The religious event described in the short story “Salvation” havs an impact on Hughes because it laid the foundation of his religious belief or rather, disbelief. At the age of twelve, Hughes was exposed to what he thinks are overdramatic show of worship. At that stage in his life, he was able to conclude that not all people who go to church really believed in what they are professing. Like in the case of Westley, he stood up and just pretended that he wanted to come to Jesus, though he never really understood what he was doing. He did it just to please everyone in church.
This event reveals a lot about the culture and society in which Hughes lived in during that time. The story portrayed how the adults during that time worshipped God. There was singing, praying out loud, preaching, shouting and crying, typical of charismatic worships today. The story also revealed how adults would impose on children their faith and beliefs without necessarily explaining to them the religious practices. It can be observed that children during those times simply say yes to their parents and elders, without questioning why they are being asked to do something. Children were expected to follow blindly. The adults or parents exert “pressure” on their children just to show in public that they are following the teachings of the Church, without taking into consideration how the children feel. One thinks that the proper way to do it is to educate the children first about the basic religious beliefs so that they understand what they have to go through.
Hughes, Langston. "Salvation." Samuel Cohen, Ed. 50 Essays: A portable anthology. Boston: Bedford/St . Martins, 2007. 203-205.