In his essay, Salvation by Langston Hughes, do you find the piece amusing, or serious, or both? Explain.
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Langston Hughes can be considered on the short list of America's great writers. His essay "Salvation" proves this. Like so much of Hughes' work, there are notes of joy, humor, sadness, and abject reality that are struck with such clear definition that one is left to consider the mass of contradictory feelings presented. Indeed, there is humor present. When Hughes describes the crowd at the revival, as well as the childlike way of phrasing the presence or absence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, there is an irreverence in tone. Yet, it is so honest and forthcoming that one can only smile. When Hughes describes Westley, there is humor present. At the same time, one cannot deny the sadness of the ending, which notes that Hughes cried and wept for the first time not for the presence of God, but rather at his absence. The ending strikes a note of painful sadness in the reader because a child understands his own sense of emptiness in recognizing his own forlornness in the world. This is poignant, tearing away at the reader with sharpened emotional claws for a loss of innocence is present. Given Hughes' own writing about the predicament of those who experience the reality of a "dream deferred," this is painful and heart breaking.
How does Langton's toneaffect the reader?
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