The thesis of Langston Hughes’s short essay “Salvation” is that people often pretend to believe something merely because of social pressures and, in this way, act hypocritically. The support for this claim comes from the plot of the story, in which the narrator pretends to believe in Jesus only to spare himself embarrassment and because he finds it tedious to wait in church until he professes his conversion. At the end of the essay, Hughes writes about the narrator’s aunt, who is crying because she believes that the narrator has truly been saved by Jesus. Instead, the narrator thinks, “I was really crying because I couldn’t bear to tell her that I had lied, that I had deceived everybody in the church. “Rather than truly having experienced salvation, the narrator feels even more abandoned by Jesus, who he feels did not help him in his hour of need in the church.
2.What conflict does the narrator of “Salvation” experience?
The conflict in this essay is that the narrator does not feel saved, but he feels pressured to feel saved by his aunt and those around him. If he truly did the honest thing and admitted that he did not experience salvation in church, the people around him would criticize him, but by lying, he wins their admiration and approval. Therefore, the conflict is that he is …show more content…
The narrator relates, “So I sat there calmly in the hot, crowded church, waiting for Jesus to come to me. “Then, as the whole church sits praying and moaning for him, he feels a great sense of tension in the hot church. He writes, “Nothing! I wanted something to happened to me, but nothing happened. “Finally, feeling what he describes as “ashamed,” he decides to feign being saved. The reader can feel the narrator’s tension rising and then being released as the narrator lies about experiencing