Essays Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes' Salvation Essay example

642 Words3 Pages

Langston Hughes' Salvation

In most people's lives, there comes a point in time where their perception changes abruptly; a single moment in their life when they come to a sudden realization. In Langston Hughes' 'Salvation', contrary to all expectations, a young Hughes is not saved by Jesus, but is saved from his own innocence.

'Salvation' is the story of a young boy who has an experience of revelation. While attending a church revival, he comes to the sudden realization that Jesus will not physically come save him.

In the first three sentences of the essay, the speaker adopts a very childlike style. He makes use of simple words and keeps the sentences short, similar in style to that of an early aged teenager. But since the text…show more content…

(182) praying at the church, or hear the sound of ?mighty wail of moans and voices? (182). And it is almost impossible not to feel the warmth contained in the ?hot, crowded church? (181). In short, the technique used by Hughes is set to put the reader in the same ambiance the young boy is in, thus giving us a closer look at his innocence.

The innocence shown by the young boy at the beginning of the story can be attributed to many factors, the main reason being his Auntie Reed. She goes on talking for days about the big revival. Just like any other kid would, Hughes listens and believes word-for-word what his aunt tells him: ?She said you could see and hear and feel Jesus in your soul.? (181) This naivete is characteristic of youths of that age group. After all, he ?heard a great many old people say the same thing? (181) and it seemed to him ?they ought to know? (181). With all the hype and anticipation surrounding this event, Hughes is certain something is bound to happen. His disappointment is manifested when he does not literally see Jesus. From what he has been told, Hughes is expecting to see a human incarnation of Jesus. He is actually more than just expecting to see him; he badly wants to be saved! Seeing Westley give up so carelessly, triggers an awkward feeling inside of Hughes. The thought that Jesus is not going to show up after all is starting to grow. That leads him to eventually give up and join Westley in lying. It is only at night that he comes

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Power of Langston Hughes' Harlem (A Dream Deferred) Essay

674 Words3 Pages

Power of Langston Hughes' Harlem (A Dream Deferred)

In our journey through life, we all have certain expectations of how we would like our lives to be. All of us strive to reach a certain level of self-actulization and acceptance. It could thus be said that all of us live a dream. Some of these individual dreams inevitably become the collective dream of many people. In "Harlem (A Dream Deferred)", Langston Hughes makes use of symbolism as well as powerful sensory imagery to show us the emotions that he and his people go through in their quest for freedom and equality. By using questions he builds the poem towards an exciting climax.

Hughes wants to know "What happens to a dream deferred?" He asks this question as an introduction to…show more content…

It gives us an example of the resentment that is growing. People are getting more inflamed emotionally, just like the wound gets worse if not treated. It draws a clear parallel between people's emotions and the images of the sore. Just as an untreated sore will not heal, but get more infected, a deferred dream will not go away, but become more intense. A wound that gets worse will eventually start to smell bad. Hughes compares this to rotten meat. "Does it stink like rotten meat?" This image creates the idea that unrealized dreams will bring out the worst in men. It also means that for some the realization of their dreams will become less attractive.

Next he uses the symbol of sugar, or sweetness. This creates the false image that all is well, almost as if this is the way it is meant to be. However, our minds still stick to the festering sore that is under the "Sweet crust." Hughes uses this image as a transition to the only statement in the poem that is not in the form of a question.

The reason he does not use a question in the phrase; "Maybe it just sags like a heavy load," is to create an image of defeat. When people grow old and tired, their shoulders are bent as if they are carrying a heavy load. Old women's breasts sag as a result of the natural aging process. There is nothing we can do to stop aging. Eventually we all have to give up the struggle and die. Does "a dream deferred" also eventually

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