The narrator of "Salvation" is the author, Langston Hughes. "Salvation" is a memoir that chronicles Hughes's experiences with faith and his inability to be saved at church. It is a coming of age/rite of passage story and was originally published in his autobiography, The Big Sea. Hughes recounts a time when he lied that he was saved because he was too embarrassed to admit that he didn't see Jesus's light like his Aunt Reed said he would in the church revival meeting he attended. Hughes thought that he would literally see a real light signifying Jesus was coming into his life. When he didn't actually see a light, he said that he did to please his Aunt Reed and the other parishioners. It was a time in Hughes's life that was significant because it framed his religious beliefs and made him feel unworthy of receiving Jesus's love.