Why do you think the story was called "Salvation"?

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Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As the answer to this question would depend on your own opinion, I can suggest some points in the narrative that could guide your decision.

The term “salvation” actually only occurs in the title. Throughout the essay, however, Langston uses the word “save” or the variant "saved" ten times, until about two-thirds of the way through. Its last use comes after his Auntie Reed implores him to come up, and he is too ashamed to sit waiting any longer: “So I decided that maybe to save further trouble, I'd better lie, too, and say that Jesus had come, and get up and be saved.”

In the very first line, he sets up a difficult situation: he was “saved from sin . . . But not really saved.” He tells the reader what his aunt said about being saved and what happened in the church as the other “sinners” were being saved. It seems that he wants us to think that he remained a...

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Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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