection. It comes off as less biased and it is easier to be sympathetic to a child than to an adult. Overall, Hughes wrote a brilliant piece on a young boy losing faith in religion. He made a connection between himself and readers by writing from the view point of a twelve year old. He made the twelve year old persona believable by using a simple syntax and diction.

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