Hughes talks about salvation and how people, young and old got saved at her aunt’s revival church. His aunt, Reed, took him to the church with the hope that he will get saved and grow strong religiously. Hughes was only thirteen by the time he attended the church to get saved. The title, salvation, insinuate to an instance where a person gets saved and accept Jesus. It points out to a faith that Christians develop towards a supernatural being, God.
Hughes attitude at the end of the essay is ironic. He attends the church session with the hope that he will see Jesus and get saved. It took him time to accept to get saved. His aunt took him to the church expecting that his faith in Jesus will grow after the salvation. When Hughes cried that night, aunt Reed told his uncle that he was crying because the Holy Ghost had come into his life and that Hughes had seen Jesus. However, it is ironical in that despite all that happened in the church and later on that night, Hughes faith in Jesus went away. “Now I don’t believe that there was a Jesus anymore since He did not come to help me.” It is therefore ironical that the aunt thought he had been saved and that his faith in Jesus had grown yet this is not the case. Hughes faith in Jesus even grew weaker since he did not see Him.
Another irony is that the title “salvation,” does not match the essay. If the essay would have been about salvation, then I think Hughes would have willingly and honestly received the salvation. In the end, we are made to feel that salvation is a lie and that Jesus does not even exist. Hughes pretended to be saved. Hughes says, “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.” Hughes did not get saved and so, the title “salvation’ is ironical to the essay.
Childhood, in particular, should be a time in life when religious questions are especially relevant. Hughes was only thirteen by the time his aunt took him to a special meeting that was organized in the church to, “ To bring the young lambs to the fold.” His aunt promised him that Jesus would come into his life if he gets saved and that God will be with him from then on. His aunt was right because, in the real sense, believers have faith that their God is with them and that when one gets saved, he or she would have seen God. It is their faith that guides them to believe so.
But to Hughes, who was still a child, seeing Jesus and God being with you meant a whole lot of difference from the reality. He expected to see Jesus physically during the time he was to be saved. Questions about religion are therefore vital during childhood so that children get to learn and familiarize themselves with what faith and salvation are. Children will stick by what they learn and consequently it is essential to teach them the right things about religion.
Therefore, the essay is not in line with the title salvation as Hughes does not get saved, and he loses faith in the existence of Jesus. It highlights what happens in salvation, the hypocrisy in salvation, people pretending they are saved. Being a child, he doesn’t quite well understand what salvation meant. It is therefore essential that children be guided about what religion is as they tend to stick by the teachings they receive when still young.
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