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“Salvation” by Langston Hughes Essay Sample

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“Salvation” by Langston Hughes Essay Sample

Most people have expectations of how something is going to turn out. When things do not turn out the way, we want them to turn out; the feeling of disappointment takes over. That is a coincidence when I read “Salvation” written by Langston Hughes because I run into my feeling five years ago, not in the same situation with him, but not so many differences to be his partner.

“Salvation” is a short story, but inside it is a long anxiety and unforgettable experience for the boy. Only he knows what he is doing, and he is the one. The feeling that he has to lie to people and himself is very uncomfortable for the narrator, but that is also what I did a long time ago-the day I lied to my friend’s Mom and Dad about him. (His name is Tin) He did not pass the final examination to high school (in Viet Nam, students have to take a test to study in high school. If you fail, you have to wait a year to take another test), but I could not tell his parents that he had failed. They worked so hard, they would do whatever they could to earn money for him and put all of their expectations on him, and so did I. We both expected, but only I felt guilty because if I told them the trust, they would have died.

“I hadn’t seen Jesus and that now I didn’t believe there was a Jesus any more, since he didn’t come to help me”. That final paragraph in Salvation does show the truth that- nobody in the church knows the boy’s secret because he did not see God. What people had told him before and what he saw were opposites. Disappointment is certain. It is the feeling we all get when something or someone fails to live up to our expectations. Everybody, at least one time in their lives, has this feeling. That is why I understand the boy’s feeling, especially in his belief in God: he will be saved and received by Jesus. His aunt had told him what to expect when he is saved: “You saw a light, and something happened to you inside.” But what came to inside his mind is just a hoax.

Nothing happens and Jesus did not come to save him. I did not say to Tin like Langston’s Aunt told him before he took the test. I kept thinking that he had studied very hard, but it was not, he spent most the time for gaming and entertaining and he failed. What Langston and I had expected before becomes our disappointment. Jesus never came to Langston that night in the church and Tin did not enter the high school. The longer he sat there waiting, the more uncomfortable and frustrated he became like I had kept that guilty feeling for a year before Tin succeeded in his second attempt.

If I were Langston, I would lie to people in the church, too. Hughes and I have no choice for our situations. We could not bring disappointment to people. Because we do not want them to get it, so we get it. I would have done this mainly to forget any further complications or opinions, just as Langston did after all of the children had claimed that Jesus had saved them. He knew that people will not believe him and so that he can do nothing about what he saw. But I keep thinking that, do all the children tell the truth or they also saw what Langston saw and said the same what he said? I do not know Tin got a lesson about what he did or not, but I lost half of my belief I put on him as well as Langston lost his in Jesus.

At the end of the story, Langston cries because he lied himself and disappointed. The entire situation was very sad for him, nothing turned out the way he had expected it to. He cries while his aunt is telling her husband because Langston saw Holy Ghost. Perhaps it could make him loses his religion because of the disappointment, a very powerful emotion that can change his life:” I didn’t believe there was a Jesus any more since he didn’t come to help me.”, this is a good ending. I did not have Langston’s action that night- I did not cry, just a little disappointed. Langston maybe lose his religion, I still have my friend, but we both never got rid of the feeling that we lied our loved people and get the result of what we expected before- a big disappointment in our mind.

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