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“Salvation” by Langston Hughes

“Salvation” by Langston Hughes

Due: May 31st (First draft) Final draft due June 6th

Purpose: To gain an understanding of the various elements in the short story, “Salvation” and provide an understanding of the role of religion and faith in one’s life through this story and comparing it to others.

This will be done through an analysis of story elements and synthesis of themes seen in the stories read to far.

Directions: in a two to three page essay, answer one of the following questions. PLEASE USE QUOTATIONS FROM THE STORY WHERE APPROPRIATE

1.  What does it mean to be “saved”? What is the young Langston’s understanding of being “saved”?

2. What is Langston’s expectation in “seeing the light” and having “Jesus come into my life”?

3. How is faith understood by the congregation (the adults) in comparison to the children?

4. What is the purpose of a revival? Is this appropriate for young children?

5. What are the religious symbols present in this story? How do they add to Langston’s confusion?

6. What are the consequences of not “seeing the light”? Have some Christian values been inculcated by Langston? How do these values play in his life?

7. Compare and contrast religion as seen in “Salvation” with religion as seen in “Eveline.” Are there any similarities and differences between the use of religion in these two stories?

8. What is the significance of Langston’s reaction at the end of the story?

Irony is a rhetorical device which appears on the surface to be what is happening but is radically different from what is actually occurring.

For example:

On the child’s first day of school, the little boy repeatedly told his mother how happy and thrilled he was to start school while a pained expression covered his face all the way to him being dropped at the front of the school.

9. Where is the irony in “Salvation”? How does the young Langston’s youth and immaturity contribute to his not being “saved”?

10. In reflecting on your religious beliefs as you define it (God, belief in a higher power, etc.) how has your faith and understanding grown or not grown since you were a child?

11.How does Hughes’ description of his experience as a young boy of 12 capture the American experience of growing up?

12. Did you connect to any of the stories? How did you connect to the story? Did any of the story elements (characters, setting, theme) have an impact on you? How and why? Please explain.

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