"Salvation" is a short personal narrative from Langston Hughes' childhood about the struggle to reconcile adult concepts with a childish mind. Detailing an afternoon he spends in a church waiting for a literal light and epiphany to reveal Jesus to him, the short story ultimately reveals that Hughes lied about being saved in order to please his aunt and later wept over the deception.
"Salvation" is excerpted from Langston Hughes' autobiography as an example of an incident that influenced him greatly. Hughes refrains from criticizing his aunt, the church and Christianity, preferring to focus on the lack of communication and misunderstandings that have sprung up in the generation gap. As a child, he felt enormous guilt over deceiving his family and the congregation even though he did so due to the pressure exerted on him by the adults around him. His conversation with his friend Westley exemplifies how the children caved to the adults out of convenience; Westley is no more saved than Hughes, but chose to appease the pastor and his family in order to avoid a confrontation. Even Hughes' later tears are misinterpreted by his aunt, who announces to his uncle that he is weeping because he's been saved.Learn More
Frequently referred to incorrectly as "Dreams" or ""Dream Deferred," the poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes first appeared in print in 1951. The short poem appeared originally as part of the poetry collection titled "Montage of a Dream Deferred."Full Answer >
Langston Hughes' famous "Refugees in America" was first published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1943, addressing issues of equality for all Americans. At a time still long before the Civil Rights Movement, during a war when the army of the United States was still segregated, Hughes' poem reflects upon the most idealized dreams of American life. It also reflects on the failure to achieve balance across races.Full Answer >
Langston Hughes was one of the most prominent black poets of the Harlem Renaissance. His accomplishments include publishing his first poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," to critical acclaim; winning several major literary awards for his poems, plays, short stories and novels; founding theaters; teaching at universities; and being a major contributor to the Harlem Renaissance and helping to shape American literature.Full Answer >
The poem "Dreams" by Langston Hughes is about the importance of dreams and their ability to empower, strengthen and sustain an individual's life. In the poem, Hughes implores the reader to "hold fast to dreams" because life without dreams is like a "broken winged bird that cannot fly."Full Answer >