In the story "Salvation" by Langston Hughes, what evidence does the writer provide to support the thesis? Does the writer use personal observations, narratives, facts, statistics, or examples to...

In the story "Salvation" by Langston Hughes, what evidence does the writer provide to support the thesis? Does the writer use personal observations, narratives, facts, statistics, or examples to support his conclusions? Thank you.

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jjohnson112 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

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In the story "Salvation" by Langston Hughes, Hughes shares a story from his childhood about when he was "saved" but "not saved" at the same time.  He uses his personal observations and the narrative of his story to support his conclusion: Jesus does not exist.

Hughes tells a vivid story of a time when his town had a church revival.  On the last day of the revival the children were invited to hear the message of salvation.  His aunt told him stories of how he would see a light and be instantly changed on the inside.  Hughes said he believed her.  Not only did he believe her and the others who spoke of this light, he wanted to see Jesus.  He was ready to see Jesus.

He waits.  Several girls go up to receive Jesus.  He waits.  More children receive Jesus.  Finally it's only Hughes and his friend, Westley.  Westley, tired of how long it's taking, whispers to Hughes,

"God damn! I'm tired o' sitting here. Let's get up and be saved." So he got up and was saved.

In that moment, Hughes is ashamed.  He is ashamed of keeping everyone at the revival and taking so long.  He realizes that Westley, who took the Lord's name in vain and lied and pretended to receive Christ, is smiling and unpunished.  Hughes makes a decision, and goes up to "be saved."

That night, he cries himself to sleep.  His aunt believes he is crying because he saw Jesus and received the Holy Spirit.  But the opposite is true.  He is crying because in not seeing Jesus, in not receiving divine help in his moment of need, Hughes decides he no longer believes.

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