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John Updike's "New Yorker" & Langston Hughes' "Salvation"

1). Hughes also creates vivid characters like Westley, who takes the Lord's name in vain in church and gives in to being saved because it's taking so long and the church is stifling hot. The fact that Westley seems unscathed by his blasphemous behavior creates a moral crisis in Langston, "God had not struck Westley dead for taking his name in vain or for lying in the temple. 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, 2008, p. 2).

We see that in both Updike's story and Hughes' there is an attempt to have the stories read like fiction in order for the author's stories to take on more depth and meaning to others. In Updike's (2001) story he tries to help Americans heal by remind us our history is based on sacrifice for our deepest held values, "we have only the mundane duties of survivors-to pick up the pieces...risk is a price of freedom" (p. 2). In this way, Updike provides the story of events most of us are familiar or watched on television, but he adds a deeper level to it by writing the account more like a short story with his own views interjected than a straight report of the day's events would include. In "Salvation," Hughes' use the story of the revival is merely to demonstrate the crisis of faith precipitated in him by it. Hughes waited and waited for a savior that never showed up, dashing his faith that there is a Jesus. Like many individuals who have at one time or another questioned their faith, Hughes fiction-like account of the nonfiction event helps others understand that we all question our faith at times in our existence.

The theme and purpose of Updike's (2001) work seems not only to provide a beautifully written account of the horror of September 11, but also to reaffirm the very values that made it so horrific. As Updike (2001) writes at the end of his piece, his walk around Brooklyn Heights "renewe...

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John Updike's "New Yorker" & Langston Hughes' "Salvation". (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:37, August 18, 2017, from
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